I don’t know. What do you mean by “manually refresh”?
I can tell you that I use tab panels with matrix objects frequently. They work fine, no refresh required, but they are a bit tricky to set up because usually you don’t want the matrix frame to be visible in the tab panel. So the solution is to put the matrix frame on a separate form, then explicitly set the form that contains the frame. To learn how to do this see Hiding the Matrix Frame on this page:
also Using a Matrix in a Panel on this help page:
This is also covered in the Tab Panel video training session, which you can purchase for $10 if you don’t already own the Intensive Training Course.
Since I don’t understand your problem, I suspect this tip won’t help with your problem, but perhaps it will be helpful to you in general.