Tom Hanks thought he had won the lottery with his first IRS tax refund: AARP essay

Tom Hanks may be well-known as a high-profile actor, but the 63-year-old admits his lifestyle wasn’t always so glamourous, or even financially solvent.

Continue Reading Below

In an essay penned for the AARP Magazine October/November issue – in anticipation of the upcoming release of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – Hanks spoke about two of his best friends and noted they helped him achieve his first moment of “solvency” early on in his acting career – by helping him with his taxes.

“I had never done my taxes before,” Hanks wrote. “When these two pros showed me how to file my return so I’d get a refund from the IRS for nearly $600, the first moment of solvency in my adult life, I thought I had won the lottery.”

Things have changed quite a bit since then. According to Forbes, which dubbed him one of the world’s highest-paid actors in 2017, Hanks earned $31 million that year.

The average IRS refund has gone up quite a bit, too. The average refund filers received during this past tax season was about $2,725.

Hanks, 63, wrote the essay for the magazine regarding the significance of his lifelong friendships — detailing two in particular that developed at the outset of his career while he was working at a Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland. At the time, he had finally made the transition from an unpaid member of an intern program to a professional company.

The actor recalls that his friends convinced him to move to New York, at a time when he could fit all of his possessions in a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle.


Throughout his career, he has been nominated for 15 Golden Globes, winning 8, according to Vanity Fair.

He won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in “Philadelphia.” For his role in “Forrest Gump,” he won a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild award.


Tom Hanks plays Mr. Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which is a film based on the real life of Fred Rogers. The movie is scheduled to be released in theaters on Thanksgiving.