Are All Muni Bonds Tax Free?

Residents of the issuing state are generally excluded from federal and state taxes on income earned from municipal bonds. While interest income is tax-free, any capital gains delivered to the investor are taxable.

Is it true that municipal bond money are tax-free?

A municipal bond fund is a type of mutual fund that invests in government bonds. Municipal bond funds can be managed to achieve a variety of goals, which are frequently determined by geography, credit quality, and length. Municipal bonds are debt securities issued by a state, municipality, county, or special purpose entity to fund capital expenditures (such as a public school or airport). Municipal bond funds are tax-free at the federal level and may also be tax-free at the state level.

What bonds are exempt from taxation?

The majority of bonds are taxed. Only municipal bonds (bonds issued by local and state governments) are generally tax-exempt, and even then, specific regulations may apply. If you redeem a bond before its maturity date, you must pay tax on both interest and capital gains.

What distinguishes the taxation of municipal bonds from other types of bonds?

What Is the Most Distinguishing Aspect of Municipal Bond Taxation? Municipal bonds are tax-free in the United States and are frequently tax-free in their home states. The home state may apply a tax on the bond’s interest income if the bond was purchased in a state other than the purchaser’s home state.

Is it possible to have tax-free bonds?

The interest on tax-free bonds is not taxable, according to the Income Tax Act of 1961. This means that, in addition to capital protection and a fixed annual income, you will not have to pay any tax on the income produced from tax-free bonds.

Why are bonds exempt from taxation?

  • Municipal bond interest is tax-free in the United States, however there may be state or local taxes, or both.
  • Be aware that if you receive Social Security, your bond interest will be recognized as income when determining your Social Security taxable amount. This could result in you owing more money.
  • Municipal bond interest rates are often lower than corporate bond interest rates. You must decide which deal offers the best genuine return.
  • On the bright side, compared to practically any other investment, highly-rated municipal bonds are often relatively safe. The default rate is quite low.
  • Interest rate risk exists with any bond. You’ll be stuck with a bad performer if your money is locked up for 10 or 20 years and interest rates climb.

What makes a taxable bond different from a non-taxable bond?

Tax-exempt bonds are not subject to federal income taxes, as the name implies, but they may have lower rates of return than taxable bonds. Bonds issued by the state government are normally tax-free, and those issued by a municipality or town may be tax-free as well.

In what tax bracket are muni bonds beneficial?

If you’re in the 35 percent tax bracket and live in a state with high income tax rates, municipal bonds (also known as munis) are likely to be a better investment than taxable bonds. Municipal bonds, on the other hand, may be avoided if your income is in the 12 percent tax bracket.

Are municipal bonds taxed by corporations?

When your company buys bonds, it is essentially giving money to an issuer, or borrower, who could be another company or a federal, state, or local government body. You make money by accumulating interest each year until the principal is repaid at the maturity date. The interest earned on corporate and U.S. Treasury bond investments is taxed at the federal level. Interest on municipal bonds, which are issued by state and local governments, is exempt from taxation for corporations, individuals, and other business structures.

Is municipal bond income included in AGI?

No, municipal bond interest is not taxable and is not included in your adjusted gross income on your federal tax return. Capital gains from the sale of a bond, on the other hand, are subject to federal and state taxes. Municipal bond interest is generally not taxed in most states.

Is there a tax on investment bonds?

The chargeable gain is computed in the same way as a full surrender, with the proceeds being the surrender value at the time of death rather than the death benefit paid. This is calculated in the tax year in which the final life assured died.

If a bondholder dies but there are still surviving lives guaranteed on the bond, it is not a chargeable occurrence, and the bond can be continued. The bond must come to an end when the final life assured dies, and any gains on the bond will be taxed at that time. This is why other persons are commonly added as ‘lives assured,’ so that the investor’s heirs can choose whether to cash in the bond or keep it when the investor dies.

Because there are no lives assured, there is no chargeable event on death for capital redemption bonds. When a bond owner passes away, the bond continues to be owned by any remaining joint owners or the deceased’s personal representatives (PRs). If the PRs obtain ownership, they can opt to surrender it or assign it to an estate beneficiary.


A capital redemption bond has a guaranteed maturity value at the conclusion of the bond’s tenure, which is usually 99 years. The chargeable gain is determined in the same way as a full surrender, with the proceeds equaling the higher of the bond cash-in value or the guaranteed maturity value at the maturity date.


A gift between persons or from trustees to an adult beneficiary is the most common kind of assignment. This assignment is not a reimbursable event. In most cases, the new owner will be treated as though they have always owned the bond for tax purposes.

