Last updated on:
March 17, 2024

Bonds are essentially loans made by investors to bond issuers, which can be governments or corporations. By purchasing a bond, you're lending money to the issuer in exchange for periodic interest payments and the return of the bond's face value at maturity. Bonds represent a significant segment of corporate debt and are considered a more formal and structured type of IOU.

Key Aspects of Bonds

  • Interest Payments: Bonds typically pay interest to holders, known as "coupon payments," at fixed intervals until maturity.
  • Price and Interest Rate Relationship: Bond prices inversely relate to interest rates. When interest rates rise, bond prices tend to fall, and vice versa.
  • Risk and Return: Bonds are generally seen as less risky than stocks but offer lower potential returns.

Tax Implications of Bonds

  • Income from Coupons: The interest earned from bond coupons is taxable as savings interest.
  • Selling Government Bonds: Profits from selling government bonds, or gilts, are exempt from tax.
  • Investment Bonds and ISAs: Earnings from bonds within an ISA are tax-free. Investment bonds have a different tax treatment, with profits taxed at 20% within the bond itself.

Bond Investors

Bonds attract a range of investors, including both private individuals and institutional investors. The strategy for earning can vary:

  • Interest Income: Some investors hold bonds to maturity to collect interest payments.
  • Capital Gains: Others may sell bonds at a higher price than the purchase price for a profit.

Tax Efficiency and Bonds

Investment bonds in the UK offer a tax-efficient way to invest, especially for higher and Additional Rate Taxpayers. While profits within the bond are taxed at 20%, investors have an annual 5% withdrawal allowance that can be carried forward, offering a method to manage tax liabilities efficiently.

When the bond matures or is cashed in, any tax due above the basic rate may be charged, making it crucial for investors to plan for potential tax implications.


Bonds are a staple in diversified investment portfolios, offering regular income through interest payments and potential for Capital Gains. Understanding their tax implications is crucial for effective investment planning and maximizing after-tax returns.

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