Look what’s in mom’s shoebox

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004
Categorized as: Stinker bonds

We have found a shoebox full of approximately $100,000 worth of Series E bonds under the bed of our aging mother. A lot of them matured 20 years ago. Can you advise me on the best way to cash these bonds in? Can you tell me what the penalty and interest would be that we would have to pay if these bonds are cashed in today?

Tom’s response

First, get a Power of Attorney from your mother that specifically mentions Savings Bonds so you can begin to deal with this.

Your mom has already paid the biggest penalty by not cashing these bonds in when they stopped paying interest. Had she cashed them in, paid the taxes, and reinvested in new Savings Bonds, she’d have over $300,000 now.

$200,000 is a pretty big penalty for not attending to your investments, but it is what it is.

I doubt the IRS is interested in an amended return from 20 years ago, but given the amount of money involved here, I think it would be worth it to you to pay a tax accountant or attorney to help you sort this out.

Rate this post (1 to 5 stars):  1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (No Ratings Yet)

FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:

No comments yet.

Comments Closed

June 1, 2010

After six years, over 400 posts, 3,680 real comments, and over 90,000 spam comments (thank you, Akismet, for making managing a blog with comments possible), I am closing public comments on Savings-Bond-Advisor.com. I will contine to update the main articles on this site, but not the comments.

Virtually every question about Savings Bonds has been asked and answered on this site multiple times. Use the search feature (see the box in the gray area near the top of this page) or the detailed menu on the lower part of the home page to find the information you're looking for. If you have a copy of Savings Bond Advisor, you can ask me a question here.

Tom Adams

Savings Bond Calculator


Savings Bond

Get an answer to your questions from the Treasury's Savings Bonds team.

Click below to ask a question.

Ask the Treasury


Invest online in Savings Bonds or
marketable Treasury securities.

Deal directly with the U.S. Treasury.

More info


Log in