Publication 1212 - Main Content


Definitions

The following terms are used throughout this publication. “Original issue discount” is defined first. The other terms are listed alphabetically.

Original issue discount (OID).   OID is a form of interest. It is the excess of a debt instrument's stated redemption price at maturity over its issue price (acquisition price for a stripped bond or coupon). Zero coupon bonds and debt instruments that pay no stated interest until maturity are examples of debt instruments that have OID.

Accrual period.   An accrual period is an interval of time used to measure OID. The length of an accrual period can be 6 months, a year, or some other period, depending on when the debt instrument was issued.

Acquisition premium.   Acquisition premium is the excess of a debt instrument's adjusted basis immediately after purchase, including purchase at original issue, over the debt instrument's adjusted issue price at that time. A debt instrument does not have acquisition premium, however, if the debt instrument was purchased at a premium. See Premium, later.

Adjusted issue price.   The adjusted issue price of a debt instrument at the beginning of an accrual period is used to figure the OID allocable to that period. In general, the adjusted issue price at the beginning of the debt instrument's first accrual period is its issue price. The adjusted issue price at the beginning of any subsequent accrual period is the sum of the issue price and all the OID includible in income before that accrual period minus any payment previously made on the debt instrument, other than a payment of qualified stated interest.

Debt instrument.   The term “debt instrument” means any instrument or contractual arrangement that constitutes indebtedness under general principles of federal income tax law (including, for example, a bond, debenture, note, certificate, or other evidence of indebtedness). It generally does not include an annuity contract.

Issue price.   For debt instruments listed in Section I-A and Section I-B, the issue price generally is the initial offering price to the public (excluding bond houses and brokers) at which a substantial amount of these instruments was sold.

Market discount.   Market discount arises when a debt instrument purchased in the secondary market has decreased in value since its issue date, generally because of an increase in interest rates. An OID debt instrument has market discount if your adjusted basis in the debt instrument immediately after you acquired it (usually its purchase price) was less than the debt instrument's issue price plus the total OID that accrued before you acquired it. The market discount is the difference between the issue price plus accrued OID and your adjusted basis.

Premium.   A debt instrument is purchased at a premium if its adjusted basis immediately after purchase is greater than the total of all amounts payable on the debt instrument after the purchase date, other than qualified stated interest. The premium is the excess of the adjusted basis over the payable amounts. See Publication 550 for information on the tax treatment of bond premium.

Qualified stated interest.   In general, qualified stated interest is stated interest that is unconditionally payable in cash or property (other than debt instruments of the issuer) at least annually over the term of the debt instrument at a single fixed rate.

Stated redemption price at maturity.   A debt instrument's stated redemption price at maturity is the sum of all amounts (principal and interest) payable on the debt instrument other than qualified stated interest.

Yield to maturity (YTM).   In general, the YTM is the discount rate that, when used in figuring the present value of all principal and interest payments, produces an amount equal to the issue price of the debt instrument. The YTM is generally shown on the face of the debt instrument or in the literature you receive from your broker. If you do not have this information, consult your broker, tax advisor, or the issuer.

Debt Instruments on the OID List

The OID list on the IRS website can be used by brokers and other middlemen to prepare information returns.

If you own a listed debt instrument, you generally should not rely on the information in the OID list to determine (or compare) the OID to be reported on your tax return. The OID amounts listed are figured without reference to the price or date at which you acquired the debt instrument. For information about determining the OID to be reported on your tax return, see the instructions for figuring OID under Information for Owners of OID Debt Instruments, later.

The following discussions explain what information is contained in each section of the list.

Section I.   This section contains publicly offered, long-term debt instruments.
  • Section I-A: Corporate Debt Instruments Issued Before 1985.

  • Section I-B: Corporate Debt Instruments Issued After 1984.

  • Section I-C: Inflation-Indexed Debt Instruments.

For each publicly offered debt instrument in Section I, the list contains the following information.

  • The name of the issuer.

  • The Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures (CUSIP) number.

  • The issue date.

  • The maturity date.

  • The issue price expressed as a percent of principal or of stated redemption price at maturity.

  • The annual stated or coupon interest rate. (This rate is shown as 0.00 if no annual interest payments are provided.)

  • The yield to maturity will be added to Section I-B for bonds issued after December 31, 2006.

  • The total OID accrued up to January 1 of a calendar year. (This information is not available for every instrument.)

  • For long-term debt instruments issued after July 1, 1982, the daily OID for the accrual periods falling in a calendar year and a subsequent year.

  • The total OID per $1,000 of principal or maturity value for a calendar year and a subsequent year.

Section II.   This section contains stripped coupons and principal components of U.S. Treasury and Government-Sponsored Enterprise debt instruments. These stripped components are available through the Department of the Treasury's Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (STRIPS) program and government-sponsored enterprises such as the Resolution Funding Corporation. This section also includes debt instruments backed by U.S. Treasury securities that represent ownership interests in those securities.

  The obligations listed in Section II are arranged by maturity date. The amounts listed are the total OID for a calendar year per $1,000 of redemption price.

Section III.   This section contains short-term discount obligations.
  • Section III-A: Short-Term U.S. Treasury Bills.

  • Section III-B: Federal Home Loan Banks.

  • Section III-C: Federal National Mortgage Association.

  • Section III-D: Federal Farm Credit Banks.

