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What Did You Do With Your Income Tax Refund?

Your Tax Refund — Make It Money in the Bank!


cabania via istock

Thousands of older adults have taken part in the SaveYourRefund campaign, which offers cash incentives to encourage taxpayers to save at least half of their income tax refund. AARP Foundation became the main sponsor of SaveYourRefund in 2019, in support of our mission to help low-income older adults increase their economic opportunity. AARP Foundation will be offering the program again in 2021.

And the Winners Are …

During the 2020 tax season, SaveYourRefund awarded 100 weekly cash prizes of $100 to taxpayers who saved at least half of their tax refund into their own savings account. Two grand prize winners, Melissa Lieu and Richard Kennerly-Lewis, each won $10,000 based on photos they submitted with a caption describing what motivated them to save and how they planned to use the prize money if they won.

To emphasize how important it is for low-income older adults to save, AARP Foundation has also announced an additional $5,000 for the top two contestant entrants over the age of 50.

More than 1,800 taxpayers saved more than $1.5 million during the 2020 tax season. Since the program began more than 19,000 entrants have added $16 million to their own savings accounts.

Saving Builds Security

Building savings is a key pillar in creating financial resilience. Nearly half of all U.S. adults don’t have enough savings to cope with small emergencies. For many households, a tax refund is the largest lump sum they will receive all year — making it the perfect opportunity to start or build on a savings habit. What’s more, the chance to win a cash prize has proved to be a powerful motivator for saving.

Along with SaveYourRefund, AARP Foundation provides programs and services that help older adults hold on to more of the money they earn.

  • AARP Foundation MySavingsJar helps low-income families and older working adults start the habit of saving monthly so they can have more control over their expenses and move from financial stress to financial freedom.
  • Healthy Savings powered by AARP Foundation helps you save money on groceries with coupons that help you eat nutritiously even on a tight budget.
  • Here to Stay: Home Upkeep for All helps you keep your home maintenance up to snuff with advice, recommendations and tips on getting help, saving you more costly repairs down the road. 

About SaveYourRefund

SaveYourRefund, with technical support from Commonwealth, is offered through a nationwide network of partner organizations, including AARP Foundation Tax-Aide and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, where taxpayers can learn about the campaign and get free help filing their tax returns.