I want to own American I bonds, but I'm not a US citizen/resident so I don't have a SSN (I live in Canada). As such, I can't just create a TreasuryDirect account and buy I bonds there.

Here's my plan:

  1. Pay $5000 to the IRS for my US taxes
  2. File a non-resident US tax return showing I owe no US taxes (because none of my income is effectively connected with US trade or business), and am entitled to a $5000 refund
  3. Attach Form 8888 to my US tax return to request my refund be sent in the form of paper I bonds

Would this work? The instructions for Form 8888 don't mention any requirement for the taxpayer to be a US citizen/resident, but maybe there's some other rule I'm missing?

1 Answer 1


I don't think so - from the Treasury Direct site -


Registering savings bonds (Who owns them?) Whether you buy an electronic bond or a paper bond, you must specify who owns the bond.

You may name yourself, a child, yourself and someone else (either as another owner or as the beneficiary), or indeed anyone you want to give the savings bond to as a gift.

But the person (or people) you name must meet these conditions:

The person must have a Social Security Number. The person must also meet any one of these three conditions: United States citizen, whether the person lives in the U.S. or abroad, or United States resident, or Civilian employee of the United States, no matter where that person lives You may also register the bond in the name of a trust or estate. An electronic bond in TreasuryDirect also can be in the name of a corporation, partnership, or other entity.

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