Are you one of the millions of Americans who purchase U.S. Savings Bonds as an investment or gift? A major change will take place beginning in 2012 in regard to where and how you will be able to purchase those bonds. What may be a difficult change for many to navigate, and in particular for senior citizens who are prone to purchase savings bonds but are lacking computer access or capability, over-the-counter sales of U.S. Paper Bonds at financial institutions will cease at the end of 2011.
It is true that savings bonds are not going away, but buying them will soon require the use of a computer. Beginning 1/01/12, paper savings bonds must be purchased through an electronic transaction due to what is being cited by the Treasury as a way to save American taxpayers millions of dollars in such areas as printing, mailing, storing bond stock and fees paid to financial institutions for processing bond applications.
In a little more than a month, you can forget about being able to use the customary method of completing a paper form and presenting it at a counter at your local bank or credit union. And if you purchase a bond electronically, don’t expect to receive a paper U.S. bond in the mail – that will cease, too. Those wishing to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds beginning 1/01/12 will need to open an online Treasury/Direct account, make the purchase, and print out their own copy of the bond if they want to have documentation of the purchase. This account will be free to the user.
Those currently holding paper savings bonds can continue to redeem them at financial institutions. Bonds, which have not matured, but were lost, stolen or destroyed, can be reissued in paper or electronic form.
Series I paper savings bonds remain available for purchase using part or all of one’s tax refund. For more information on this feature, visit www.irs.gov.
For more information about the elimination of paper savings bonds and how to enroll in Treasury/Direct, visit www.treasurydirect.gov.
See also by R.C.: Series EE Savings Bonds: Overview; How to Calculate Value
Source: Treasury Press Release (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/news/pressroom/pressroom_comotcend0711.htm)