Buy U.S. Savings Bonds as a gift using TreasuryDirect.gov for electronic bonds, or through your income tax return for paper bonds, explains TreasuryDirect. The U.S. Treasury no longer sells paper U.S. Savings Bonds through financial institutions, as of January 1, 2012.
To buy electronic gift versions of U.S. Savings Bonds, both you and the gift recipient must have TreasuryDirect accounts, which allow for the management and purchase of electronic U.S. Savings Bonds, according to TreasuryDirect. Additionally, you need to use the recipient's full name and Social Security number or taxpayer ID number to complete the transaction. Use the Gift Box function on TreasuryDirect to purchase the bond and hold it until you are ready to give it to the recipient. TreasuryDirect requires individuals under age 18 to use a Minor Linked Account that is connected to the TreasuryDirect account of a parent of guardian.
To give a paper U.S. Savings Bond, apply part of your tax refund toward the bond purchase by using Form 8888 on your annual tax return, explains the IRS. It does not matter if you don't know the recipient's SSN for paper bonds, as you may use your own without penalty, explains TreasuryDirect. This method does not require a bank account or TreasuryDirect account, as the IRS mails the bonds. Allow at least three weeks for delivery.