31 USC 3105 - Savings bonds and savings certificates

(a) With the approval of the President, the Secretary of the Treasury may issue savings bonds and savings certificates of the United States Government and may buy, redeem, and make refunds under section 3111 of this title. Proceeds from the bonds and certificates shall be used for expenditures authorized by law. Savings bonds and certificates may be issued on an interest-bearing basis, on a discount basis, or on an interest-bearing and discount basis. Savings bonds shall mature not more than 20 years from the date of issue. Savings certificates shall mature not more than 10 years from the date of issue. The difference between the price paid and the amount received on redeeming a savings bond or certificate is interest under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.).
(1) The Secretary may
(A) fix the investment yield for savings bonds; and

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(B) change the investment yield on an outstanding savings bond, except that the yield on a bond for the period held may not be decreased below the minimum yield for the period guaranteed on the date of issue.
(2) The Secretary may prescribe regulations providing that
(A) owners of savings bonds may keep the bonds after maturity or after a period beyond maturity during which the bonds have earned interest and continue to earn interest at rates consistent with paragraph (1) of this subsection; and
(B) savings bonds earning a different rate of interest before the regulations are prescribed shall earn a rate of interest consistent with paragraph (1).
(c) The Secretary may prescribe for savings bonds and savings certificates issued under this section
(1) the form and amount of an issue and series;
(2) the way in which they will be issued;
(3) the conditions, including restrictions on transfer, to which they will be subject;
(4) conditions governing their redemption;
(5) their sales price and denominations;

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(6) a way to evidence payments for or on account of them and to provide for the exchange of savings certificates for savings bonds; and
(7) the maximum amount issued in a year that may be held by one person.
(d) The Secretary may authorize financial institutions to make payments to redeem savings bonds and savings notes. A financial institution may be a paying agent only if the institution
(1) is incorporated under the laws of the United States, a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States;
(2) in the usual course of business accepts, subject to withdrawal, money for deposit or the purchase of shares;
(3) is under the supervision of a banking authority of the jurisdiction in which it is incorporated;
(4) has a regular office to do business; and
(5) is qualified under regulations prescribed by the Secretary in carrying out this subsection.
(1) The Secretary may prescribe a way in which a check issued to an individual (except a trust or estate) as a refund for taxes imposed under subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.) may become a series E savings bond. However, a check may become a bond only if the claim for a refund is filed by the last day prescribed by law for filing the return (determined without any extensions) for the taxable year for which the refund is made. The Secretary may prescribe the time and way in which the check becomes a bond.
(2) A bond issued under this subsection is deemed to be a series E bond issued under this section, except that the bond shall bear an issue date of the first day of the first month beginning after the close of the taxable year for which the bond is issued. The Secretary also may provide that a bond issued to joint payees may be redeemed by either payee alone.