Money/worth money’s assignments are less common. These are chargeable occurrences, and there are precise laws governing how the assignment is taxed, as well as how the bond is taxed in the new owner’s hands.

Calculating the tax

Any chargeable gains on investment bonds are subject to income tax. There are some distinctions in the taxation of onshore and offshore bonds. This is due to the fact that onshore bonds pay corporation tax on income and earnings within the fund, whereas offshore bonds have a gross rollup with no tax on revenue and gains within the fund.

Onshore bonds are taxed at the top of the income scale, meaning they are taxed after dividends. They are eligible for a non-refundable 20% tax credit, which reflects the fact that the life business will have paid corporate tax on the funds.

For non- and basic-rate taxpayers, this tax credit will cover their liability. If the gain, when aggregated to all other income in the tax year, falls into the higher rate band or above, further tax is due.

Offshore bond gains are taxed after earned income but before dividends, along with all other savings income. There is no credit available to the bond holder because there is no UK tax on income and gains within the bond. Gains are taxed at a rate of 20%, 40%, or 45 percent. Gains are tax-free if they are covered by one of the following allowances:

Savings income, including bond profits, is eligible for the ‘personal savings allowance.’

Top slicing relief

Individuals do not pay tax on bond gains unless they experience a chargeable event. One of the characteristics that distinguishes bonds from other investments is their ability to delay taxes.

When a chargeable event occurs, however, a gain is taxed in the year the event occurs. This can result in a bigger proportion of tax being paid at higher rates than if the gains were assessed on an annual basis.

This can be remedied with top slicing relief. It only applies when a person’s total gain puts them in the higher or additional rate band. The relief is based on the difference between the tax on the entire gain and the ‘average’ gain (or’sliced’ gain), and is deducted from the final tax liability. On the Chargeable Event Certificate, the gain as well as the relevant number of years used to calculate the slice will be listed.

Number of years

The length of time will be determined by how the gain was achieved. When time apportionment relief is available, the amount is lowered by the number of complete years the person has been non-resident.

Subtract the chargeable gain from the total number of years the bond has been in force.

The number of complete years is also included in gains on death and full assignment for consideration.

The top slicing period is determined by when the bond was issued and whether it is an onshore or offshore bond.

  • Offshore bonds issued before April 6, 2013, will have a top slicing period that goes back to the bond’s genesis if they haven’t been incremented or assigned before then.
  • If there have been any past chargeable occurrences as a result of taking more than the cumulative 5% allowance, the top slicing period for all onshore bonds will be shortened. This includes offshore bonds that began (or were incremented or allocated) after April 5, 2013. The number of full years between the current chargeable event and the preceding one will be utilized as the timeframe.

Top slice relief – the HMRC guidance

A deduction from an individual’s overall income tax liability is known as top slicing relief. This is how it will show on HMRC and other accounting software products’ computations.

Budget 2020 includes changes that impacted the availability of the personal allowance when calculating top slicing relief. By concession, HMRC has agreed that these modifications will apply to all gains beginning in 2018/19. If tax has already been paid, those who filed tax returns on the old basis in 2018/19 or 2019/20 will get a tax adjustment and refund.

When calculating the’relieved liability’ (Step 2b below), the personal allowance is based on total income plus the sliced gain. This means that if the sum is less than £100,000, the whole personal allowance may be available. In both step 1 ‘total tax liability’ and step 2a ‘total liability,’ the full gain is applied to calculate the personal allowance.

HMRC’s guidance for gains arising before 6 April 2018 is that the personal allowance will be available if the full bond gain is added to income at all stages of the bond gain computation.

The personal savings allowance will continue to be calculated based on overall income, including the full bond gain.

Furthermore, it has been stated that while determining the amount of top slicing relief that may be available, it is not possible to set income against allowances in the most advantageous way for the taxpayer. For this purpose, bond gains have traditionally made up the largest portion of revenue.

  • To assess a taxpayer’s eligibility for the personal allowance (PA), personal savings allowance (PSA), and starting rate band for savings, add all taxable income together (SRBS)
  • Calculate income tax based on the typical sequence of income rules, including all bond gains.
  • The amount of any gain falling inside the personal allowance reduces the deemed basic rate tax paid.
  • Total income plus the slicing gain determines the amount of personal allowance available (for gains on or after 6 April 2018)
  • Total income plus the complete gain determines the amount of personal allowance available (current HMRC guidance for pre 6 April 2018 gains)
  • Subtract the basic rate tax owed on the sliced gain (both onshore and offshore)
  • (total gains – unused personal allowance) x 20% is the considered basic rate tax paid.