31 CFR Part 321, Appendix to Part 321 - Appendix to Department of the Treasury Circular No. 750, Fourth Revision
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Appendix to Part 321—Appendix to Department of the Treasury Circular No. 750, Fourth Revision
Fiscal Service, Bureau of the Public Debt
Subpart A—General Information
1. Purpose. This appendix is issued for the guidance of banks and other financial institutions qualified as paying agents of United States Savings Bonds and United States Savings Notes (Freedom Shares) under the provisions of 31 CFR qart 321 [Department of the Treasury Circular No. 750, Fourth Revision]. Its purpose is to provide information to supplement the regulations contained in the part and specific instructions for processing redemption and redemption-exchange transactions. The information and instructions are indexed to the sections and subsections of part 321 which they explain or expand.
2. Other pertinent publications. In addition to part 321, agents should be familiar with the provisions of the following publications:
(a) Offering circulars. Department of the Treasury Circulars, Public Debt Series Nos. 1-80 (31 CFR qart 351, Series EE bonds), 2-80 (31 CFR qart 352, Series HH bonds), 1-98 (31 CFR qart 359, Series I bonds), and 3-67 (31 CFR qart 342, savings notes), and Department of the Treasury Circulars Nos. 653 (31 CFR qart 316, Series E bonds) and 905 (31 CFR qart 339, Series H bonds).
(b) Regulations. Department of the Treasury Circular, Public Debt Series No. 3-80 (Series EE and HH bonds); Department of the Treasury Circular, Public Debt Series 2-98 (Series I bonds); Department of the Treasury Circulars Nos. 530 (all other series of savings securities) and 888 (special endorsements); Federal Tax Regulations (26 CFR 1.6049); Federal Claims Collection Standards (4 CFR qarts 101-105); Regulation J, Collection of Checks and Other Items and Wire Transfers of Funds (12 CFR qart 210); and operating circulars issued by Federal Reserve Banks relating to the collection of cash items and Federal payments by ACH.
Subpart B—Procedures for Qualification
3. Qualification of branches. [Sec. 321.3(b)] Qualification of an institution as a paying agent automatically qualifies only its domestic branches. A foreign branch of a qualified paying agent may redeem securities provided settlement is made through a qualified facility located in the Unied States.
4. Paying agent code numbers. [§§ 321.3(b) and 321.13] The appropriate Federal Reserve Bank will assign a four-digit code number to each agent it qualifies. A separate number will be assigned to each branch authorized to redeem and submit redeemed securities for its own account to a Federal Reserve Bank or Branch or to a Regional Check Processing Center. At the paying agent's request, only one four-digit code will be assigned for use by all of its branches. The presenting institution's ABA number will be used in the adjustment of discrepancies and in the computation and payment of fees for securities transmitted in separately sorted cash letters.
5. Requalification. [Sec. 321.3(b)] If there has been a change in the corporate name of an agent, whether through merger, consolidation, sale of assets, or in any other manner, the agent may be asked by the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25 to requalify to reflect the change. Ordinarily, requalification is not required unless (a) the change results in a corporation that, under State law, cannot retain the rights of the corporation that ceased to exist, or (b) in the case of a purchase of assets and assumption of liability, the purchaser corporation is not a qualified paying agent.
6. Announcement of authority. [Sec. 321.3(c)] On and after the effective date of its qualification, a paying agent may appropriately announce or advertise its authority to redeem eligible securities for cash and in exchange for Series HH bonds. Such statements and notices should not, directly or indirectly, encourage the encashment of the securities. Two examples of acceptable statements for use in advertisements or displays are:
(a) “We are an authorized agent for payment of U.S. Savings Bonds and U.S. Savings Notes (Freedom Shares).”
(b) “This (bank/savings and loan association/credit union, etc.) is authorized to pay U.S. Savings Bonds and U.S. Savings Notes (Freedom Shares) and process eligible Series E and EE bonds and savings notes in exchange for Series HH bonds.”
