savings bonds

Sitting On Matured U.S. Savings Bonds? IRS Says You Should Report The Interest Earned On Your Tax Return

Posted on February 24, 2016

In the year a U.S. Savings Bond reaches it's final maturity, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that you report the interest earned (over $10) on your Federal Income Tax Return, even if the bond was not cashed in.

According to the Treasury Department's website, the interest earned on savings bonds should be reported (as regular income) on your Federal Income Tax Return in the year it is either cashed in (redeemed), or reaches final maturity, whichever occurs first.

There is over $17 billion worth of savings bonds that have reached final maturity and are no longer earning any interest*. By holding onto matured bonds, it is essentially giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan.

Most savings bonds, including series E, EE and I will reach final maturity in 30 years from the issue date, which is printed on the front of paper bonds. However, some older E bonds, purchased through November 1965, had a 40-year maturity. All Series E Savings Bonds have reached final maturity and are no longer earning any interest.

To learn final maturity dates and how much interest should be reported on paper savings bonds, first time users can access the complimentary SavingsBonds.com Savings Bond Calculator©. After entering information found on the front of each bond, a printable, comprehensive, color-coded, Savings Bond Inventory Report©, along with a detailed "what this means to you" explanation is provided. All matured bonds are indicated in red, along with the total amount of interest earned for each bond.

Individuals owning several bonds should consider a bond management service such as SavingsBonds.com's VIP Membership©. A highlight of the Membership - not available elsewhere - are the monthly summary emailed bond statements providing up to 3 month advance alerts about bonds that that are approaching final maturity and potential taxation issues if redeeming, along with bond values, investment growth and a link to the Members detailed SavingsBonds.com Bond Inventory Report©.

For those owning electronic bonds, once the bond reaches final maturity, it is automatically redeemed and the interest amount is reported to the IRS. Electronic bond owners must remember to print out their own 1099-INT from their online Treasury Direct account.

When a bond is redeemed, all of the interest earned will be reported on a 1099-INT for that year, regardless of what may have been previously reported. You will need to supply copies of prior tax returns for each year indicating the amount of interest already reported to avoid a double taxation situation.

Concerned about reporting a lot of interest in any given year? While not common practice, bond owners can choose to report the bond interest earned annually on their tax return. Once this option is chosen, individuals should report the total amount of interest earned to date for all bonds in their portfolio in a given year. Each year thereafter, they must continue to report any interest earned annually on all bonds (including any new purchases). If choosing the annual reporting method, keep good tax records to avoid double taxation (see above). Let any appropriate heirs and beneficiaries know about the annual reporting decision. Consider keeping a copy of all applicable tax returns indicating the reported interest amounts with the bonds.

Those good old-fashioned paper savings bonds, often stashed away for retirement, education purposes, or rainy day expenses, should be pulled out, dusted off and reviewed carefully. If any have reached final maturity, it would be wise to speak with a tax or financial professional about reporting the interest earned to avoid any potential IRS penalties and fines in case of an audit.

For information about savings bonds, go to SavingsBonds.com.

*as of 6/30/15 US Treasury outstanding (matured) savings bonds report

About SavingsBonds.com:

SavingsBonds.com is the only company offering a complimentary savings bond calculator providing current cash in values, interest rates, maturity taxation and pertinent financial information with a printable, personalized, color-coded, detailed Savings Bond Inventory Report, along with a "what this means to you" explanation. The company's unique management tools & services via a SavingsBonds.com VIP Membership, educates bond owners to help them maximize their investment, avoid losing money and paying unnecessary taxes. The monthly savings bond summary bond e-statements provide investment growth, total portfolio values, up to 3 month in advance alerts about maturing bonds and potential tax liabilities if redeeming. 24/7 access to current Bond Inventory Report, Cash-In Report for optimal cash-in strategies, and Daily Bond Tips, are also included.

Contact: Jackie Brahney, Marketing Director, SavingsBonds.com www.SavingsBonds.com jbrahney@savingsbonds.com Twitter: @savingsbondsgal

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