Tax-Refund Splitting as an Asset-Building Tool

Tax-Refund Splitting as an Asset-Building Tool

The trend towards promoting asset accumulation among the poor has been gaining steam in recent years due to the emphasis on asset-building as a means to lift the poor out of poverty. This trend is a result of greater focus on the increasing wealth gap between high-income groups and low-income groups. One way to build assets is to accumulate wealth through savings. Studies have shown that almost a quarter of the poor hold no financial assets at all. Obtaining higher savings would foster greater asset-accumulation, allowing the poor to build reserves for emergency use, plan for future expenses, and shield themselves against income shocks. The Refunds to Assets (R2A) program promotes asset-building among the poor through tax refund splitting. The R2A II uses two tax site locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Brooklyn, New York to survey LMI individuals on their savings behavior, financial preferences, and financial condition. This report answers the questions: What is the take-up rate & savings generated from the R2A program? Is R2A targeting the right population of savers that should be saving? How can R2A increase its effectiveness in its marketing strategy?

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