Subpart C—Scope of Authority
7. Authorized cash payments. [Sec. 321.7]
(a) General. [§ 321.7(a)] The general authority of paying agents to redeem savings securities for cash extends to Series A, B, C, D, E, EE, and I bonds and savings notes presented by the owner, coowner, surviving beneficiary, parent on behalf of a minor, legal representative designated in the registrations of savings securities presented, or legal representative of the last deceased registrant's estate. The presenter must sign the requests for payment and establish his or her identity and, in the case of a beneficiary, parent or legal representative of the last deceased registrant's estate, entitlement to request payment.
(b) Securities submitted by mail. [Sec. 321.7(a)] An agent may accept eligible securities submitted, for redemption by mail, from known customers. The agent should be satisfied that the customer is entitled to request payment and that he or she has signed the requests for payment. The agent should obtain written instructions to credit the redemption proceeds to the customer's account or to make some other disposition. For its protection, the agent should retain such instructions for as long as ten years in the event the transaction is later questioned.
(c) Interest reporting. [Sec. 321.7(e)] Pursuant to 26 CFR 1.6049-4, an agent is required to report interest income in the amount of $10 or more paid as part of the redemption value of securities. Reports to payees should be made on Form 1099-INT or an IRS-approved substitute; reports to the Internal Revenue Service should be made in accordance with that agency's instructions. A separate report may be made for each transaction in which interest in the amount of $10 or more is paid, or all interest payments, made during a calendar year, may be aggregated and reported annually should the total amount be $10 or more.
8. Redemption-exchange of Series E and EE savings bonds and savings notes. [Sec. 321.8]
(a) General. [Sec. 321.8 (a) and (b)] The general authority of paying agents to redeem securities in exchange for Series HH bonds extends only to eligible Series E and EE savings bonds and savings notes presented with a completed Form PD 3253, “Exchange Subscription for United States Savings Bonds of Series HH.” Securities eligible for exchange are: (1) Series EE bonds issued January 1, 2003, or earlier, presented no earlier than six months from their issue dates; (2) Series EE bonds issued February 1, 2003, or thereafter, presented no earlier than 12 months from their issue dates; and (3) Series E bonds and savings notes presented no later than one year from the month in which they reached final maturity. The current redemption value of securities presented in one transaction must be at least $500. The presenter must establish his or her identity and entitlement to request the exchange and sign the exchange subcription and the requests for payment on the securities.
(b) Securities in the name of a minor. [Sec. 321.8(b)] If an exchange subscription is submitted on behalf of a minor who is too young to comprehend the nature of the transaction, the form must be completed to request that the Series HH bonds be registered either in the minor's name alone or in exactly the same form as the securities presented for exchange. Agents are instructed to discourage exchange transactions involving minors who are too young to conduct them on their own.
(c) Interest reporting. [Sec. 321.8(c)] Pursuant to 26 CFR 1.6049-4, an agent is required to report interest income in the amount of $10 or more included in any cash refunded in a redemption-exchange transaction. Reports to payees should be made on Form 1099-INT or an IRS-approved substitute; reports to the Internal Revenue Service should be made in accordance with that agency's instructions. A separate report may be made for each redemption-exchange transaction in which interest in the amount of $10 or more is refunded, or all interest paid in both cash transactions and redemption-exchanges during a calendar year may be aggregated and reported annually should the total amount be $10 or more.
9. Specific limitations on payment authority. [Sec. 321.9]
(a) Allowable exceptions. [Sec. 321.9] Securities which an agent may not redeem because of the limitations in § 321.9 should be forwarded to the Fiscal Agency Department of a Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25 for handling. However, if an agent is willing to assume full responsibility, it may make payment of an eligible security which bears a minor irregularity, such as a misspelled name, a transposition of letters, etc., because of its knowledge of the facts, or because it wishes to rely on the integrity of the presenter.
