Tax rules for bond investors

Bonds are one of the best and easiest ways to invest money or savings. Depending on the kind of bond, the rate of interest and income will be determined.

What is the Definition of Taxes on Bonds UK?

Bonds can be defined as a fixed investment for income. The bonds are a loan to the issuer, which is either a corporation or a government. These bonds have a fixed time period, and the income generated by the rate of interest associated with the bond.

Investors with bonds are considered creditors or debt holders for a company or the government.

What are the types of bonds?

Taxes on Bonds

There are seven kinds of bonds available for investing in the U.K:

  • Gilts or UK Government Bonds
  • Undated or perpetual Gilts
  • Indexed Linked Gilts
  • Conventional Gilts
  • PIBS or Permanent Interest Bearing Shares
  • Convertible bonds
  • Subordinated bonds

An investor can choose any one of the options given above to make according to their tax bracket. If the person has a bigger tax bracket, such a person should invest in the lower-yield bonds. And if you have fewer tax liabilities, one can invest in higher-income bonds. Furthermore, the investor may also choose to invest according to their risk tolerance.

Whichever the case may be, all bonds, in the end, will give out the sum invested along with some interest paid by the issuer as income.

Also, the investor feels more secure when they invest in government bonds. Government bonds, be it of any kind, offer security as well as money in return.

Identifying chargeable events

Tax is only due when a gain on a chargeable event is calculated. The following are examples of chargeable events:

  • Benefits on death - Death is not a chargeable event if it does not result in benefits. Consider a bond with two lives assured that is structured to pay out on the second death; in such a case, the death of the first life assured does not result in a chargeable event.
  • All rights under the policy are assigned in exchange for money or moneys worth (Assignment) - An assignment with no value does not trigger a chargeable event, i.e. not for money or moneys worth. As a result, gifting a bond does not result in a chargeable event. This opens up possibilities for tax planning.

    Specific assignments which are not for money or moneys worth

    • Spouses or civil partners living together.
    • As a form of security for a debt, such as one owed to a lending institution like a bank.
    • On the discharge of a policy-secured debt, such as reassignment by the bank when the loan is paid off.
  • Certain part surrenders and part assignments are permitted
    • Part surrenders - the 5% rule -When a policy is incremented within the same contract, the amount then trigger its own 5% allowance to begin in the insurance year in which the increment occurs. If a part surrender exceeds a certain threshold, it will result in a chargeable event gain. Part surrenders of up to 5% of accumulated premiums are permitted without incurring an immediate tax charge (S507 ITTOIA 2005). Withdrawals are tax-deferred rather than tax-free.
    • Part assignments -As previously stated, an assignment for money or involvement of money is a chargeable event. A part assignment for money or moneys worth is thus a chargeable event that falls under the purview of the part surrender rules. A part assignment for money or moneys worth is unusual, but it could happen in the case of a divorce without a court order.
  • Policy loans - This applies when a loan is made with the insurer under an agreement and is only considered an agreement when it is made to a person at their direction, which also includes third-party loans. Any unpaid interest applied to the loan account by the life office would be considered as additional loans, resulting in part surrenders.
  • Maturity (if appropriate) - if the total amount paid out plus any previous capital payments exceed the total premiums paid plus the total gains on previous part surrenders or part assignments.
  • All rights under the policy are surrendered.

Bonds and Taxation

With bonds, one must remember that there are two kinds of tax systems:

The various kinds of bonds are subject to various kinds of taxation.

What you need to know about the taxation regime for UK Investment Bonds

Bond Funds, Individual Bonds, Individual gilts and ETF bonds are taxed at the income tax rate of 20%. However, the interest paid for Bond Funds is on the 20% net rate. And in other cases, the interest is paid by following gross valuations, meaning they are paid without the deduction of taxes.

Furthermore, it must be remembered that if an individual holds more than 60% of an investment fund, and the payment is made by way of interest paid and not by way of dividends, the investor will result in a pinch. In this case, the investor will have to pay the tax at the regular/standard rate rather than that of the dividend rate, which is a big problem. Furthermore, if your interest rate is paid with gross valuations, you will have to pay interest on it.

Capital gains from the investment in gilts are free of any capital gain. Even if an investor sells or buys such bonds, the government will not charge any tax on the matter. However, if the loss is incurred, the investor cannot simply set it off or carry it forward.

If an investor invests or buys indexed-linked bonds issued by a company, then such a person will be paid above the present percentage of inflation. Now, the money paid to the investor above the inflation rate is taxable. And the investor will, without a doubt, have to pay the amount. Along with this, another matter is Index-linked bonds by the government. If a person invests their money in the index-linked bonds provided by the government, then the investor is free of the tax.

But if your investment is ISA or SIPP approved, you may be exempt from paying the amount of interest as deducted or allowed to be deducted. But it must be remembered that there are some rules and regulations. First things first, the minimum period of your bond should be at least five years. Furthermore, the amount of money in the account should not exceed the amount given for the year. An exceeding amount will attract taxes. Some gilts in the UK are free of tax.

With different forms of bonds, there is a different kind of tax liability on the income. The rate of interest is decided as per the kind of bond as well. Furthermore, the investment in bonds should be undertaken by keeping your tax brackets in minds and your risk tolerance. Since taxes and bonds are a complex matter, it is always better to be advised and have a specialist explain everything in detail from time to time.


All incomes and gains earned on an investment bond are taxed at a rate of 20% and paid directly from the bond. Withdrawals of up to 5% a year are permitted for a period of up to 20 years without incurring a tax charge additionally. For example - If you dont use the 5% allowance in a given year, it is rolled over to the next year. If you dont withdraw anything in year one, you can withdraw up to 10% the next year without incurring a tax liability. If you fall in the category of a higher-rate or additional rate taxpayer and pay 40% or 45 per cent on your taxes in the current tax year, it will reduce the income tax bill and save a lot of your money.

Bonds are a stable and conservative investment that adds stability to almost any diversified portfolio. It is a great investment vehicle where your amount is not at risk, and you can save much money.

Bonds are often touted as being less risky investment than stocks, but that doesnt mean you cant lose money if you buy them.

Yes, it is a great time to buy tax-free bonds as Some investments guarantee that you will not lose more money than you put in. You can also choose a bond that allows you to diversify and make various investments, so the risk should be less, and returns should be more.

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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.

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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.


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