Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gifting your Tax Refund

Here's the way it works:

For 2010 tax returns, new savings bond options are now available. Last year, if the taxpayer chose to receive a savings bond as part of the refund, it could only be issued in the taxpayers’ name. This year, those receiving tax refunds can buy savings bonds for themselves and up to two other individuals. Taxpayers can designate anyone to receive a savings bond and also designate the co-owner or beneficiary.

Taxpayers who claim a tax refund on Form 1040 can use Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases) to split their refunds. Refunds can be directed into bank accounts and other financial institutions where their mutual funds or retirement accounts are managed and to purchase U.S. Series I Savings Bonds.

Taxpayers can choose to use a portion of the refund to buy up to $5,000 in low-risk savings bonds, which earn interest and protect owners against inflation. The bonds must be purchased in $50 increments. Any remaining refund amounts can be refunded by paper checks or direct deposit.

The savings bonds purchased through the refund program are U.S. Series I Savings Bonds. Their composite interest rate consists of a fixed rate and an inflation-based rate, adjusted every six months, on May 1 and November 1.

For more details, see the instructions for Form 8888, available by emailing me, or from