(b) Taxpayer identifying number of presenter. [Sec. 321.9(f)] An agent shall refuse payment of any security if the taxpayer identifying number of the presenter, or the estate represented by the presenter, is not known to the agent and the presenter is unwilling to furnish the number. A parent who requests payment on behalf of a minor in accordance with § 321.7(c) of this part must provide the minor's social security number.
(c) Payments to minors. [Sec. 321.9(j)] A minor may not request payment of securities if he or she is not of sufficient competency and understanding to comprehend the nature of the act. Because of individual differences in comprehension, the Treasury has not established any rule as to the exact age at which a minor should be able to redeem securities. An agent may interview a minor to ascertain his or her ability to understand the transaction.
10. Responsibilities of paying agents. [Sec. 321.10]
(a) Requirements for redeeming securities. [§ 321.10(a)] A paying agent shall redeem eligible savings securities during its regular business hours for a presenter who establishes his or her identity as the owner or coowner of the securities, in accordance with this part and this appendix. While a paying agent is not required to redeem eligible Series E and EE savings bonds and savings notes in exchange for Series HH bonds for any presenter, or Series E, EE, or I bonds or savings notes for cash upon the request of a surviving beneficiary or legal representative, it is encouraged to do so, provided the presenter can establish his/her identity and provide acceptable evidence to accordance with this part and this appendix (See § 321.7 (d) and (f)). An agent is not required to redeem savings securities during Saturday and evening hours if it is open during such periods primarily as a service for its depositors.
(b) Restrictions. [Sec. 321.10(b)] Violation of the regulatory prohibitions on making charges for redeeming securities; on advancing money on, making loans on, or discounting the redemption value of securities; and on deferring presentation of redeemed securities to obtain a larger credit, will be cause for disqualification and recovery of the redemption proceeds and profits realized therefrom.
Subpart D—Payment and Transmittal of Securities
11. Identification of presenter. [Sec. 321.11(b)]
(a) Identification guide. [Sec. 321.11(b)] The Treasury Department has issued an identification guide, Form PD 3900, to assist paying agents in redeeming securities. Careful compliance with the instructions contained therein will enable agents to accommodate reasonable redemption requests and protect themselves from losses. Reliance on newly opened customer accounts as identification, or paying more than $1,000 in a single transaction based on documentary evidence alone, should be particularly avoided.
(b) Record of identification practice and evidence presented. [Sec. 321.11 (b) through (d)] At the time of payment, the agent should make a notation on the back of the security or in its own records specifying precisely what was relied on to establish the presenter's identity. The identification should be adequate to identify the payee under the circumstances of the transaction. If an agent redeems a security upon the request of a surviving beneficiary or a legal representative of the last deceased registrant's estate, it should also make a notation of the evidence presented to establish the payee's entitlement; this might include the document or case number on the death certificate(s) and/or evidence of the legal representative's appointment, the date(s) of death, and the names and locations of the issuing authorities. The notations should be sufficient to permit a determination of the evidence of identity and entitlement at a later date. Otherwise, the agent runs the risk that no evidence can be developed to show that it acted without fault or negligence, in which case it could not be relieved of liability should a loss occur.
12. Request for payment. [Sec. 321.11(d)]
(a) Signature. [Sec. 321.11(e)] Except where an agent qualified under 31 CFR qart 330 (Circular No. 888) elects to use the special endorsement procedure, each security redeemed by the agent must bear the signature of the presenter. The name must be signed exactly as it is inscribed on the security, unless the provisions of 31 CFR qart 330 and this appendix provide for an exception, such as in cases involving a change of name by marriage, a request by a parent on behalf of a minor, or a legal representative of the last deceased registrant's estate. An agent may be held liable if the request for payment is not properly signed. Legal representatives must sign as provided in § 321.7 (e) and (f).
(b) Address. [Sec. 321.11(d)] The presenter must enter a current home or business address in the space provided on the back of the security. If a single transaction includes a group of securities, the address must be shown on at least one security of each of the following types: (1) Paper securities issued prior to October 1957; (2) punch card or machine readable paper securities issued prior to January 1989; and (3) machine readable paper securities issued subsequent to December 1988.
