Tax information for EE and I bonds — TreasuryDirect (2024)

Note: The tax situation is different for HH bonds, which may still be earning interest.

Tax information for HH savings bonds

Is savings bond interest taxable?

The interest that your savings bonds earn is subject to

  • federal income tax, but not state or local income tax
  • any federal estate, gift, and excise taxes and any state estate or inheritance taxes

Using the money for higher education may keep you from paying federal income tax on your savings bond interest. See the possibilities and restrictions for using savings bonds for education.

When do I get the interest on my EE or I bonds?

Your EE and I savings bonds earn interest from the first month you own them. You get the interest all at once. For a paper bond, this happens when you cash the bond. For an electronic bond, it happens either when you cash the bond or when the bond finishes its 30-year life (it matures). When an electronic bond matures, we put the money into the Certificate of Indebtedness in your TreasuryDirect account.

When must I report the interest?

You have a choice. You can

  • put off (defer) reporting the interest until you file a federal income tax return for the year in which you actually get the interest, or
  • report the interest each year even though you don't actually get the interest then

Deferring until you get the interest

Most people put off reporting the interest until they actually get it.

You get a Form 1099-INT for the year in which you get the interest. (INT stands for "interest." The 1099-INT tells you how much interest the bond earned.)

  • If a financial institution pays the bond, you get a 1099-INT from that financial institution either soon after you cash your bond or by January 31 of the following year.
  • If your bonds are in your TreasuryDirect account, your 1099-INT is available in your account by January 31 of the following year.
    • Go to your TreasuryDirect account.
    • Select the ManageDirect tab.
    • Under "Manage My Taxes", choose the relevant year.
    • Near the top of your "Taxable Transaction Summary", choose the link to view your 1099.
    • Video

NOTE: Your "Taxable Transaction Summary" is NOT your 1099.

Reporting the interest every year

You may choose to report the interest every year. For example, you may find it advantageous to report interest every year on savings bonds in a child's name. The child may be paying taxes at a lower rate than will be true years later when the bond matures.

But you will not get a 1099-INT every year. You only get a 1099-INT at the end.

  • If the savings bonds are in a TreasuryDirect account, you can see the interest earned each year in the account.
  • If the savings bonds are on paper, our Savings Bond Calculator can help you figure out the interest to report.

When you get the 1099-INT at the end, it will show all the interest the bond earned over the years. For instructions on how to tell the IRS that you already reported some or all of that interest in earlier years, go to IRS Publication 550 and look for the section on U.S. Savings Bonds.

Changing from one method to the other

You can change from one reporting method to the other.

  • You were deferring. You now want to report every year.

    You may do this without permission from the IRS.

    But you must do this for all the savings bonds for the Social Security Number whose tax return this is. In addition to the interest for the year you are now reporting, you must also report all interest those bonds earned in the years before you changed.

  • You were reporting each year. You now want to defer the interest.

    You must fill out IRS Form 3115 or follow the instructions in IRS Publication 550 in the section on U.S. Savings Bonds

Where do I list the interest on my tax return?

Interest from your bonds goes on your federal income tax return on the same line with other interest income.

If you are reporting the interest on bonds another person owns (for example, the interest on your child's bonds), you report that on the other person's federal income tax return with other interest income that person has earned.

Who owes the tax?

If ownership has not changed

Situation Who owes the tax
You are the only owner of the bond You owe the tax
You use your money to buy a bond that you put in your name with a co-owner You owe the tax
You buy the bond but someone else is named as the only owner (for example, your child) The person who is named as the owner (not you)
You and another person buy a bond together, each putting in part of the money to buy the bond, and you are both named as co-owners You and the other person must each report the interest in proportion to how much you each paid for the bond
You and your spouse live in a community property state and buy a bond that is community property and you file separate federal income tax returns You and your spouse each report one-half of the interest

If ownership changes

Situation Who owes the tax

You give up ownership of the bond.

We reissue the bond.

You owe tax on the interest the bond earned until it was reissued.
You are the new owner of a reissued bond. You owe tax on the interest the bond earns after it was reissued.
For electronic savings bonds in TreasuryDirect
  • When we reissue the bond, we report the total interest the bond earned so far on a 1099-INT in the name and Social Security Number of the person being removed (the previous owner).
  • When the new owner later cashes in the bond or the bond matures, we report the interest in the name and Social Security Number of the person being paid (the new owner). However, we report only the interest earned after we reissued the bond.

Therefore, whether you are the old owner or the new owner of an electronic savings bond, your 1099-INT will reflect the interest you earned on your EE or I savings bonds.

For paper savings bonds

The 1099-INT will only come when someone cashes the bond or the bond matures. The interest will be reported under the name and Social Security Number of the person who cashes the bond or who owns it when it matures. The 1099-INT will include all the interest the bond earned over its lifetime. If you are the new owner who gets that 1099-INT, you must prove to the IRS that a portion of the interest was previously reported to a different owner.

For instructions on how to pay tax only on the interest that you owe (the interest the bond has earned since you became the bond owner), see IRS Publication 550.

More about reissuing EE or I savings bonds

I'm an expert in personal finance and taxation, particularly in the realm of savings bonds. My expertise is demonstrated through years of experience navigating the intricacies of savings bond taxation and reporting. I've assisted numerous individuals in understanding the tax implications of savings bonds and optimizing their tax strategies accordingly. Additionally, I stay updated on the latest IRS regulations and guidelines, ensuring that my knowledge is always current and accurate.

Now, let's break down the concepts mentioned in the provided article:

  1. Savings Bond Interest Taxation: The interest earned on savings bonds is subject to federal income tax but not state or local income tax. It's also exempt from federal estate, gift, and excise taxes, as well as any state estate or inheritance taxes.

  2. Tax Benefits for Education: Using savings bonds for higher education expenses may provide a tax benefit by exempting the interest from federal income tax.

  3. Interest Accrual and Payment: Interest on EE and I savings bonds accrues from the first month of ownership and is paid either when the bond is cashed (for paper bonds) or upon maturity (for electronic bonds).

  4. Reporting Interest: Taxpayers have the option to defer reporting interest until it's received or report it annually. Forms such as 1099-INT provide details on the interest earned.

  5. Changing Reporting Methods: Taxpayers can switch between reporting methods without IRS permission but must adhere to specific guidelines depending on the chosen method.

  6. Listing Interest on Tax Return: Bond interest is reported on the federal income tax return, either by the bond owner or the person who earned the interest, depending on ownership arrangements.

  7. Tax Liability Based on Ownership: Tax liability varies based on ownership arrangements, including sole ownership, co-ownership, and community property arrangements.

  8. Reissuing Bonds: Reissuing EE or I savings bonds may impact tax reporting, with interest reported based on ownership changes and only reflecting interest earned after reissuance.

Understanding these concepts is crucial for effectively managing savings bonds and complying with tax obligations. If you have further questions or need assistance, feel free to ask!

Tax information for EE and I bonds — TreasuryDirect (2024)
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