  • Section III-E: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.

  • Section III-F: Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.

  
Information that supplements Section III-A is available on the Internet at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/tdhome.htm.

  The short-term obligations listed in this section are arranged by maturity date. For each obligation, the list contains the CUSIP number, maturity date, issue date, issue price (expressed as a percent of principal), and discount to be reported as interest for a calendar year per $1,000 of redemption price. Brokers and other middlemen should rely on the issue price information in Section III only if they are unable to determine the price actually paid by the owner.

Debt Instruments Not on the OID List

The list of debt instruments discussed earlier does not contain the following items.

  • U.S. savings bonds.

  • Certificates of deposit and other face-amount certificates issued at a discount, including syndicated certificates of deposit.

  • Obligations issued by tax-exempt organizations.

  • OID debt instruments that matured or were entirely called by the issuer before the tables were posted on the IRS website.

  • Mortgage-backed securities and mortgage participation certificates.

  • Long-term OID debt instruments issued before May 28, 1969.

  • Short-term obligations, other than the obligations listed in Section III.

  • Debt instruments issued at a discount by states or their political subdivisions.

  • REMIC regular interests and CDOs.

  • Commercial paper and banker's acceptances issued at a discount.

  • Obligations issued at a discount by individuals.

  • Foreign obligations not traded in the United States and obligations not issued in the United States.

Information for Brokers and Other Middlemen

The following discussions contain specific instructions for brokers and middlemen who hold or redeem a debt instrument for the owner.

In general, you must file a Form 1099 for the debt instrument if the interest or OID to be included in the owner's income for a calendar year totals $10 or more. You also must file a Form 1099 if you were required to deduct and withhold tax, even if the interest or OID is less than $10. See Backup Withholding, later.

If you must file a Form 1099, furnish a copy to the owner of the debt instrument by January 31 in the year it is due. File all your Forms 1099 with the IRS, accompanied by Form 1096, by February 28 in the year it is due (March 31 if you file electronically).

Electronic payee statements.   You can issue Form 1099-OID electronically with the consent of the recipient.

More information.   For more information, including penalties for failure to file (or furnish) required information returns or statements, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G) for the appropriate calendar year.

Short-Term Obligations Redeemed at Maturity

If you redeem a short-term discount obligation for the owner at maturity, you must report the discount as interest on Form 1099-INT.

To figure the discount, use the purchase price shown on the owner's copy of the purchase confirmation receipt or similar record, or the price shown in your transaction records.

If you sell the obligation for the owner before maturity, you must file Form 1099-B to reflect the gross proceeds to the seller. Do not report the accrued discount to the date of sale on either Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID.

If the owner's purchase price cannot be determined, figure the discount as if the owner had purchased the obligation at its original issue price. A special rule is used to determine the original issue price for information reporting on U.S. Treasury bills (T-bills) listed in Section III-A. Under this rule, you treat as the original issue price of the T-bill the noncompetitive (weighted average of accepted auction bids) discount price for the longest-maturity T-bill maturing on the same date as the T-bill being redeemed. This noncompetitive discount price is the issue price (expressed as a percent of principal) shown in Section III-A.

A similar rule is used to figure the discount on short-term discount obligations issued by the organizations listed in Section III-B through Section III-F.

Example 1.

There are 13-week and 26-week T-bills maturing on the same date as the T-bill being redeemed. The price actually paid by the owner cannot be established by owner or middleman records. You treat as the issue price of the T-bill the noncompetitive discount price (expressed as a percent of principal) shown in Section III-A for a 26-week bill maturing on the same date as the T-bill redeemed. The interest you report on Form 1099-INT is the OID (per $1,000 of principal) shown in Section III-A for that obligation.

Long-Term Debt Instruments

If you hold a long-term OID debt instrument as a nominee for the true owner, you generally must file Form 1099-OID. For this purpose, you can rely on Section I of the OID list to determine the following information.

  • Whether a debt instrument has OID.

  • The OID to be reported on the Form 1099-OID.

In general, you must report OID on publicly offered, long-term debt instruments listed in Section I. You also can report OID on other long-term debt instruments.

Form 1099-OID.   On Form 1099-OID for a calendar year show the following information.
  • Box 1. The OID for the actual dates the owner held the debt instruments during a calendar year. To determine this amount, see Figuring OID, next.

  • Box 2. The qualified stated interest paid or credited during the calendar year. Interest reported here is not reported on Form 1099-INT. The qualified stated interest on Treasury inflation-protected securities may be reported on Form 1099-INT in box 3 instead.

  • Box 3. Any interest or principal forfeited because of an early withdrawal that the owner can deduct from gross income. Do not reduce the amounts in boxes 1 and 2 by the forfeiture.

  • Box 4. Any backup withholding for this debt instrument.

  • Box 7. The CUSIP number, if any. If there is no CUSIP number, give a description of the debt instrument, including the abbreviation for the stock exchange, the abbreviation used by the stock exchange for the issuer, the coupon rate, and the year of maturity (for example, NYSE XYZ 12.50 2006). If the issuer of the debt instrument is other than the payer, show the name of the issuer in this box.

  • Box 8. The OID on a U.S. Treasury obligation for the part of the year the owner held the debt instrument.

  • Box 9. Investment expenses passed on to holders of a single-class REMIC.

  • Boxes 10-12. Use to report any state income tax withheld for this debt instrument.