13. Redemption value of securities. [Sec. 321.12]
(a) Redemption value tables. [§ 321.12] The Bureau of the Public Debt distributes redemption values in various formats and as part of programs for personal computers, for: (1) Series E bonds, (2) Series EE bonds, (3) Series I bonds, and (4) savings notes. Additional tables or information may be requested from the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25.
(b) Use of tables. [§ 321.12] Care should be exercised to correctly determine the current redemption value of the security presented for the month in which it is redeemed. Incorrect payments can lead to costly and time-consuming adjustments for the agent, Department of the Treasury, and the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25.
(c) Cash redemption. [Sec. 321.12] The correct redemption value of securities redeemed by an agent should be paid to the presenter in currency or, upon request, by check payable to the presenter or by credit to his or her account.
(d) Redemption-exchange. [§ 321.12] The redemption values of eligible Series E and EE savings bonds and savings notes presented for exchange (Series I savings bonds are not eligible for exchange) for Series HH bonds shall be those payable in the month the agent accepts a correctly completed and signed exchange subscription, Public Debt Form 3253. The total redemption value of securities presented for exchange in any one transaction must be at least $500. If the redemption value is $500 or an even multiple thereof, Series HH bonds must be requested in that exact amount. If the redemption value exceeds $500, but is not an even multiple of that amount, the presenter may add cash to increase the amount of the subscription to the next higher $500 multiple, or reduce the amount of the subscription to the next lower $500 multiple. The maximum amount which may be added to or refunded in an exchange transaction is $499.99. For example, if the total redemption value of the securities is $4,253.33, the presenter may request no less than $4,000 and no more than $4,500 in Series HH bonds. In the first instance, the agent will pay the presenter $253.33; in the second, it will collect $246.67 when it accepts the exchange subscription.
14. Cancellation of redeemed securities. [Sec. 321.13]
(a) Paying agent stamp. [Sec. 321.13] Each redeemed security must be cancelled by the imprint of a payment stamp. The stamp may not exceed 11/8 inches in any dimension and must include the following information in the arrangement shown:
Paid $___ (for recording amount paid).
Name, location, and four-digit paying agent code number assigned by the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25 (subject to abbreviation and arrangement by the Bank).
Date ___ (for recording actual date of payment).
By ___ (for use by agent in recording initials, or signature, codes, symbols, etc., of the officer or employee who approved or made the payment).
(b) Procurement of stamps. [Sec. 321.12] A paying agent may requisition stamps from the Fiscal Agency Department of the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25 or purchase its own stamps. Stamps not provided by the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25 must conform exactly in size and design to that prescribed or approved by the Bank. To insure legible impressions, stamps should be replaced when worn.
(c) Imprinting payment stamp and recording payment date. [Sec. 321.13] After determining that a security is eligible for payment, the agent should carefully imprint the payment stamp on its face in the open space immediately to the left of, and as close as possible to, the issue date and issuing agent validating data. It is important not to overprint any data on the security, particularly the serial number, since the security will subsequently be microfilmed. No other stamps shall be placed on the face of the security. Care should be taken to record legibly the correct amount, the exact date of redemption, and the signature, initials, or other identification of the agent's employee who approved or made the payment. A dark-colored ink must be used, and care should be taken not to smear the stamp impression or the writing.
(d) Redemption-exchange. [§ 321.13] Eligible Series E and EE savings bonds and savings notes presented for redemption-exchange shall be stamped “PAID” in the same manner as securities redeemed for cash, but only when all elements of the transaction have been completed, including receipt of any additional cash. The exact date of redemption shall also be recorded on the exchange subscription to enable the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25 to establish the proper issue date for the Series HH bonds. An officer or other authorized employee of the agent shall also sign the exchange subscription, in his or her official capacity, and furnish other requested information that identifies the paying agent.
