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Saving Your Tax Refund Can Be Worth $10,000

MoneyWise logoMoneyWise 1/29/2019 Robin Saks Frankel
a man sitting on a bed: Bank Your Tax Refund, Win a Cash Prize? © Prostock-studio / Shutterstock Bank Your Tax Refund, Win a Cash Prize?

Savings meet -- sweepstakes?

A program called SaveYourRefund wants to give you an incentive to boost your savings this tax season. It's running an annual contest offering cash prizes if you sock away at least a portion of your refund when you file your taxes for 2018.

Now in its seventh year, SaveYourRefund is aimed at helping reduce the financial insecurity that comes with not having enough savings for a financial emergency.

To enter, you must fill out IRS Form 8888, which will break up your refund and direct-deposit it into two or more accounts. Accounts making you eligible for the contest include savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), IRAs and U.S. savings bonds.

The program is cosponsored by Commonwealth and America Saves, a pair of nonprofits that promote saving.

Is the contest worth your while? Heck yeah

XAOC / Shutterstock SaveYourRefund gives you an opportunity to win up to $10,000. © Provided by Cheapism XAOC / Shutterstock SaveYourRefund gives you an opportunity to win up to $10,000.

All you have to do is direct at least $50 from your refund into one of the eligible accounts. And here's the good stuff: You could win one of 100 prizes of $100 each.

Enter a related photo contest, and you'll have a chance at a grand prize of $10,000.

That could seriously pad your piggy bank.

SaveYourRefund says it gave away $35,000 in cash prizes last year and prompted tax filers to save $2.9 million.

You can do this

Filing your taxes can be stressful, and adding yet another form to the mountain of paperwork might be a deterrent for some. But, by offering the prizes, SaveYourRefund hopes to convert spenders into savers.

And here's another plus: Having your refund direct-deposited into a bank account can help you get your money faster than waiting for a paper check.

In surveys, too many people admit they don’t have enough emergency savings to cover an unexpected expense of $1,000 or more. Putting your refund directly into a savings stash can help ward off financial insecurity.

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