Form 8888: Allocation Of Refund Including Savings Bond Purchases

Form 8888, officially titled "Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases)," is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) document used by taxpayers to allocate their tax refund in specific ways. It allows you to:

  • Direct deposit your refund: Distribute your refund across up to three different bank or financial institution accounts in the United States.
  • Purchase savings bonds: Allocate a portion of your refund to buy paper Series I savings bonds.

What is Form 8888 Used For?

A. Splitting Your Refund: This form is ideal if you want to allocate your tax refund to multiple destinations. You can choose up to three different bank accounts or credit unions (all within the United States) to receive portions of your refund.

B. Purchasing Savings Bonds: Additionally, Form 8888 allows you to use your refund to buy U.S. Treasury savings bonds. There are two options for this:

  1. Electronic Purchase (Series I Savings Bonds): You can directly deposit a portion of your refund into a TreasuryDirect® account to electronically purchase Series I savings bonds. This online account is offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  2. Paper Savings Bonds (Series I): If you don't have a TreasuryDirect® account, you can use Form 8888 to buy paper Series I savings bonds with your refund.

Important Note: You cannot use Form 8888 to deposit your refund into an account that isn't in your name, your spouse's name, or a joint account that includes you.

When to Use Form 8888?

While you can request a direct deposit to a single account directly on your tax return form, Form 8888 becomes useful in these scenarios:

  • Distributing Your Refund: If you want to split your refund between different accounts, like depositing a portion into your savings and another into your checking account.
  • Saving with Bonds: If you'd like to use your tax refund to invest in U.S. savings bonds, either electronically or through paper bonds.

Don't Use Form 8888 If:

  • You only want to deposit your entire refund into one account. In this case, a direct deposit option on your tax return form would suffice.
  • You need to allocate your refund due to marital status (injured spouse). Use Form 8379, "Injured Spouse Allocation," instead.

How Much Can I Deposit to Each Account?

Each deposit you designate on Form 8888 must be at least $1. You can allocate your entire refund to a single account, or split it amongst the three available options.

How Much Can I Invest in Savings Bonds?

The maximum amount you can use to purchase paper Series I savings bonds through Form 8888 is $5,000.

Can I use Form 8888 if I'm filing jointly?

Yes, you can use Form 8888 even if you file a joint tax return. However, if you do, your spouse may be entitled to receive at least part of the refund directly.

What happens if the IRS delays processing my return?

If the IRS encounters delays in processing your tax return, your entire refund will be deposited into the first account listed on Form 8888. Therefore, it's important to prioritize the account you'd prefer to receive the full refund in, should this occur.

How can I track the status of my Savings Bonds purchased with Form 8888?

If you purchased electronic Series I Savings Bonds through TreasuryDirect®, you can track them within your online account. For paper Series I Savings Bonds, contact Treasury Retail Securities Services at 844-284-2676 to inquire about their status.