(e) MICR-encoding of payment information. [§ 321.13] An agent shall MICR-encode the redemption value in the “Amount” field on the face of each security or arrange to have this service performed by another financial institution. If the agent transmits securities in mixed cash letters, it must also MICR-encode the routing/transit number assigned to the Bureau of the Public Debt's savings bond activity in the “R/T” field on the face of all pre-October 1957 paper securities and those punch card securities on which it does not already appear. The Bureau's routing/transit number is 000090007. Care should be taken in repairing MICR-encoded items so as not to obliterate any data in surrounding MICR fields or elsewhere on the face of the security.
15. Transmittal of securities to Federal Reserve Bank. [§ 321.14] An agent shall transmit and receive settlement for redeemed securities via EZ CLEAR, i.e., the Check Department of a Federal Reserve Bank or Branch or the Regional Check Processing Center. Redeemed securities may be transmitted in separately sorted or mixed cash letters to the Check Department of a Federal Reserve Bank or Branch, or to a Regional Check Processing Center, either directly, or via a parent office or correspondent institution. An agent shall transmit redeemed securities under cover of the appropriate transmittal document. Eligible Series E and EE savings bonds and savings notes redeemed in exchange for Series HH bonds must be transmitted for settlement via EZ CLEAR at the same time as the exchange application (Public Debt Form 3253) and any additional cash needed to complete the transaction are forwarded to the Fiscal Agency Department of the servicing Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25. Eligible Series E and EE savings bonds and savings notes redeemed on exchange may be commingled with cash redemptions in mixed or separately sorted cash letters.
16. Transmittal of securities to Federal Reserve Bank via fiscal agency system. [§ 321.14] The Fiscal Agency Department of a Federal Reserve Bank or Branch will not accept for settlement securities an agent has redeemed.
17. Transmittal of securities to Federal Reserve Bank via EZ CLEAR. [Sec. 321.14]
(a) Form to be used. [Sec. 321.14] The presenting institution shall transmit all redeemed securities to the Check Department of a Federal Reserve Bank or Branch or Regional Check Processing Center in accordance with the Bank's instructions. Except as otherwise provided in the Bank's instructions and operating circulars, cash letters may be comprised of one or more bundles of separately sorted redeemed securities (separately sorted cash letter) or one or more bundles of mixed items (mixed cash letter). The cash letter shall show the name, address, and ABA number of the presenting institution, the date of presentation, the total number of pieces transmitted, the value of each of the bundles in the cash letter, and the total value of the cash letter.
(b) Composition of cash letters. [§ 321.14] Series A, B, C, D, E, EE, and I bonds and savings notes redeemed for cash or eligible Series E and EE bonds and savings notes redeemed on exchange may be commingled in mixed cash letters containing commercial checks and other items or separately sorted cash letters containing only redeemed securities. Each cash letter shall also contain a listing prepared in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank's instructions.
(c) Transmittal of securities. [Sec. 321.14] Cash letters containing redeemed securities shall be transmitted to a Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with the Bank's circulars and instructions.
(d) Timing of transmittals. [Sec. 321.14] Cash letters containing redeemed securities should be transmitted according to the same schedule used for other commercial check collection system items.
(e) Settlement for the audit of paid securities—(1) Settlement. [Sec. 321.14] The Federal Reserve Bank will make immediate settlement for the total value of redeemed securities as shown on each cash letter. Settlement will be made by a credit to the reserve or clearing account of the agent or designated correspondent institution. Data concerning redeemed security transmittals will be sent to the Bureau of the Public Debt for audit. The amount will be subject to adjustment if discrepancies are discovered after settlement has been made.
(2) Audit and adjustment [§ 321.14] The Bureau of the Public Debt will audit all redemption data received from the Central Site as promptly as possible. Each presenting institution will, in due course, be notified by the Bank of any adjustments required. The Bank will adjust via a charge or credit to the presenting institution's Reserve or clearing account any amounts previously credited to that account.
