How to Cash in U.S. Savings Bonds

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How to Cash in U.S. Savings Bonds

If you are reading this, you likely are holding a U.S. savings bond or two in your hands wondering how much it is worth today and how to get cash for it today. Cashing in a U.S. savings bond is very easy to do and you may be surprised at just how much your savings bond is worth.

If you are curious as to how much the bonds you are holding are worth, still earning interest, or the series of U.S. savings bonds you hold, you can visit http://www.treasurydirect.gov/ and get all the details. You’ll need either the bond’s serial number or the date it was issued along with the bond series.

You don’t need to check this information before cashing your U.S. savings bonds of course, but for the curious it can be a great place to start. The most popular and easiest way to cash your U.S. savings bonds is to visit your local bank. It is best to visit a bank that you have an active account with as it will make cashing your U.S. bonds easier.

If the bond is in your name:

Taking the U.S. savings bonds to your local bank where you have an active account is the best place to cash in your savings bonds. Your bank account number will serve as identification but it is also a good idea to bring 1 or 2 forms of I.D. with you just in case.

If you take your U.S. savings bond to a bank or credit union where you don’t have an active account you will still be able to cash your bonds, however you’ll need more identification to prove that you are the person listed on the bonds. Bring your social security number, at least 2 forms of I.D. , and the bonds themselves. Non-customers of a bank are limited to cashing in $1,000 dollars worth of bonds at a bank where they have no accounts. Some banks require a person to be an account holder at the bank for at least six months.

If the bond is in someone else’s name:

You can cash in U.S. savings bonds if they are in someone else’s name if the person is deceased and you are the beneficiary or have inherited the bonds. You’ll need to bring the death certificate , your identification , and may be asked to provide additional paperwork.

Paying taxes on bonds:

Once a bond is cashed, this information is sent to the treasury and reported to the IRS. Generally U.S. savings bonds fall under long-term capital gains and should be reported as such on any tax returns. You’ll want to check with your accountant if you are unsure of what you might owe on redeemed U.S. savings bonds.

Lost or stolen U.S. savings bonds:

You can get information on how to report and replace lost or stolen savings bonds at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/ . There will be additional paperwork to fill out to prove your identity, that you actually purchased the bonds, and to determine how much the bonds are worth. In some cases lost bonds may be difficult to get money for, but the website above will provide those looking to claim a missing bond with more information.

Keep in mind that certain bonds purchased after February 2003 may be subject to a 6-12 month waiting period before cashing them in. Most U.S. bonds earn interest for 30 years after purchase so bonds older then that have reached their peak and should be cashed as soon as possible. More information can be found at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/ . Savings bonds are a great way to invest with little to no risk and are considered one of the most stable forms of investments.