Figuring OID.   You can determine the OID on a long-term debt instrument by using either of the following.
  • Section I of the OID list.

  • The income tax regulations.

Using Section I.   If the owner held the debt instrument for the entire calendar year, report the OID shown in Section I for the calendar year. Because OID is listed for each $1,000 of stated redemption price at maturity, you must adjust the listed amount to reflect the debt instrument's actual stated redemption price at maturity. For example, if the debt instrument's stated redemption price at maturity is $500, report one-half the listed OID.

  If the owner held the debt instrument for less than the entire calendar year, figure the OID to report as follows.
  1. Look up the daily OID for the first accrual period in the calendar year during which the owner held the debt instrument.

  2. Multiply the daily OID by the number of days the owner held the debt instrument during that accrual period.

  3. Repeat steps (1) and (2) for any remaining accrual periods for the year during which the owner held the debt instrument.

  4. Add the results in steps (2) and (3) to determine the owner's OID per $1,000 of stated redemption price at maturity.

  5. If necessary, adjust the OID in (4) to reflect the debt instrument's stated redemption price at maturity.

Report the result on Form 1099-OID in box 1.

Using the income tax regulations.   Instead of using Section I to figure OID, you can use the regulations under sections 1272 through 1275 of the Internal Revenue Code. For example, under the regulations, you can use monthly accrual periods in figuring OID for a debt instrument issued after April 3, 1994, that provides for monthly payments. (If you use Section I-B, the OID is figured using 6-month accrual periods.)

  For a general explanation of the rules for figuring OID under the regulations, see Figuring OID on Long-Term Debt Instruments under Information for Owners of OID Debt Instruments, later.

Certificates of Deposit

If you hold a bank certificate of deposit (CD) as a nominee, you must determine whether the CD has OID and any OID includible in the income of the owner. You must file an information return showing the reportable interest and OID, if any, on the CD. These rules apply whether or not you sold the CD to the owner. Report OID on a CD in the same way as OID on other debt instruments. See Short-Term Obligations Redeemed at Maturity and Long-Term Debt Instruments, earlier.

Bearer Bonds and Coupons

If a coupon from a bearer bond is presented to you for collection before the bond matures, you generally must report the interest on Form 1099-INT. However, do not report the interest if either of the following apply.

  • You hold the bond as a nominee for the true owner.

  • The payee is a foreign person. See Payments to foreign person under Backup Withholding, later.

Because you cannot assume the presenter of the coupon also owns the bond, you should not report OID on the bond on Form 1099-OID. The coupon may have been “stripped” (separated) from the bond and separately purchased.

However, if a long-term bearer bond on the OID list is presented to you for redemption upon call or maturity, you should prepare a Form 1099-OID showing the OID for that calendar year, as well as any coupon interest payments collected at the time of redemption.

Backup Withholding

If you report OID on Form 1099-OID or interest on Form 1099-INT for a calendar year, you may be required to apply backup withholding to the reportable payment at a rate of 28%. The backup withholding is deducted at the time a cash payment is made. See Pub. 1281, Backup Withholding for Missing and Incorrect Name/TIN(s), for more information.

Backup withholding generally applies in the following situations.

  1. The payee does not give you a taxpayer identification number (TIN).

  2. The IRS notifies you that the payee gave an incorrect TIN.

  3. The IRS notifies you that the payee is subject to backup withholding due to payee underreporting.

  4. For debt instruments acquired after 1983:

    1. The payee does not certify, under penalties of perjury, that he or she is not subject to backup withholding under (3), or

    2. The payee does not certify, under penalties of perjury, that the TIN given is correct.

However, for short-term discount obligations (other than government obligations), bearer bonds and coupons, and U.S. savings bonds, backup withholding applies only if the payee does not give you a TIN or gives you an obviously incorrect number for a TIN.

Short-term obligations.   Backup withholding applies to OID on a short-term obligation only when the OID is paid at maturity. However, backup withholding applies to any interest payable before maturity when the interest is paid or credited.

  If the owner of a short-term obligation at maturity is not the original owner and can establish the purchase price of the obligation, the amount subject to backup withholding must be determined by treating the purchase price as the issue price. However, you can choose to disregard that price if it would require significant manual intervention in the computer or recordkeeping system used for the obligation. If the purchase price of a listed obligation is not established or is disregarded, you must use the issue price shown in Section III.

Long-term obligations.   If no cash payments are made on a long-term obligation before maturity, backup withholding applies only at maturity. The amount subject to backup withholding is the OID includible in the owner's gross income for the calendar year when the obligation matures. The amount to be withheld is limited to the cash paid.

Registered long-term obligations with cash payments.   If a registered long-term obligation has cash payments before maturity, backup withholding applies when a cash payment is made. The amount subject to backup withholding is the total of the qualified stated interest (defined earlier under Definitions) and OID includible in the owner's gross income for the calendar year when the payment is made. If more than one cash payment is made during the year, the OID subject to withholding for the year must be allocated among the expected cash payments in the ratio that each bears to the total of the expected cash payments. For any payment, the required withholding is limited to the cash paid.

Payee not the original owner.   If the payee is not the original owner of the obligation, the OID subject to backup withholding is the OID includible in the gross income of all owners during the calendar year (without regard to any amount paid by the new owner at the time of transfer). The amount subject to backup withholding at maturity of a listed obligation must be determined using the issue price shown in Section I.

