How To Figure Out If Any Of The $29 Billion In Unredeemed Us Savings Bonds Belongs To You
Heres how to figure out if any unredeemed US savings bonds belong to you and what steps you can take to be reunited with your money.
Where should I start?
Try entering your Social Security number on Treasury Hunt, an online search tool run by the Treasury Department. The department has been digitizing its old savings bonds records, and if your information has been uploaded to the site, you should be able to see a record of your savings bonds.
I didnt find anything. Does that mean Im out of luck?
Some savings bond records havent been uploaded to the site yet. And Social Security numbers werent required for bonds purchased before 1974, which a Treasury Department report says make up about 12 percent of those that are unredeemed.
Also, bonds werent always purchased in the name of the recipient. If a grandparent, aunt or uncle bought one for you as a gift, they often used their own information for the purchase.
OK, so how do I check for one of those bonds, particularly if a relative no longer is alive?
If you have the Social Security number of your deceased relative, the process is straightforward. Just use it to look up savings bonds under their name on Treasury Hunt.
But again, this only works if your relatives records have been uploaded.
What if I dont have their Social Security number?
What if I already found my savings bond?
The Treasury Department has an online guide that contains more information.
How do I cash in someone elses savings bond?
If I Get A Refund On My Federal Income Tax Return Can I Direct The Irs To Help Me Save Part Or All Of It By Direct Deposit
Yes, you can. When you file your tax return, you can tell the IRS you want to save part or all of your refund and have the rest sent to your checking account. You can save part or all of your refund by submitting Form 8888, Allocation of Refund PDF when you file your return. Follow the instructions on Form 8888 to tell the IRS to make a direct deposit of the amount you designate to an IRA, to buy U.S. savings bonds, to make a direct deposit to a savings or checking account or other savings vehicles, or to request a paper check.
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Can You Convert Savings Bonds To Electronic Format
The SmartExchange program offered through TreasuryDirect allows TreasuryDirect account holders to convert their bonds to electronic securities. TreasuryDirect account owners can also convert paper bonds purchased as gifts for someone else. Electronic bonds can be redeemed in full or in part anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Understanding Us Savings Bonds
A U.S. savings bond is a common type of government bond, which is a bond issued by a governmental body to raise funds from the public to fund its capital projects and other operations necessary to manage the economy. When the government sells bonds, it is in effect taking a loan from the public, which it promises to pay back at some predetermined date in the future. As compensation for providing it with capital, the government makes interest payments to its bondholders.
Many people find these bonds attractive because they are not subject to state or local income taxes. These bonds cannot easily be transferred and are non-negotiable.
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How Are Savings Bonds Taxed
Savings bond interest is exempt from state and local income tax. Savings bond interest is subject to federal income tax however, taxation can be deferred until redemption, final maturity, or other taxable disposition, whichever occurs first. You also have the option of claiming interest annually for federal income tax purposes. Savings bonds are not exempt from any applicable estate, inheritance, gift or other excise taxes, whether federal or state. Tax benefits also may be available when redemption amounts are used to pay education expenses.
Search For Unclaimed Money In Your State
Businesses send money to state-run unclaimed property offices when they cant locate the owner. The unclaimed funds held by the state are often from bank accounts, insurance policies, or your state government.
Search for unclaimed money using a multi-state database. Perform your search using your name, especially if youve moved to another state.
Verify how to claim your money. Each state has its own rules about how you prove that youre the owner and claim the money.
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Social Security Number Not Linked To Account
It is not possible to use a Social Security number to pay off any debt or bills, and attempting to do so could result in legal or financial penalties, according to the Federal Reserve System.
The Fed’s site states: “A recent hoax circulating on the internet asserts that the Federal Reserve maintains accounts for individuals that are tied to the individual’s Social Security number, and that individuals can access these accounts to pay bills and obtain money. These claims are false.”
The Fed said individuals who attempt to make payments using false bank routing numbers could face fees from the company they were attempting to pay or have their actual bank accounts closed or suspended.
In July 2017 when the claim first went viral the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued statements saying the banks received numerous unauthorized transactions where consumers used Social Security numbers to pay bills.
