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Old 06-28-2018, 03:40 PM
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Cashing in very old savings bonds

In 2012, I came into possession of 10 $25 Series E savings bonds that were purchased in 1945 and 1955. They were purchased by my great-aunt who died in 1982; the bonds have the owner's name as her name "or" mine. My aunt was executor of my great-aunt's estate and due to a falling out with my mother, she withheld these and other family member's bonds until after my mother's death. They came in the mail with no comment.


The bonds matured forty years after purchase and according to the treasury dept.'s website, they are worth about $1500 (total). I haven't cashed them yet because I have some concerns.


I understand that taxes on the interest of savings bonds are supposed to be paid yearly or at maturity of the bonds, which in this case is a long time ago. I have no way of knowing if my great-aunt ever paid taxes on the interest. There was no Social Security number attached to these bonds so I don't think the IRS knows either. I also have no idea if they were ever reported as part of her estate.


I've done some research on the internet and most people say it's unlikely the IRS would be interested in pursuing the issue of old savings bonds, especially if the amount is small. However, I've always been scrupulously honest in my dealings with the IRS so I'm not really comfortable with not knowing the outcome. I can live with losing all the money to penalties and interest, but is there a chance I could end up owing money if the worst case scenario happens?



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Old 06-29-2018, 01:07 PM
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I've done some research on the internet and most people say it's unlikely the IRS would be interested in pursuing the issue of old savings bonds, especially if the amount is small. However, I've always been scrupulously honest in my dealings with the IRS so I'm not really comfortable with not knowing the outcome. I can live with losing all the money to penalties and interest, but is there a chance I could end up owing money if the worst case scenario happens?======>> Sorry however I should say basically nobody knows what ?ll happen to you on the old series E savings bond; in general as you can see, Series E Bond interest is reportable for Federal income tax purposes for the year in which the Series E bonds are redeemed, reach final maturity, or are cashed in, whichever occurs earliest. Alternatively, a bond owner was able to elect to report Series E interest as it accrues. Series E bond holders who elected to defer reporting interest accruals for Federal income tax purposes can continue the deferral as long as accrued Series E bond interest is included in the purchase price (face or par amount) of Series HH bonds received in exchange.but the series E savigs bonds that you hole are pretty old and you even do not know if your great-aunt ever paid taxes on the interest or etc. When you cash in the savings bond, the financial institution will issue a Form 1099-INT for the interest earnings.
The 1099-INT should reflect the year the interest earnings became taxable ? that is, the year the bonds matured.. you may talk to your CPA/a n IRS enrolled Agent, or ask the irs by calling its toll-free Telephone Assistance for Individuals at (800) 829-1040.



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