FAQs: Treasury Security

1. What are Treasury Securities?

United States Treasury securities, often simply called Treasuries, are debt obligations issued by the United States Government and secured by the full faith and credit (the power to tax and borrow) of the United States.

2. What are some examples of Treasury securities?

Treasuries include:

  • Treasury bills, also called T-bills, which are short-term obligations having maturities of 1 year or less (issued at a discount from their maturity value);
  • Treasury notes, which are intermediate-term obligations with maturities of 1 to 10 years;
  • Treasury bonds, which are long-term obligations with maturities of 10 years or more; and
  • U.S. savings bonds, which are obligations issued in smaller denominations than Treasury bonds and not traded on the secondary market like other Treasuries (issued either at a discount from maturity value or at face value with periodic interest).

3. What are STRIPS?

STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities) are created by the Treasury when it strips the coupons (interest) from Treasury bonds and sells the coupons and the principal separately, at a discount from face value.

4. What are commercially marketed Treasuries?

Investment firms also strip Treasury bonds and market them under acronyms such as CATS (Certificates of Accrual on Treasury Securities) and TIGRS (Treasury Investors Growth Receipts).  Although these securities represent ownership interests in Treasuries, the investment firm becomes the obligor for repayment, rather than the U.S. Treasury.

5. I owned several Treasury securities that matured this past year.  How do I report them?

In Part 6, write “U.S. Treasury securities” in the “Description” field.  In the “Value” field, select the “None (or less than $1,001)” category; in the “Income Type” field, select “interest”; and in the “Income Amount” field, select the category corresponding to the amount of interest received during the reporting period.  You do not need to list each security separately.