Cashing Savings Bonds internationally
Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
Categorized as: Cashing in US Savings Bonds
I own U.S. Savings Bonds that I’d like to redeem, but I don’t live in the U.S. What do I do?
In general, getting a Savings Bond cashed outside the U.S. is a hassle. You can send the bonds in, but the Treasury wants a certified signature to make sure it’s you.
If you’re a U.S. citizen overseas, you should first try to redeem your Savings Bonds at a bank that’s incorporated in the United States or its territories.
If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, or if you can’t find a bank that meets these requirements, you can have your signature certified on the back of the bonds, certify your tax status, and mail the bonds to the Treasury for redemption.
Certifying your tax status as a non-U.S. citizen, incidentally, means the U.S. will withhold 30% of your interest as tax. But you can’t cash the bond at all otherwise – 70% is better than 0%.
To certify tax status, a U.S citizen needs to send a statement over his or her signature stating that he or she is a U.S. citizen and providing his or her social security number. Non-citizens need to complete IRS Form W-8BEN. (Instructions)
Signature certifications completed in a foreign country require a seal but can be done by any of the following:
- any U.S. diplomatic or consular representative
- the manager or other official of a foreign branch of a bank or trust company incorporated in the U.S.
- a notary or other official authorized to administer oaths – however, in this case, the official character and jurisdiction of this individual should be certified by the seal of a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer
After having your signature certified on the back of your bonds, mail the bonds, the tax documentation, and the mailing address for your redemption check to:
Bureau of the Public Debt
P.O. Box 7012
Parkersburg, WV 26106-7012
You will receive a U.S. dollar check from the Treasury that you can deposit at your bank.