The New York Fed reiterated that the claims are false in , when it became aware of a similar scam involving videos claiming every U.S. citizen has a “secret” account established at a Federal Reserve bank.
“These claims are fraudulent and false. There are no such accounts they do not exist now, nor have they ever existed. This is an internet hoax that has caused much financial pain to the public,” the New York Fed wrote, adding, “Individuals do NOT have accounts at the Federal Reserve.”
How To Look Up A Us Savings Bond By The Serial Number
IRENE A. BLAKE
United States savings bonds are often given as gifts to students by loved ones or awarded by peers and others for academic, civic or other achievements. They are an affordable, relatively low-hassle and low-risk interest-bearing investment. Your savings bond’s value will change as it takes time to mature to face value, but you dont need to calculate its current worth and accrued interest manually. You can look up your savings bonds value by its serial number on the U.S. Treasury Departments TreasuryDirect website.
Go to the TreasuryDirect Calculate the Value of Your Paper Savings Bond web page to access the U.S. Savings Bonds Calculator.
Skip over the Value as of field that displays the current month and year.
Check your savings bonds type — EE Bonds, I Bonds, E Bonds or Savings Notes — at the top right corner of your bond. Select that type on the Series drop-down menu.
Select the amount of your bond as displayed on its upper left corner — $10, $25, $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000 — on the Denomination drop-down menu.
Locate your bonds serial number near its bottom right corner. Enter the number in the Bond Serial Number field.
Find your bonds issue date at the top right corner and enter it as a two-digit month followed by a four-digit year in the Issue Date field. For example, 11/2005.”
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Undelivered Federal Tax Refund Checks
Refund checks are mailed to your last known address. If you move without notifying the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service , your refund check may be returned to the IRS.
If you were expecting a federal tax refund and did not receive it, check the IRS’Wheres My Refund page. You’ll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. You may be prompted to change your address online.
You can also to check on the status of your refund. Wait times to speak with a representative can be long. But, you can avoid waiting by using the automated phone system. Follow the message prompts when you call.
Search For Money From Employers
Unpaid Wages The Department of Labor may recover back wages for you if your employer broke labor laws. If you think you may be owed back wages from your employer:
Search DOLs database of workers who have money waiting to be claimed. DOL holds unpaid wages for up to three years.
Pensions from Former Employers Search for unclaimed pensions from companies that either:
Went out of business or
Ended a defined pension plan
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The Claim: A Social Security Card Can Be Used To Pay Off Debt And Make Purchases
As online scams continue to thrive amid the pandemic, an old hoax about Social Security cards containing account and routing numbers recently resurfaced on social media.
A May 20 Instagram post with more than 2,000 likes claims a Social Security card is really a credit card linked to your Treasury account, which “permits you a Federal ‘Exemption'” to discharge bills through credits issued on behalf of the government.
“In a sense Their credit is ‘Digital Gold’ that can be utilized to Fund your daily purchases, which can then be discharged through your Exemption Account via 18 USC 8!” the post asserts.
Accompanying the text is a screengrab of a Google search result showing Cornell Law School’s definition of the term “card issuer.” Below the definition is an image of the front and back of a Social Security card with “ACCT. #” and “ROUTING #” displayed in a large red text.
Actor Wood Harris a similar version of the claim to Instagram on May 20 in the form of a TikTok video, in which a man says: “So I’m sure people have heard about the numbers on the back of their social security cards being tied to a federal reserve bank. This is absolutely true.” The original TikTok video was shared on Feb. 28 and has more than 800,000 likes.
In a message to USA TODAY, the TikTok user claimed only “some” Social Security cards are tied to a Federal Reserve Bank and allow debit purchases. “The purpose was to show an account of the sort existed though not freely accessible,” he said.
Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds
If you are eligible for a federal tax refund and dont file a return, then your refund will go unclaimed. Even if you aren’t required to file a return, it might benefit you to file if:
Federal taxes were withheld from your pay
You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit
You may not have filed a tax return because your wages were below the filing requirement. But you can still file a return within three years of the filing deadline to get your refund.
