First-Ever Doorways to Dreams Save Your Refund Sweepstakes Selects First Winners: U.S. Taxpayers Have Until April 15 to Save Part of Tax Refund and Win Up to $25,000

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Four entrants in the first-ever Doorways to Dreams Save Your Refund Sweepstakes that started Feb. 1 came out way ahead after saving part of their federal tax refund. After random drawings, each of the first four sweepstakes winners received a prize of $250 for splitting her refund using Form 8888.

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The first four winners say that the sweepstakes played a part in their decisions to save. We wanted to give people an incentive, and also make saving fun and less mundane.

Four entrants in the first-ever Save Your Refund Sweepstakes that started Feb. 1 came out way ahead after saving part of their federal tax refund. After random drawings, each of the first four sweepstakes winners received a prize of $250 for splitting her refund using Form 8888.

The Boston-based nonprofit Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D) created the Save Your Refund Sweepstakes as part of its mission to strengthen consumer financial security. Tax filers over age 18 who save at least $50 from their federal tax refund, by splitting their refund using Form 8888, can enter the sweepstakes at http://www.saveyourrefund.com until April 15.

The first four Save Your Refund Sweepstakes winners are Amanda Coffing of Romney, Ind.; Rebecca Boyle of York Harbor, Maine; Annette McCollin of Cambridge, Mass., and; Tezurra Gooding of Morrisville, N.C.

So far, sweepstakes entrants have reported saving about $144,000, including $23,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds, said Timothy Flacke, executive director of D2D.

“The first four winners say that the sweepstakes played a part in their decisions to save,” Flacke said. “We wanted to give people an incentive, and also make saving fun and less mundane.”

The Save Your Refund Sweepstakes has a $35,000 prize purse, including a $25,000 grand prize and weekly drawings totaling $1,000.

Americans receive more than $300 billion in tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service every year. For working families, federal refunds are often the largest lump sum of income they receive, Flacke said.

“The Save Your Refund Sweepstakes encourages people to save as little as $50, which can jump start a year-round commitment to saving, even if it’s a little at a time,” Flacke said.

A recent study by TD Ameritrade indicates that the majority of Americans are more interested in saving and reducing debt than spending this year, suggesting that they have a more pragmatic, long-term outlook on finances.

Indiana winner Coffing, 29, said she used H&R Block’s online tax preparation service this year. After learning about the sweepstakes and Form 8888 through her employer, she decided to start saving for a down payment for her first home.

“I didn't know you could split your refund into different accounts,” she said. “The incentive of the sweepstakes really gave me the push I needed to do it.”

Learn more about the new winners at https://www.saveyourrefund.com/winners.
For more information about the Save Your Refund Sweepstakes, visit http://www.saveyourrefund.com.

About IRS Form 8888
Since 2007, tax filers have had the option to send part of their federal refunds directly to a savings product through a "split refunds" option available on IRS Form 8888. Beginning in 2010, on this same form, refund recipients could request that a part of their refunds be issued in inflation-protected U.S. Savings Bonds--either for themselves or for others (including children).

About Doorways to Dreams Fund
The Boston-based Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D), a non-profit founded by former Harvard Business School professor Peter Tufano, has long championed savings bonds as a tool for helping low-and moderate-income savers. D2D's mission is to strengthen the financial security and opportunity of low- and moderate-income consumers, and the organization views encouraging saving as a critical strategy to advance that important mission. For more information, visit http://www.d2dfund.org.

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Jennifer Wezensky
Doorways to Dreams Fund
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