Bearer long-term obligations with cash payments.   If a bearer long-term obligation has cash payments before maturity, backup withholding applies when the cash payments are made. For payments before maturity, the amount subject to withholding is the qualified stated interest (defined earlier under Definitions) includible in the owner's gross income for the calendar year. For a payment at maturity, the amount subject to withholding is only the total of any qualified stated interest paid at maturity and the OID includible in the owner's gross income for the calendar year when the obligation matures. The required withholding at maturity is limited to the cash paid.

Sales and redemptions.   If you report the gross proceeds from a sale, exchange, or redemption of a debt instrument on Form 1099-B for a calendar year, you may be required to withhold 28% of the amount reported. Backup withholding applies in the following situations.
  • The payee does not give you a TIN.

  • The IRS notifies you that the payee gave an incorrect TIN.

  • For debt instruments held in an account opened after 1983, the payee does not certify, under penalties of perjury, that the TIN given is correct.

Payments outside the United States to U.S. person.   The requirements for backup withholding and information reporting apply to payments of OID and interest made outside the United States to a U.S. person, a controlled foreign corporation, or a foreign person at least 50% of whose income for the preceding 3-year period is effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business.

Payments to foreign person.   The following discussions explain the rules for backup withholding and information reporting on payments to foreign persons.

U.S.-source amount.   Backup withholding and information reporting are not required for payments of U.S.-source OID, interest, or proceeds from a sale or redemption of an OID instrument if the payee has given you proof (generally the appropriate Form W-8 or an acceptable substitute) that the payee is a foreign person. A U.S. resident is not a foreign person. For proof of the payee's foreign status, you can rely on the appropriate Form W-8 or on documentary evidence for payments made outside the United States to an offshore account or, in case of broker proceeds, a sale effected outside the United States. Receipt of the appropriate Form W-8 does not relieve you from information reporting and backup withholding if you actually know the payee is a U.S. person.

  For information about the 28% withholding tax that may apply to payments of U.S.-source OID or interest to foreign persons, see Publication 515.

Foreign-source amount.   Backup withholding and information reporting are not required for payments of foreign-source OID and interest made outside the United States. However, if the payments are made inside the United States, the requirements for backup withholding and information reporting will apply unless the payee has given you the appropriate Form W-8 or acceptable substitute as proof that the payee is a foreign person.

More information.   For more information about backup withholding and information reporting on foreign-source amounts or payments to foreign persons, see Regulations section 1.6049-5.

Information for Owners of OID Debt Instruments

This section is for persons who prepare their own tax returns. It discusses the income tax rules for figuring and reporting OID on long-term debt instruments. It also includes a similar discussion for stripped bonds and coupons, such as zero coupon bonds available through the Department of the Treasury's STRIPS program and government-sponsored enterprises such as the Resolution Funding Corporation. However, the information provided does not cover every situation. More information can be found in the regulations under sections 1271 through 1275 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Including OID in income.   Generally, you include OID in income as it accrues each year, whether or not you receive any payments from the debt instrument issuer.

Exceptions.   The rules for including OID in income as it accrues generally do not apply to the following debt instruments.
  • U.S. savings bonds.

  • Tax-exempt obligations. (However, see Tax-Exempt Bonds and Coupons, later.)

  • Obligations issued by individuals before March 2, 1984.

  • Loans of $10,000 or less between individuals who are not in the business of lending money. (The dollar limit includes outstanding prior loans by the lender to the borrower.) This exception does not apply if a principal purpose of the loan is to avoid any federal tax.

  See chapter 1 of Publication 550 for information about the rules for these and other types of discounted debt instruments, such as short-term and market discount obligations. Publication 550 also discusses rules for holders of REMIC interests and CDOs.

De minimis rule.   You can treat OID as zero if the total OID on a debt instrument is less than one-fourth of 1% (.0025) of the stated redemption price at maturity multiplied by the number of full years from the date of original issue to maturity. Debt instruments with de minimis OID are not listed in this publication. There are special rules to determine the de minimis amount in the case of debt instruments that provide for more than one payment of principal. Also, the de minimis rules generally do not apply to tax-exempt obligations.

Example 2.

You bought at issuance a 10-year debt instrument with a stated redemption price at maturity of $1,000, issued at $980 with OID of $20. One-fourth of 1% of $1,000 (the stated redemption price) times 10 (the number of full years from the date of original issue to maturity) equals $25. Under the de minimis rule, you can treat the OID as zero because the $20 discount is less than $25.

Example 3.

Assume the same facts as Example 2, except the debt instrument was issued at $950. You must report part of the $50 OID each year because it is more than $25.

Choice to report all interest as OID.   Generally, you can choose to treat all interest on a debt instrument acquired after April 3, 1994, as OID and include it in gross income by using the constant yield method. See Constant yield method under Debt Instruments Issued After 1984, later, for more information.

  For this choice, interest includes stated interest, acquisition discount, OID, de minimis OID, market discount, de minimis market discount, and unstated interest, as adjusted by any amortizable bond premium or acquisition premium. For more information, see Regulations section 1.1272-3.

Purchase after date of original issue.   A debt instrument you purchased after the date of original issue may have premium, acquisition premium, or market discount. If so, the OID reported to you on Form 1099-OID may have to be adjusted. For more information, see Showing an OID adjustment under How To Report OID, later. The following rules generally do not apply to contingent payment debt instruments.

