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Need a Reason to Save Your Tax Refund? This Contest Will Pay You $10K

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A smiling young woman takes a picture with her smart phone of a check.
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Are you getting a federal tax refund this year?

How does an extra $100 or $10,000 on top of that refund sound?

Well, if you haven’t filed your federal tax return yet, stop what you’re doing and read this right meow.

Nonprofit Commonwealth and the America Saves campaign are helping you save more with their annual SaveYourRefund sweepstakes.

If you save $50 or more of your federal tax refund you can enter to win one of 100 prizes for $100 and one of two grand prizes for $10,000.

The SaveYourRefund sweepstakes consists of 10 drawings, each with 10 randomly selected winners. The contest started Jan. 22 and runs through 11:59 p.m. April 17.

Drawings will include the entries submitted from the promotion start date through the current entry deadline.

Remaining entry deadlines are 11:59 p.m. on:

  • March 19
  • March 26
  • April 2
  • April 17

How to Save Your Tax Refund for the Contest

To enter the sweepstakes, you must be at least 18 years old at the time of entry and a legal resident of the U.S. or have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. You must also receive a 2017 individual tax refund from the IRS.

Only one individual in a joint tax return is eligible to enter.  

Your 2017 tax return has to be filed within the promotion period. Using your tax filing software or IRS Form 8888 to split your refund into two parts — one for spending and one for saving at least $50.

Don’t worry about scary form numbers. If you’ve ever transferred your refund to an account instead of receiving a check, then you’ve inadvertently filed a Form 8888.

Qualifying savings options include a U.S. savings bond, savings account, certificate of deposit, IRA, TreasuryDirect account, prepaid card or 529 college savings plan.

Once you direct at least $50 to one of those options, visit SaveYourRefund.com, and provide your name, phone number and/or email address, tax refund amount, and the portion of your tax refund amount you saved in a qualified savings product.

Unfortunately for all you overachievers, you can’t save your entire refund into one savings account. To be eligible, you have to split it into at least two.

Drawings are held four days after every deadline, so if you file your taxes and enter today, you’ll have four chances to win $100!

The Grand Prize Photo Contest: Your Chance to Win $10,000

Once you enter the $100 sweepstakes, make sure to enter the grand prize contest, too!

Take a photo that represents your savings goal or your motivation to save and submit it with a caption of up to 250 characters on the grand prize entry page, or text SAVE to 313131 and follow the upload instructions.

If you only enter the grand prize contest and not the sweepstakes, you won’t be eligible for either drawing.

Two $10,000 grand prize winners will be selected and notified within 30 days of the promotion end date, April 17.

If you win you’ll have to provide proof of ID and a copy of Form 8888 proving you did save at least $50 of your return (easily accessible when you print your tax return from any software.)

You can receive promotion updates and information about winners by following @buildcommonwealth on Twitter.

All winners will have to pay taxes on their prize money.

Jen Smith is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder and gives money saving and debt payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk. She’s proud to say she owes $300 in taxes this year.

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