(3) Requests for Adjustments. Depositors who discover errors in their EZ CLEAR cash letters subsequent to deposit should allow sixty (60) calendar days from the date of their EZ CLEAR cash letter before requesting adjustments for the cash letter. This will allow sufficient time for the Treasury to classify the savings bonds, forward adjustments to the Central Site and for the Central Site to research and function adjustments to the depositor.
(4) Separately Sorting Depositors should submit adjustment requests directly to the Central Site Adjustments Department in correspondence. However, all requests for adjustments due to incorrect cash letter crediting should be directed to the servicing Federal Reserve Bank.
(5) Mixed Depositors should submit adjustment requests to their servicing Federal Reserve Bank.
18. Record of securities paid. [§§ 321.14 and 321.24] A record of the serial number and the amount paid for each redeemed security must be retained by the agent for one year so that settlement can be made if the security is lost in transit, and so that the agent can process any subsequent adjustment as described in paragraph 17(e)(2) above. For that purpose, agents are authorized to microfilm the face and back of each security they redeem. Such film records shall be kept confidential and prints therefrom may be made only with the permission of the Bureau of the Public Debt or an appropriate Federal Reserve Bank.
Subpart E—Losses Resulting from Erroneous Payments
19. Report of erroneous payment. [Sec. 321.16] Any erroneous payment that comes to the attention of an agent should be reported immediately to the Bureau of the Public Debt, Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328. The nearest office of the Secret Service should also be notified if the agent believes that a security presented for redemption may be counterfeit or stolen, or if the circumstances of the presentation are suspicious in any other respect.
20. Notice to agent. [Sec 321.17(a)] The paying agent will be notified if an erroneous payment has occurred. The notice will generally be in writing from the Bureau of the Public Debt. If an investigation is to be made, the notice will enable the agent to notify its bonding company, assemble pertinent information concerning the transaction for presentation during the investigation, and take any other action it deems appropriate to protect its interest.
21. Determination of liability. [Sec. 321.18 and Sec. 321.21]
(a) Upon completing the investigation, the Bureau of the Public Debt will examine the available information and determine whether a paying agent may be relieved of liability for any loss that may have resulted. If the paying agent cannot be relieved of liability, demand will be made upon the paying agent to reimburse the Treasury promptly. Any amount not paid within 30 days following the mailing of the first demand letter is subject to the following charges.
(1) Interest shall accrue from the date the first demand letter is mailed to the date reimbursement is made. The rate of interest to be used will be the current value of funds rate published annually or quarterly in the Federal Register and in effect during the entire period in which the remittance is late.
(2) Administrative costs shall be assessed as set out in the first demand letter, if reimbursement is not made within 30 days of the date the first demand letter is mailed.
(3) Penalty charges shall be assessed, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3717(e), if reimbursement is not made within 120 days of the date the first demand letter is mailed. The penalty charge will accrue and be calculated from 30 days after the date the first demand letter is mailed to the date of reimbursement.
(b) When a paying agent fails, within 120 days of the date the first demand letter is mailed, to make such reimbursement or to submit new evidence sufficient for Public Debt to change the determination of liability, by virtue of the paying agent's acceptance of settlement via credits to a Reserve, correspondent, or clearing account with a Federal Reserve Bank or Branch, the agent is deemed to have authorized the Federal Reserve Bank to debit the amount due from that account designated or utilized by the agent at the Federal Reserve Bank or Branch. An institution, designated by a paying agent to receive settlement on its behalf, in authorizing such paying agent to utilize its Reserve, correspondent, or clearing account on the books at the Federal Reserve Bank shall similarly be deemed to authorize such debits from that account.
(c) Reconsideration of a determination of liability will be made in any case when a paying agent so requests and presents additional evidence and information regarding the transaction.