Adjustment for premium.   If your debt instrument (other than an inflation-indexed debt instrument) has premium, do not report any OID as ordinary income. Your adjustment is the total OID shown on your Form 1099-OID.

Adjustment for acquisition premium.   If your debt instrument has acquisition premium, reduce the OID you report. Your adjustment is the difference between the OID shown on your Form 1099-OID and the reduced OID amount figured using the rules explained later under Figuring OID on Long-Term Debt Instruments.

Adjustment for market discount.   If your debt instrument has market discount that you choose to include in income currently, increase the OID you report. Your adjustment is the accrued market discount for the year.

See Market Discount Bonds in chapter 1 of Publication 550 for information on how to figure accrued market discount and include it in your income currently and for other information about market discount bonds. If you choose to use the constant yield method to figure accrued market discount, also see Figuring OID on Long-Term Debt Instruments, later. The constant yield method of figuring accrued OID, explained in those discussions under Constant yield method, is also used to figure accrued market discount.

For more information concerning premium or market discount on an inflation-indexed debt instrument, see Regulations section 1.1275-7.

Sale, exchange, or redemption.   Generally, you treat your gain or loss from the sale, exchange, or redemption of a discounted debt instrument as a capital gain or loss if you held the debt instrument as a capital asset. If you sold the debt instrument through a broker, you should receive Form 1099-B or an equivalent statement from the broker. Use the Form 1099-B or other statement and your brokerage statements to complete Form 8949, and Schedule D (Form 1040).

  Your gain or loss is the difference between the amount you realized on the sale, exchange, or redemption and your basis in the debt instrument. Your basis, generally, is your cost increased by the OID you have included in income each year you held it. In general, to determine your gain or loss on a tax-exempt bond, figure your basis in the bond by adding to your cost the OID you would have included in income if the bond had been taxable.

  See chapter 4 of Publication 550 for more information about the tax treatment of the sale or redemption of discounted debt instruments.

Example 4.

Larry, a calendar year taxpayer, bought a corporate debt instrument at original issue for $86,235.00 on November 1 of Year 1. The 15-year debt instrument matures on October 31 of Year 16 at a stated redemption price of $100,000. The debt instrument provides for semiannual payments of interest at 10%. Assume the debt instrument is a capital asset in Larry's hands. The debt instrument has $13,765.00 of OID ($100,000 stated redemption price at maturity minus $86,235.00 issue price).

Larry sold the debt instrument for $90,000 on November 1 of Year 4. Including the OID he will report for the period he held the debt instrument in Year 4, Larry has included $4,556.00 of OID in income and has increased his basis by that amount to $90,791.00. Larry has realized a loss of $791.00. All of Larry's loss is capital loss.

Form 1099-OID

The issuer of the debt instrument (or your broker, if you purchased or held the debt instrument through a broker) should give you a copy of Form 1099-OID or a similar statement if the accrued OID for the calendar year is $10 or more and the term of the debt instrument is more than 1 year. Form 1099-OID shows all OID income in box 1 except OID on a U.S. Treasury obligation, which is shown in box 8. It also shows, in box 2, any qualified stated interest you must include in income. (However, any qualified stated interest on Treasury inflation-protected securities can be reported on Form 1099-INT in box 3.) A copy of Form 1099-OID will be sent to the IRS. Do not attach your copy to your tax return. Keep it for your records.

If you are required to file a tax return and you receive Form 1099-OID showing taxable amounts, you must report these amounts on your return. A 20% accuracy-related penalty may be charged for underpayment of tax due to either negligence or disregard of rules and regulations or substantial understatement of tax.

Form 1099-OID not received.   If you held an OID debt instrument for a calendar year but did not receive a Form 1099-OID, refer to the discussions under Figuring OID on Long-Term Debt Instruments, later, for information on the OID you must report.

Refiguring OID.   You must refigure the OID shown on Form 1099-OID, in box 1 or box 8, to determine the proper amount to include in income if one of the following applies.
  • You bought the debt instrument at a premium or at an acquisition premium.

  • The debt instrument is a stripped bond or coupon (including zero coupon bonds backed by U.S. Treasury securities).

  • The debt instrument is a contingent payment or inflation-indexed debt instrument.

See the discussions under Figuring OID on Long-Term Debt Instruments or Figuring OID on Stripped Bonds and Coupons, later, for the specific computations.

Refiguring interest.   If you disposed of a debt instrument or acquired it from another holder between interest dates, see the discussion under Bonds Sold Between Interest Dates in chapter 1 of Publication 550 for information about refiguring the interest shown on Form 1099-OID in box 2.

Nominee.   If you are the holder of an OID debt instrument and you receive a Form 1099-OID that shows your taxpayer identification number and includes amounts belonging to another person, you are considered a “nominee.” You must file another Form 1099-OID for each actual owner, showing the OID for the owner. Show the owner of the debt instrument as the “recipient” and you as the “payer.

  Complete Form 1099-OID and Form 1096 and file the forms with the Internal Revenue Service Center for your area. You must also give a copy of the Form 1099-OID to the actual owner. However, you are not required to file a nominee return to show amounts belonging to your spouse. See the Form 1099 instructions for more information.

