Gifts of Savings Bonds: Getting Started

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How It Works

Savings bonds are normally taxed when they're cashed in, reissued to another person or reach final maturity. Fortunately, you can reduce, or even eliminate, income taxes when you choose to leave your bonds to Gustavus Adolphus College. Although the bonds themselves can't be directly donated to a charitable organization during your lifetime, there are three smart strategies that allow you to use your bonds to support our mission.

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Even though U.S. savings bonds offer steady return and absolute security, redeeming them can cause tax headaches. But you can save on taxes by using your bonds to support our cause.

Three Charitable Options

  1. Redeem your savings bonds and use the cash to make a gift to us. The redemption will trigger a tax liability to you on the interest income, but if you itemize, you will receive the benefit of a charitable tax deduction to help offset the additional taxable income.
  2. Leave the bonds to us through your will. Because we are a tax-exempt organization, we will receive the full value of the bonds, which could have otherwise been reduced by up to 39.6 percent for income taxes. For a small percentage of people, federal estate taxes might also reduce the amount available.
  3. Leave the bonds upon your death to a charitable remainder trust. They will first benefit your selected loved ones with lifetime payments, and then the balance will support our mission.

Case in Point

Steve leaves $10,000 of U.S. savings bonds to his daughter, Becky, upon his death. Becky is in the 35 percent income tax bracket, so she receives only $6,500 ($10,000 - $3,500) after she pays the income tax on the bonds. If Steve were to leave the bonds to us instead, we would receive the entire $10,000 because we are a tax-exempt organization.

Learn more about each of these ways to donate your savings bonds and the benefits in store for you.

How Long Will Your Bonds Earn Interest?
Date of Issue
Number of Years Bonds Earn Interest


May 1941-November 1965 40 years


December 1965-June 1980 30 years


June 1952-January 1957 29 years,
8 months


February 1957-December 1979 30 years

Savings Notes

All issues 30 years


All issues 30 years


All issues 30 years


All issues 20 years


As of Sept. 1, 2004, you can no longer reinvest H/HH bonds or exchange E/EE for HH bonds.

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If you have questions about this tax-smart way to give, please contact Laurie Dietrich at 507-933-6043 or