Financial Behaviors Financial Inclusion Presentations & Webinars

Leveraging Tax Time to Build Financial Capability: Research Evidence and Policy Directions

Over the past decade, a variety of initiatives have been implemented in the United States to facilitate saving and build financial security at tax time, including national experiments, pilot programs, and federal and state policies. Much progress has been made in encouraging tax filers, especially low- to moderate-income (LMI) tax filers, to save a portion of their refund. To expand upon the “golden moment” of saving at tax time, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers must now seek ways in which the lump sum of saving at tax time can serve to render tax filers capable of confidently managing their financial lives.

During the 2016 tax season, thought leaders from government, policy, practice, foundations, and academia reviewed the latest research findings and discussed future possibilities of using tax time to catalyze household financial capability. The goal of the symposium was to provide opportunities for discovery and discussion across disciplines about ways LMI households can contribute to their economic security before, during, and after they file their taxes.

Project: Refund to Savings (R2S)


Covington, M., Oliphant, J. E., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2016). Leveraging tax time to build financial capability: Research evidence and policy directions (CSD Conference Proceeding No. 16-27). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.