||Ask the Dollar Diva
Old war bonds are worth big
Dear Dollar Diva,
I have twelve $1,000, 1941 war bonds? How much would
they be worth today?
The U.S. Treasury savings bond Web site has a wonderful,
user friendly "Savings
Bond Calculator" that will calculate the value of your bonds
for you. It will calculate the value of U.S. Treasury E, EE and
I bonds, and savings notes.
According to the calculator, if your bonds are the
Series E bonds that were used to finance World War II, they're worth
at least $3,600 each, or a total of more than $43,000 dollars.
You don't say how you acquired them, but before you
start licking your chops, beware of the tax consequences when you
redeem these bonds.
Best case scenario
Series E war bonds issued in 1941 stopped accruing
interest 40 years after they were purchased. If you inherited the
bonds after 1981, the final maturity date, and the tax on the accrued
interest was paid by the person you inherited them from, or his
estate, you're home free; you will not have to pay tax on the bonds
when you redeem them. But make sure you get a copy of the tax return
filed by the decedent or his estate so you have proof that the tax
Worst case scenario
Each $1,000 Series E bond would have cost $750 when
it was purchased in 1941; a dozen of them would have cost $9,000.
If you redeemed all 12 bonds, and the interest was taxable to you,
you'd have $34,000 in taxable interest to contend with.
-- Posted: Jan. 22, 2001