In 2001, the United States Treasury began issuing a slight variation on the standard Series EE savings bond. This new bond was referred to as the "Patriot bond." Individuals who purchased Patriot bonds would receive the same benefits offered to standard Series EE bondholders. In reality, the only true difference between a Patriot bond and a Series EE savings bond was the title itself.
Patriot bonds were issued between the years 2001 and 2011, a decade-long process that allowed investors from a variety of backgrounds to support the U.S. government in one of the country's most trying times in recent memory. For Patriot bondholders, cashing these bonds requires virtually the same steps as those required for a Series EE bond. In fact, collecting your bond's accrued interest following its maturity can be accomplished quite easily.
If you are ready to cash in your Series EE Patri0t bonds, you can do so by visiting your local bank branch or the Treasury Direct online platform.
The Basics of Savings Bonds
A Patriot bond, in identical fashion to a Series EE savings bond, matures over a fixed span of years. Although this maturation period has changed somewhat throughout recent history, all Patriot bonds carry a 20-year maturity length. After these two decades have passed, a $500 Patriot bond which was originally purchased for $250 will now be worth its actual face value.
Although a Patriot bond can be cashed in prior to its maturity date, its cash-in value will remain lower than its intended value upon maturity. However, once a Patriot bond has matured for twenty years, it will no longer gain value. With these ideas in mind, it can easily be seen why Patriot bonds, and Series EE savings bonds in general, are considered a highly stable investment.
Cashing in Savings Bonds
In order to cash in your Patriot bond, you will need to first determine the appropriate method of doing so. This is largely based on the particular format of your Patriot bond. For example, if you hold a paper bond, you will likely be able to cash it out at any banking institution of your choosing. If, for whatever reason, your local bank branch does not cash in Patriot bonds, you can mail the bond to the Treasury Retail Securities Site. Here, your Patriot bond will be redeemed and your earnings mailed back to you.
If you hold an online Patriot bond and are ready to cash in on your savings bond maturity, you can do so using the Treasury Direct online platform. Any funds owed to you can be transferred directly to your bank account within a short period of time. In some scenarios, you may be holding old bonds and are curious as to whether they have already been cashed out. Using the bond serial number, you can research the status of the particular bond using your local bank branch. If they are unable to ascertain the status of the bond, you can contact the Treasury Retail Securities Site for a definitive evaluation of your bond.
Exploring Tax Implications
When you cash in your savings bond, you will likely be issued IRS Form 1099-INT. You will use this form to report any income you have earned from your savings bonds at the time of cash out, even if the savings bond maturity date has not yet been met. It is absolutely critical to report this income, as failure to do so could result in stiff fines and penalties form the IRS.
Ryan Cockerham is a nationally recognized author specializing in all things innovation, business and creativity. His work has served the business, nonprofit and political community. Ryan's work has been featured at Zacks Investment Research, SFGate Home Guides, Bloomberg, HuffPost and more.