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Title 31Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter APart 321Subpart G → Appendix


Title 31: Money and Finance: Treasury
PART 321—PAYMENTS BY BANKS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS OF DEFINITIVE UNITED STATES SAVINGS BONDS AND UNITED STATES SAVINGS NOTES (FREEDOM SHARES)
Subpart G—Miscellaneous Provisions


Appendix to Part 321—Appendix to Department of the Treasury Circular No. 750, Fourth Revision

Fiscal Service, Bureau of the Fiscal Service

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 part 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, Fiscal Service Series Nos. 1-80 (31 CFR part 351, Series EE bonds), 2-80 (31 CFR part 352, Series HH bonds), 1-98 (31 CFR part 359, Series I bonds), and 3-67 (31 CFR part 342, savings notes), and Department of the Treasury Circulars Nos. 653 (31 CFR part 316, Series E bonds) and 905 (31 CFR part 339, Series H bonds).

(b) Regulations. Department of the Treasury Circular, Fiscal Service Series No. 3-80 (Series EE and HH bonds); Department of the Treasury Circular, Fiscal Service 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 parts 101-105); Regulation J, Collection of Checks and Other Items and Wire Transfers of Funds (12 CFR part 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 TRS Site may assign a four-digit code number to each agent it qualifies. A separate number may be assigned to each branch of the paying agent authorized to redeem and submit redeemed securities for its own account at a TRS Site. At the paying agent's request, only one four-digit code will be assigned for use by all of its branches.

5. Requalification. [§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 a TRS Site 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. Securities that an agent may not redeem because of the limitations in §321.9 should be forwarded to a TRS Site 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 part 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 part 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 Fiscal Service distributes redemption values in various formats and as parts of programs for personal computers, for: (1) Series E savings bonds, (2) Series EE savings bonds, (3) Series I savings bonds, and (4) savings notes. Additional tables or information may be requested from a TRS Site.

(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 a TRS Site.

(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, Fiscal Service 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. [§321.13] Each redeemed security must be cancelled by the imprint of a payment stamp. The stamp may not exceed 118 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 a TRS Site (subject to abbreviation and arrangement by a TRS Site) or ABA code number.

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. [§321.12] A paying agent may requisition stamps from a TRS Site or purchase its own stamps. Stamps not provided by a TRS Site must conform exactly in size to that prescribed or approved by a TRS Site. 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 the receipt of any additional cash. The exact date of redemption shall also be recorded on the exchange subscription to enable a TRS Site to establish the proper issue date for the Series HH savings bonds. An officer or 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 Fiscal Service'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 a Federal Reserve Processing Site. [§321.14] An agent shall transmit and settle a redeemed security in accordance with the rules and instructions set forth in the Federal Reserve Operating Circular.

16. Record of securities paid. [§§321.14 and 321.24] A record of the serial number, amount paid, and any other information necessary to complete the form for an “Application for Relief Due to the Loss, Theft, or Destruction of Paid United States Savings Bonds/Notes” (PD F 2517) must be retained by the agent for each definitive security sent to a Federal Reserve Processing Site. Copies or other records of the front and back of a paper savings bond must be kept confidential, and prints of the bond may be made only with the permission of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service or a TRS Site.

Subpart E—Losses Resulting from Erroneous Payments [§321.16]

17. Report of erroneous payment. Any erroneous payment that comes to the attention of an agent should be reported immediately to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Parkersburg, WV, as further described in the instructions and guidance issued pursuant to §321.27.

18. 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 Fiscal Service. 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.

19. Determination of liability. [Sec. 321.18 and Sec. 321.21]

(a) Upon completing the investigation, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service 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 Fiscal Service 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.

20. 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

21. Securities forwarded to a TRS Site for payment. [§321.22]

(a) General. [§321.22] Securities presented for cash payment or redemption-exchange that an agent is not authorized to redeem shall be forwarded to a TRS Site, 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. [§321.22] For redemption-exchange transactions submitted as forwarding items, the issue date of the Series HH savings bonds will be the first day of the month in which a correctly completed and signed exchange subscription and full payment are received by a TRS Site.

(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 a TRS Site.

Subpart G—Miscellaneous Provisions

22. Fees and charges. [§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 1.6049-4). Fees may be paid as set out in §321.23.

23. 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 16 of this appendix regarding the maintenance of records of redeemed securities.] The agent should resubmit a facsimile of the security to obtain settlement in accordance with established procedures. Questions concerning the established procedures should be referred to a TRS Site.

24. 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.

25. Payment and retention of definitive securities. [§321.25] The definitive security must be presented to the agent in order to receive payment. An agent is prohibited from accepting an image, or other copy or reproduction of the definitive security, for redemption or processing. To ensure that all transactions processed by agents are properly validated, agents must establish and comply with a retention period for definitive securities that are truncated and converted to an electronic image. At a minimum, the agent must retain such definitive securities for a period of thirty calendar days following the date that the agent submitted the electronic image of the paid security to a Federal Reserve Processing Site. Agents may establish longer retention periods for definitive securities at their discretion.

(a) Example: if the agent paid the presenter of a security on May 7, 2012, and submitted the security's electronic image to a Federal Reserve Processing Site on May 11, 2012, then the retention requirements would obligate the agent to retain the definitive security, at a minimum, until June 10, 2012.

(b) During the specified retention period, agents must store the securities under suitably secured conditions that safeguard customer information. Specifically, the securities must be stored in a secured location with physical, procedural, and systemic controls in place to ensure that access to the securities is restricted to authorized personnel and that the securities are protected from loss, theft, destruction, and unauthorized or inadvertent viewing.

(c) At the end of the retention period, agents must destroy the securities in a manner that safeguards customer information. Specifically, securities must be destroyed by burning, mulching, pulping, pulverizing, or shredding beyond recognition and reconstruction.

26. Additional information. [§321.26] 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 a TRS Site.

[53 FR 37511, Sept. 26, 1988; 53 FR 39581, Oct. 7, 1988, as amended at 55 FR 35397, Aug. 29, 1990; 59 FR 10538, Mar. 4, 1994; 61 FR 37197, July 16, 1996; 63 FR 38042, 38043, July 14, 1998; 68 FR 2666, Jan. 17, 2003; 68 FR 7427, Feb. 14, 2003; 77 FR 16167, Mar. 20, 2012]

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