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How To Gift A Savings Bond
While they wont come with a huge payoff, savings bonds are still a financially prudent gift. Heres a step-by-step guide on how to buy and give an electronic savings bond.
Gift savings bonds usually take at least one business day to be issued in a TreasuryDirect account. Once issued, you can go back into your account and deliver it to the recipient. To receive the gift, the recipient must have his or her own TreasuryDirect account.
Unredeemed Us Savings Bonds: Questions And Answers
Does the Treasury Department have money waiting for you?
‘GMA’ Shows You The Money!
“Unredeemed” means the owners haven’t cashed them in. When you consider that savings bonds take 20 to 40 years to mature, it’s easy to see how people could forget about them.
The good news is that in 2000 the Treasury Department started its “Treasury Hunt” website, where you can search for savings bonds in your family’s name.
and scroll to the bottom of the page to try it out.
All you do is enter a social security number and the site returns results instantly. Here are additional questions and answers about searching for unredeemed savings bonds that will make your search more productive:
Q: I received savings bonds as a gift. Should I search under my social security number or the person’s who gave me the bonds?
A: Both. In 1974, the Treasury started asking for a social when issuing a bond. Gift bonds are allowed to be listed in the name of the giver or the receiver.
Q: I think I bought bonds before 1974. How do I search for those?
A:The Treasury Hunt website only lists savings bonds purchased from 1974 to the present, because it is organized by social security number, and that is when socials started being required. If you believe you may be owed money from an older bond, you can request a hand search by filling out a form here or by calling 1-800-553-2663.
Q: How do savings bonds work?
Series E, all issues
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How Do I Find Savings Bonds In My Name
The good news is that in 2000 the Treasury Department started its “Treasury Hunt” website, where you can search for savings bonds in your family’s name. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to try it out. All you do is enter a social security number and the site returns results instantly.
How To Look Up Savings Bonds
The Treasury has made keeping track of your savings bonds much easier. In addition to viewing your portfolio of electronic bonds online at Treasury Direct, you can access a special calculator to look up your paper EE, E or I bonds. Although the government no longer issues HH or H savings bonds, the Treasury offers yet another Internet tool where you can look up their current value and other pertinent information.
Look up your electronic bonds in your Treasury Direct account. Log on through the link to “Treasury Direct: Access Your Account” in Resources, put in your account number and password and click the blue “Enter” button to view complete information about your portfolio of electronic savings bonds.
Look up your paper EE, E and I bonds at “Treasury Direct: Calculate the Value of Your Savings Bonds.” Use the link to the website in Resources.
Enter the information for your first bond in the appropriate box for series, denomination and issue date.
Enter each of your bonds in the same manner to create a complete inventory of your savings bonds. Click on the blue “Print” button to print a copy of your inventory.
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Find Out If You Have A Savings Bond
‘GMA’ Shows You The Money!
May 15, 2006 — If you’re one of the 55 million people who own U.S. savings bonds, there could be big bucks heading your way.
There are an estimated $14 billion worth of unclaimed savings bonds languishing in government coffers, according to the Bureau of Public Debt. Now, finding out whether one is yours is just a few clicks away.
The U.S. Treasury Department has set up a Web site to help people track down their bonds using Social Security numbers.
Some older bonds are not yet in the system, but if you are fairly certain you have one, you can write to the Treasury Department and ask it to search microfiche records for you.
These unclaimed savings bonds can add up to big money.
A $1,000 savings bond purchased in 1965 that takes 40 years to mature earned interest until last year when it maxed out at $9,000. Due to inflation, experts say it is better to cash the bond in now or re-invest it so the money continues to work for you.
When Can I Cash My Ee And E Bonds
After they are 12 months old.
- If you cash an EE bond before it is five years old, you will lose the last three months of interest.
- EE bonds earn interest for 30 years if you don’t cash the bonds before they mature. So the longer you hold the bond , the more it is worth.
- If you’ve been , special provisions may apply.
- All E bonds and some EE bonds have stopped earning interest and should be cashed.