Written By: Mathieu Despard, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Anna deRuyter, Shenyang Guo, Jane E. Oliphant, and Terri Friedline
Being unbanked makes it difficult for low and moderate-income (LMI) households to manage finances, save, and access credit. We assessed effects of an online tax-time savings intervention on savings account openings in the 6 months following tax filing among a sample of 4,692 LMI tax filers. Treatment group participants had 60% greater odds of opening a savings account than control group participants (p < .05). However, statistically significant treatment effects were found only for participants who filed early in tax season and only for 5 out of 18 specific interventions. Low-cost messages delivered at tax time can encourage early season LMI tax filers who expect larger refunds to open savings accounts. Findings lend additional empirical support for financial inclusion efforts.