22. Relief for lack of timely notice. [Sec 321.18] A paying agent will be relieved of liability to the United States for any loss resulting from the erroneous payment of securities where the Secretary of the Treasury, or his designee, determines that written notice of either liability or potential liability has not been given to the agent within ten years of the date of the erroneous payment.
Subpart F—Forwarding Items
23. Securities forwarded to Federal Reserve Bank for payment. [Sec 321.22]
(a) General. [Sec 321.22] Securities presented for cash payment or redemption-exchange, that an agent is not authorized to redeem, shall be forwarded to the Fiscal Agency Department of the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25, with all required supporting documentation and any necessary payment instructions.
(b) Signature to and certification of request for payment. [Sec 321.22] An agent qualified under part 330 (Circular No. 888) may elect to specially endorse securities for presenters in lieu of requiring completion of the requests for payment. Unless this procedure is used, the presenter must sign the request on each security and the signature must be certified. Before completing the certification, the agent should establish the identity of the presenter. The Treasury's identification guidelines should be followed in view of the potential liability that attaches to such certification.
(c) Address and Taxpayer identifying number. [Sec 321.22] In every case, a current address shall be furnished. The presenter's taxpayer identifying number (social security number or employer identification number) shall be provided if it is not included in the inscription.
(d) Redemption-exchange. [Sec 321.22] For redemption-exchange transactions submitted as forwarding items, the issue date of the Series HH bonds will be the first day of the month in which a correctly completed and signed exchange subscription and full payment are received by the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25.
(e) Partial redemption. [§§ 321.9(l) and 321.22] Partial redemption of a security other than a $25 Series E bond or savings note, a $50 Series EE or I bond, or a $500 Series H or HH bond may be made by the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25. The amount paid must be equal to the redemption value of one or more authorized denominations on the date of the transaction. If a security is received by an agent for partial redemption, the words “to the extent of $ (face amount) and reissue of the remainder” should be added to the first sentence of the request for payment. The request should then be completed in the regular manner and the signature of the presenter certified or guaranteed. The security shall be forwarded to the Fiscal Agency Department of a Federal Reserve Bank.
Subpart G—Miscellaneous Provisions
24. Fees and charges. [Sec 321.23] Service fees are not intended to compensate paying agents for the reporting of interest paid as part of the redemption value of securities as required by Federal Tax Regulations (26 CFR 1.0649-4).
Fees will be paid to the presenting institution for securities redeemed during each calendar month that are submitted in separately sorted cash letters; such fee payments will be made only by ACH. No fees will be paid for securities received by the Federal Reserve Bank in mixed cash letters. The Bank will charge the presenting institution for processing redeemed securities received in mixed cash letters. Inquiries regarding separately sorted cash letters should be directed to the Pittsburgh Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, P.O. Box 867, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0867. Inquiries regarding mixed cash letters should be directed to the Federal Reserve Bank or Branch or Regional Check Processing Center where the cash letters were directed.
25. Claims on account of lost securities [§ 321.24] If a security redeemed by an agent is lost, stolen, or destroyed while in the custody of the agent, or in transit prior to settlement or audit, relief will be considered, provided the security can be identified by serial number. [See paragraph 18 of this appendix regarding the maintenance of records of redeemed securities]. The presenting institution should resubmit a photocopy of the security to obtain settlement in accordance with established procedures. Questions concerning the established procedures should be referred to the servicing Federal Reserve Bank.
26. Education savings bond program. [Sec. 321.7(g)]
(a) Section 6009 of the Technical Corrections and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988, Public Law 100-647 (see 26 U.S.C. 135), permits taxpayers to exclude all, or a portion, of the interest earned on Series EE savings bonds bearing issue dates on or after January 1, 1990, and on Series I savings bonds from their income under certain conditions. This legislation did not create new savings bond redemption and interest reporting requirements for savings bond paying agents. However, if a bond owner indicates that he or she intends to seek the special tax treatment offered under this program, the paying agent is encouraged to provide assistance by:
(1) Suggesting that he or she read IRS Form 8815 (particularly, the instructions on the form) as well as relevant portions of IRS Publication 17, “Your Federal Income Tax “, and Publication 550, “Investment Income and Expenses,” for detailed information; and
(2) Suggesting that the presenter make a record of eligible bonds redeemed either by using IRS Optional Form 8818, or otherwise.
