Banks work pretty hard to make themselves a big part of your life with bill pay, auto-deposit, loans and other services. You need to carefully unwind each one and be on the lookout for fees. If you close a savings account, will your checking account suddenly have fees? If you stop auto deposit, will there suddenly be a fee?
- Setup your new account somewhere
- Setup your new bill pay and use it
- Setup your new auto deposit, and put either most or all of you checks in the new account.
- Stop using your old bill pay
- Make sure your auto deposit stops
- Stop any auto withdrawals ( and then never set them up again, use bill pay instead )
- Look back at a year of transactions to see anything that auto withdraws yearly
- Try to download as many statements and check images from the old bank as possible. Consider getting an entire year even if it costs a few dollars (per mhoran_psprep)
Do you have a business that deposits money? A Google Ad sense account? PayPal or the equivalent? These all might be tied to your bank accounts.
Wait a couple of months, leaving enough cash in the old back to prevent fees if possible. If two months go by and there isn't any activity on the account, you can probably close it.
After you are sure all the written checks have cleared, go to the back and get a counter check for the balance of the account.
You could alternately just write yourself one more check for the remaining balance and call the bank to close the account. You could electronically transfer the funds if you wanted too. HOWEVER, it is important to be careful of the timing, the last thing you want to do is write a check or transfer the money after the account is closed. (per Dilip Sarwate)
If you do the check and phone call thing, make sure you do it in a short enough period of time that you don't incur a fee.
Having and closing regular bank accounts won't have any tax implications in the US.