State-by-state: How are families in the U.S. using their Child Tax Credit payments?

The temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is projected to cut American child poverty by more than half. The CTC expansion provides families with $3,600 for every child in the household under the age of six and $3,000 for every child between the ages of six and 17. The vast majority of U.S. […]

Timely and Well-Targeted Financial Assistance during Covid-19

The Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University in St. Louis partnered with PerkUp Financial Health LLC, a financial services technology company, to study an emergency financial assistance program offered to employees of three hotels in New Orleans, LA who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. PerkUp serves as a technology hub for a […]

The Impact of Gig-Economy on Financial Hardship among Low-Income Families” Kaitlin Daniels, Olin Business School at Washington University

As the gig economy plays an increasingly important role in the labor market, there is a need to understand the economic factors that influence participation in this sector. In this paper, we investigate how saving the federal tax refund affects gig economy participation for low-income online tax filers in the six months following tax filing. […]

When a job is not enough: Employee financial wellness and the role of philanthropy

Employee financial wellness programs provide workplace products and services such as financial coaching and small-dollar credit products that may help employees address the various challenges that are at the root of their financial stress. This report is intended to offer guidance to grant makers to understand the role philanthropy can play in promoting the development […]

Dependent care FSAs: The uneven playing field for employers and workers

This research was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We thank them for their support but acknowledge that the findings and conclusions presented in this report are those of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Foundation.The authors are grateful to Don Baylor at the Annie E. Casey Foundation […]

A toolkit for expanding financial capability at tax time

This work expands upon The Volunteer Income Tax Preparer’s Toolkit: Showing Clients Why Tax Time is the Right Time to Save, a 2015 Toolkit by the Center for Social Development (CSD). This new offering presents the current evidence underpinning various tax-time efforts to expand financial capability among LMI households. It includes sections on creating a […]

Promoting savings at tax time: Insights from online and in-person tax preparation services

This report presents findings and insights from Refund to Savings: Applications for myRA, a collaborative project involving the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington University in St. Louis, and Intuit, Inc. The project explored methods of promoting the myRA (My Retirement Account) savings program at tax time—that is, when households file their taxes. It focused specifically on […]

Refund to Savings 2013: Comprehensive report on a large-scale tax-time saving program

Improving the financial security of low- and middle-income households through the savings of federal tax refunds is the central mission for the Refund to Savings (R2S) initiative. It is important to understand the context in which those households are trying to save and the methods of coping with contingencies when savings are not available. Such […]