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
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'd 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.