H&R Block to test market putting tax refunds into Savings Bonds
Monday, February 19th, 2007
Categorized as: Savings Bond news
Last July, in Harvard prof suggests reinventing Savings Bonds, we learned about an effort to allow people to invest some of their tax return money in U.S. Savings Bonds.
Last week Businesswire.com published an H&R Block press release, H&R Block and Harvard Team Up to See if Savings Bonds Can Make a Comeback, that describes a market test of the idea at about 30 of H&R Block’s offices in Boston and Chicago.
From the press release:
The first step toward changing behavior and helping people save more money is understanding what makes people save, what stops them from saving and how we can make saving more appealing, said Therese Charles, H&R Block tax professional.
H&R Block tax professionals play a critical role in the study by facilitating a brief savings survey with interested clients and by offering the opportunity to invest in bonds. The survey focuses on client attitudes about savings, what people save for, and whether bonds actually increase overall savings. At the end of the tax season, a group of these tax professionals will also participate in focus groups to share their thoughts on the program. The survey data, clients purchase interest and the tax professionals feedback will be the focus of the Harvard research.
Last year, a two-week test program indicated that taxpayers would consider bonds as a viable savings method. Of the taxpayers who purchased them, 14 percent had no prior savings. The average bond purchase was $231, about 14 percent of the average refund. The results of the new study will be presented to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
H&R Block is actively engaged in numerous related initiatives designed to help enable more people to save more money. These efforts include a commitment to opening more than a million new bank accounts through the new H&R Block Bank, launching high-yield savings products, participating in efforts to bring financial literacy and benefits access to low-income Americans and teaming with non-profits and government organizations around the country to study new ways to bring better savings and financial options to Americans of all economic levels and stages of life.