U.S. Treasury Encourages Taxpayers to Grow Tax Refunds with Savings Bonds this Tax Season

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury allows Americans to buy savings bonds with their tax refund by completing the “Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases)” IRS Form 8888

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Expecting a tax refund this tax season? If so, taxpayers may be interested in a convenient savings option offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Taxpayers can buy paper Series I Savings Bonds, in amounts ranging from $50 to $5,000, with their annual tax refund by completing the “Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases)” IRS Form 8888. TreasuryDirect online account holders may deposit all or part of their tax refunds into their TreasuryDirect accounts.

“Each new tax season gives people a chance to build their savings,” says Jerry Kelly, national director of the Treasury Department’s Ready.Save.Grow. campaign. “The average annual tax refund of $3,000 can compound over time when invested in savings bonds. I encourage tax refund recipients to learn more about the benefits of savings bonds as they plan for long-term savings goals.”

To use tax refunds this tax season to buy savings bonds, taxpayers can follow these steps:

1. Fill out Form 8888 – This tax season, complete IRS Form 8888 to designate the desired dollar amount to buy paper Series I Savings Bonds or to deposit into a TreasuryDirect account.

2. Set up a TreasuryDirect Account – Although taxpayers can buy paper savings bonds with their tax refund, electronic savings bonds are even easier to manage with an online TreasuryDirect account. For instructions on how to set up a TreasuryDirect account, these tools will help: tip sheet and guided tour.

3. Give Paper Savings Bonds as a Gift with Tax Refund Dollars – Taxpayers may use their tax refund to buy paper savings bonds as a gift to others. To do so, add the recipient's name as a “co-owner or beneficiary” on Form 8888. The bonds will be mailed to the taxpayer.

4. Give Electronic Savings Bonds as a Gift with Tax Refund Dollars – Taxpayers may use their tax refund to give electronic savings bonds as a gift to others. Deposit an amount into a TreasuryDirect account by using Form 8888. Then use the TreasuryDirect account to make a gift of this deposit. Resources that provide guidance on giving savings bonds include a tip sheet, demo and video. To give savings bonds to a child using a tax refund, a minor account that’s connected to their parent’s TreasuryDirect account can easily be created.

Why Series I Savings Bonds?
During this tax season, Series I Savings Bonds currently offer an interest rate of 1.76 percent, and they’re exempt from state and local income taxes. What’s more, interest earnings may be exempt from federal income taxes when the earnings are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses.

I Bonds are long-term savings instruments that can help support a home purchase, retirement, college savings or other life goals. Savings bond owners must hold an I Bond for at least one year after it's issued, but it’s best to hold it for at least five years to avoid any early redemption penalty. To learn more about the value of savings bonds, the Treasury Department’s Savings Bonds Calculator will come in handy.

Save With Savings Bonds Year-Round
U.S. Savings Bonds are a good investment at tax time – or anytime. Payroll direct deposit through employers is a convenient option for building a regular savings habit. Every payday employees can automatically contribute to their TreasuryDirect account and begin building their nest egg. To learn more about payroll direct deposit and other Treasury securities, go to the Ready.Save.Grow. website at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow.

The preceding information was provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt.

TreasuryDirect is a registered mark of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Ready.Save.Grow. is a service mark of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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Joyce Harris
Bureau of the Public Debt, U.S. Department of the Treasury
202-504-3502
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