  When preparing your tax return, follow the instructions under Showing an OID adjustment in the next discussion.

How To Report OID

Generally, you report your taxable interest and OID income on the interest line of Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040.

Form 1040 or Form 1040A required.   You must use Form 1040 or Form 1040A (you cannot use Form 1040EZ) under either of the following conditions.
  • You received a Form 1099-OID as a nominee for the actual owner.

  • Your total interest and OID income for the year was more than $1,500.

Form 1040 required.   You must use Form 1040 (you cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ) if you are reporting more or less OID than the amount shown on Form 1099-OID, other than because you are a nominee. For example, if you paid a premium or an acquisition premium when you purchased the debt instrument, you must use Form 1040 because you will report less OID than shown on Form 1099-OID. Also, you must use Form 1040 if you were charged an early withdrawal penalty.

Where to report.   List each payer's name (if a brokerage firm gave you a Form 1099, list the brokerage firm as the payer) and the amount received from each payer on Form 1040A, Schedule B, Part I, line 1, or Form 1040, Schedule B, line 1. Include all OID and periodic interest shown on any Form 1099-OID, boxes 1, 2, and 8, you received for the tax year. Also include any other OID and interest income for which you did not receive a Form 1099.

Showing an OID adjustment.   If you use Form 1040 to report more or less OID than shown on Form 1099-OID, list the full OID on Schedule B, Part I, line 1, and follow the instructions under 1 or 2, next.

  If you use Form 1040A to report the OID shown on a Form 1099-OID you received as a nominee for the actual owner, list the full OID on Schedule B, Part I, line 1 and follow the instructions under 1.
  1. If the OID, as adjusted, is less than the amount shown on Form 1099-OID, show the adjustment as follows.

    1. Under your last entry on line 1, subtotal all interest and OID income listed on line 1.

    2. Below the subtotal, write “Nominee Distribution” or “OID Adjustment” and show the OID you are not required to report.

    3. Subtract that OID from the subtotal and enter the result on line 2.

  2. If the OID, as adjusted, is more than the amount shown on Form 1099-OID, show the adjustment as follows.

    1. Under your last entry on line 1, subtotal all interest and OID income listed on line 1.

    2. Below the subtotal, write “OID Adjustment” and show the additional OID.

    3. Add that OID to the subtotal and enter the result on line 2.

Figuring OID on Long-Term Debt Instruments

How you figure the OID on a long-term debt instrument depends on the date it was issued. It also may depend on the type of the debt instrument. There are different rules for each of the following debt instruments.

  1. Corporate debt instruments issued after 1954 and before May 28, 1969, and government debt instruments issued after 1954 and before July 2, 1982.

  2. Corporate debt instruments issued after May 27, 1969, and before July 2, 1982.

  3. Debt instruments issued after July 1, 1982, and before 1985.

  4. Debt instruments issued after 1984 (other than debt instruments described in (5) and (6)).

  5. Contingent payment debt instruments issued after August 12, 1996.

  6. Inflation-indexed debt instruments (including Treasury inflation-protected securities) issued after January 5, 1997.

Zero coupon bonds.   The rules for figuring OID on zero coupon bonds backed by U.S. Treasury securities are discussed under Figuring OID on Stripped Bonds and Coupons, later.

Corporate Debt Instruments Issued After 1954 and Before May 28, 1969, and Government Debt Instruments Issued After 1954 and Before July 2, 1982

If you hold these debt instruments as capital assets, you include OID in income only in the year the debt instrument is sold, exchanged, or redeemed, and only if you have a gain. The OID, which is taxed as ordinary income, generally equals the following amount.

  number of full months 
you held the debt instrument  
number of full months from date of original issue to date of maturity
X original issue discount

The balance of the gain is capital gain. If there is a loss on the sale of the debt instrument, the entire loss is a capital loss and no OID is reported.

Corporate Debt Instruments Issued After May 27, 1969, and Before July 2, 1982

If you hold these debt instruments as capital assets, you must include part of the OID in income each year you own the debt instruments. For information about showing the correct OID on your tax return, see the discussion under How To Report OID, earlier. Your basis in the debt instrument is increased by the OID you include in income.

Form 1099-OID.   You should receive a Form 1099-OID showing OID for the part of the year you held the debt instrument. However, if you paid an acquisition premium, you may need to refigure the OID to report on your tax return. See Reduction for acquisition premium, later.

If you held an OID debt instrument in a calendar year but did not receive a Form 1099-OID, see Form 1099-OID not received, immediately below, and refer to Section I-A available at www.irs.gov/pub1212 by clicking the link under Recent Developments.

Form 1099-OID not received.    The OID listed is for each $1,000 of redemption price. You must adjust the listed amount if your debt instrument has a different principal amount. For example, if you have a debt instrument with a $500 principal amount, use one-half the listed amount to figure your OID.

  If you held the debt instrument the entire year, use the OID shown in Section I-A for a calendar year. (If your debt instrument is not listed in Section I-A, consult the issuer for information about the issue price and the OID that accrued for that year.) If you did not hold the debt instrument the entire year, figure your OID using the following method.
  1. Divide the OID shown by 12.

  2. Multiply the result in (1) by the number of complete and partial months (for example, 6½ months) you held the debt instrument during a calendar year. This is the OID to include in income unless you paid an acquisition premium. The reduction for acquisition premium is discussed next.