(b) Bond owners seeking to benefit from the special tax exclusion, available through the savings bond education feature, should be aware of the following basic rules:
(1) Only interest earned on Series EE bonds bearing issue dates on or after January 1, 1990, is eligible for the exclusion of interest income, where the proceeds from the redemption of the bonds are used to pay qualified post-secondary education expenses. Interest received on bonds bearing issue dates prior to January 1, 1990, is not eligible.
(2)(i) The bonds must be registered in the name of a taxpayer as sole owner, or in the name of the taxpayer as co-owner, with the taxpayer's spouse as the other co-owner. Bonds registered in the name of the taxpayer's child, as owner or co-owner, will not qualify for the exclusion. A taxpayer may purchase bonds registered in beneficiary form, i.e., “A payable on death to B”, naming any individual, including a child, as beneficary.
(ii) The bonds must be registered in the name of a taxpayer who has attained the age of 24 years at the time of issue. Generally, a taxpayer must be 24 years of age on or before the first day of the month in which the taxpayer purchases the bond, because savings bonds bear the issue date of the first day of the month in which purchased.
(3) The bond must be redeemed by the owner or co-owner. It may not be transferred to-the educational institution.
(4) If the entire amount of the proceeds of the eligible bonds is less than, or equal to, the qualified post-secondary educational expenses incurred by the owner, his or her spouse, or his or her dependent, all interest received is excludable, subject to the limitations in paragraph (b)(7) of this section. If the amount of the proceeds exceeds such qualified expenses, the excludable portion of the interest will be reduced by a pro rata amount.
(5) Qualified educational expenses are limited to tuition and fees required for the enrollment of, or attendance by, the taxpayer, or the taxpayer's spouse or dependent, at an eligible educational institution. These expenses are calculated net of scholarships, fellowships, employer-provided educational assistance, and other tuition reduction amounts, and must be incurred during the tax year of the redemption of the bonds for which the interest exclusion is claimed.
(6) Eligible educational institutions include those defined in sections 1201(a) and 481(a)(1) (C) and (D) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as in effect on October 21, 1988, excluding proprietary institutions. Such eligible institutions include post-secondary institutions, and vocational schools that meet the standards for participation in Federal financial aid programs, excluding proprietary institutions. Additional gudiance concerning eligible institutions should be obtained from the Department of Education.
(7)(i) Interest exclusion benefits are based on the modified adjusted gross income of the taxpayer. For taxpayers filing a joint Federal income tax return, the exclusion is gradually decreased for modified adjusted gross income between $60,000 and $90,000. Married taxpayers filing jointly who have modified adjusted gross incomes above $90,000 are ineligible for the exclusion. For single taxpayers and heads of households, the exclusion is gradually decreased for such incomes between $40,000 and $55,000. Single taxpayers with such incomes above $55,000 are ineligible for the exclusion. After 1990, these income limits will be adjusted for inflation.
(ii) Married taxpayers must file a joint return in order to qualify for the exclusion. Married taxpayers filing separate returns will not qualify for the exclusion, regardless of their modified adjusted gross incomes.
(8) The taxpayer is responsible for maintaining adequate records of bond redemption transactions to support claims for the exclusion, in accordance with applicable rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.
(9) The Internal Revenue Service should be consulted for advice concerning the eligibility and tax treatment of bonds for the income exclusion under the educational savings bond program.
27. Additional information. [Sec 321.25] Requests for additional advice, clarification of the payment regulations or this appendix, and other matters relating to the actions of a financial institution as paying agent should generally be made to the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank referred to in § 321.25.
Title 31 published on 2015-07-01.
No entries appear in the Federal Register after this date, for 31 CFR Part 321.