According to https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds_ibuy.htm#myself I can buy "up to $5,000 in paper I bonds using your federal income tax refund".

But I won't get anything near a $5000 refund. Heck, I might even owe some money...

What to do?

My crazy idea is to make a $5000 "estimated" tax payment in December, and then get (approximately) that money back in a paper Series I bond.

Is there a better way?

EDIT: yes, I already purchased the online $10,000 this year.

  • 1
    You can make 'estimated tax payments' at any time, for example two day before you file your taxes... the quarterly IRS dates are only relevant if you must make payments to avoid underpayment-penalties.
    – Aganju
    Jun 5, 2022 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


No, there's no better way. You can buy up to $10000 from TreasuryDirect, but for that extra $5000 you can get through refund you'd need to first ensure that you're getting a refund. I.e.: yes, you'll need to give the government an extra free loan for a short while to be allowed to give the government a loan that pays interest.

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