Reduction for acquisition premium.   If you bought the debt instrument at an acquisition premium, figure the OID to include in income as follows.
  1. Divide the total OID on the debt instrument by the number of complete months, and any part of a month, from the date of original issue to the maturity date. This is the monthly OID.

  2. Subtract from your cost the issue price and the accumulated OID from the date of issue to the date of purchase. (If the result is zero or less, stop here. You did not pay an acquisition premium.)

  3. Divide the amount figured in (2) by the number of complete months, and any part of a month, from the date of your purchase to the maturity date.

  4. Subtract the amount figured in (3) from the amount figured in (1). This is the OID to include in income for each month you hold the debt instrument during the year.

Transfers during the month.   If you buy or sell a debt instrument on any day other than the same day of the month as the date of original issue, the ratable monthly portion of OID for the month of sale is divided between the seller and the buyer according to the number of days each held the debt instrument. Your holding period for this purpose begins the day you acquire the debt instrument and ends the day before you dispose of it.

Debt Instruments Issued After July 1, 1982, and Before 1985

If you hold these debt instruments as capital assets, you must include part of the OID in income each year you own the debt instruments and increase your basis by the amount included. For information about showing the correct OID on your tax return, see How To Report OID, earlier.

Form 1099-OID.   You should receive a Form 1099-OID showing OID for the part of the year you held the debt instrument. However, if you paid an acquisition premium, you may need to refigure the OID to report on your tax return. See Constant yield method and the discussions on acquisition premium that follow, later.

If you held an OID debt instrument in a calendar year but did not receive a Form 1099-OID, see Form 1099-OID not received, immediately below, and refer to Section I-A available at www.irs.gov/pub1212 by clicking the link under Recent Developments.

Form 1099-OID not received.    The OID listed is for each $1,000 of redemption price. You must adjust the listed amount if your debt instrument has a different principal amount. For example, if you have a debt instrument with a $500 principal amount, use one-half the listed amount to figure your OID.

  If you held the debt instrument the entire year, use the OID shown in Section I-A. (If your instrument is not listed in Section I-A, consult the issuer for information about the issue price, the yield to maturity, and the OID that accrued for that year.) If you did not hold the debt instrument the entire year, figure your OID using either of the following methods.

Method 1.   
  1. Divide the total OID for a calendar year by 365 (366 for leap years).

  2. Multiply the result in (1) by the number of days you held the debt instrument during that particular year.

 
This computation is an approximation and may result in a slightly higher OID than Method 2.

Method 2.   
  1. Look up the daily OID for the first accrual period you held the debt instrument during a calendar year. (See Accrual period under Constant yield method, next.)

  2. Multiply the daily OID by the number of days you held the debt instrument during that accrual period.

  3. If you held the debt instrument for part of both accrual periods, repeat (1) and (2) for the second accrual period.

  4. Add the results of (2) and (3). This is the OID to include in income, unless you paid an acquisition premium. (The reduction for acquisition premium is discussed later.)

Constant yield method.   This discussion shows how to figure OID on debt instruments issued after July 1, 1982, and before 1985, using a constant yield method. OID is allocated over the life of the debt instrument through adjustments to the issue price for each accrual period.

  Figure the OID allocable to any accrual period as follows.
  1. Multiply the adjusted issue price at the beginning of the accrual period by the debt instrument's yield to maturity.

  2. Subtract from the result in (1) any qualified stated interest allocable to the accrual period.

Accrual period.   An accrual period for any OID debt instrument issued after July 1, 1982, and before 1985 is each 1-year period beginning on the date of the issue of the obligation and each anniversary thereafter, or the shorter period to maturity for the last accrual period. Your tax year will usually include parts of two accrual periods.

Daily OID.   The OID for any accrual period is allocated equally to each day in the accrual period. You must include in income the sum of the OID amounts for each day you hold the debt instrument during the year. If your tax year includes parts of two or more accrual periods, you must include the proper daily OID amounts for each accrual period.

Figuring daily OID.   The daily OID for the initial accrual period is figured using the following formula.
  (ip × ytm) − qsi  
  p  
ip = issue price
ytm = yield to maturity
qsi = qualified stated interest
p = number of days in accrual period
     

  The daily OID for subsequent accrual periods is figured the same way except the adjusted issue price at the beginning of each period is used in the formula instead of the issue price.

Reduction for acquisition premium on debt instruments purchased before July 19, 1984.   If you bought the debt instrument at an acquisition premium before July 19, 1984, figure the OID includible in income by reducing the daily OID by the daily acquisition premium. Figure the daily acquisition premium by dividing the total acquisition premium by the number of days in the period beginning on your purchase date and ending on the day before the date of maturity.

Reduction for acquisition premium on debt instruments purchased after July 18, 1984.   If you bought the debt instrument at an acquisition premium after July 18, 1984, figure the OID includible in income by reducing the daily OID by the daily acquisition premium. However, the method of figuring the daily acquisition premium is different from the method described in the preceding discussion. To figure the daily acquisition premium under this method, multiply the daily OID by the following fraction.
  • The numerator is the acquisition premium.

  • The denominator is the total OID remaining for the debt instrument after your purchase date.

Section I-A is available at www.irs.gov/pub1212 and clicking the link under Recent Developments.

Using Section I-A to figure accumulated OID.   If you bought your corporate debt instrument in a calendar year or the subsequent year, you can figure the accumulated OID to the date of purchase by adding the following amounts.
  1. The amount from the “Total OID to January 1, YYYY” column for your debt instrument.

  2. The OID from January 1 of a calendar year to the date of purchase, figured as follows.

    1. Multiply the daily OID for the first accrual period in the calendar year by the number of days from January 1 to the date of purchase, or the end of the accrual period if the debt instrument was purchased in the second or third accrual period.

    2. Multiply the daily OID for each subsequent accrual period by the number of days in the period to the date of purchase or the end of the accrual period, whichever applies.

    3. Add the amounts figured in (2a) and (2b).

Debt Instruments Issued After 1984

If you hold debt instruments issued after 1984, you must report part of the OID in gross income each year that you own the debt instruments. You must include the OID in gross income whether or not you hold the debt instrument as a capital asset. Your basis in the debt instrument is increased by the OID you include in income. For information about showing the correct OID on your tax return, see How To Report OID, earlier.

Form 1099-OID.   You should receive a Form 1099-OID showing OID for the part of a calendar year you held the debt instrument. However, if you paid an acquisition premium, you may need to refigure the OID to report on your tax return. See Constant yield method and Reduction for acquisition premium, later.

  You may also need to refigure the OID for a contingent payment or inflation-indexed debt instrument on which the amount reported on Form 1099-OID is inaccurate. See Contingent Payment Debt Instruments or Inflation-Indexed Debt Instruments, later.

If you held an OID debt instrument in a calendar year but did not receive a Form 1099-OID, see Form 1099-OID not received, immediately below, and refer to Section I-B available at www.irs.gov/pub1212 by clicking the link under Recent Developments.

Form 1099-OID not received.   The OID listed is for each $1,000 of redemption price. You must adjust the listed amount if your debt instrument has a different principal amount. For example, if you have a debt instrument with a $500 principal amount, use one-half the listed amount to figure your OID.

  Use the OID shown in Section I-B for a calendar year if you held the debt instrument the entire year. (If your debt instrument is not listed in Section I-B, consult the issuer for information about the issue price, the yield to maturity, and the OID that accrued for that year.) If you did not hold the debt instrument the entire year, figure your OID as follows.
  1. Look up the daily OID for the first accrual period in which you held the debt instrument during a calendar year. (See Accrual period under Constant yield method, later.)

  2. Multiply the daily OID by the number of days you held the debt instrument during that accrual period.

  3. Repeat (1) and (2) for any remaining accrual periods in which you held the debt instrument.

  4. Add the results of (2) and (3). This is the OID to include in income for that year, unless you paid an acquisition premium. (The reduction for acquisition premium is discussed later.)

Tax-exempt bond.   If you own a tax-exempt bond, figure your basis in the bond by adding to your cost the OID you would have included in income if the bond had been taxable. You need to make this adjustment to determine if you have a gain or loss on a later disposition of the bond. In general, use the rules that follow to determine your OID.

Constant yield method.   This discussion shows how to figure OID on debt instruments issued after 1984 using a constant yield method. (The special rules that apply to contingent payment debt instruments and inflation-indexed debt instruments are explained later.) OID is allocated over the life of the debt instrument through adjustments to the issue price for each accrual period.

  Figure the OID allocable to any accrual period as follows.
  1. Multiply the adjusted issue price at the beginning of the accrual period by a fraction. The numerator of the fraction is the debt instrument's yield to maturity and the denominator is the number of accrual periods per year. The yield must be stated appropriately taking into account the length of the particular accrual period.

  2. Subtract from the result in (1) any qualified stated interest allocable to the accrual period.

Accrual period.   For debt instruments issued after 1984 and before April 4, 1994, an accrual period is each 6-month period that ends on the day that corresponds to the stated maturity date of the debt instrument or the date 6 months before that date. For example, a debt instrument maturing on March 31 has accrual periods that end on September 30 and March 31 of each calendar year. Any short period is included as the first accrual period.

  For debt instruments issued after April 3, 1994, accrual periods may be of any length and may vary in length over the term of the debt instrument, as long as each accrual period is no longer than 1 year and all payments are made on the first or last day of an accrual period. However, the OID listed for these debt instruments in Section I-B has been figured using 6-month accrual periods.

Daily OID.   The OID for any accrual period is allocated equally to each day in the accrual period. Figure the amount to include in income by adding the OID for each day you hold the debt instrument during the year. Since your tax year will usually include parts of two or more accrual periods, you must include the proper daily OID for each accrual period. If your debt instrument has 6-month accrual periods, your tax year will usually include one full 6-month accrual period and parts of two other 6-month periods.

Figuring daily OID.   The daily OID for the initial accrual period is figured using the following formula.

  (ip × ytm/n) − qsi  
  p  

ip = issue price
ytm = yield to maturity
n = number of accrual periods in 1 year
qsi = qualified stated interest
p = number of days in accrual period
     

The daily OID for subsequent accrual periods is figured the same way except the adjusted issue price at the beginning of each period is used in the formula instead of the issue price.

Example 5.

On January 1 of Year 1, you bought a 15-year, 10% debt instrument of A Corporation at original issue for $86,235.17. According to the prospectus, the debt instrument matures on December 31 of Year 15 at a stated redemption price of $100,000. The yield to maturity is 12%, compounded semiannually. The debt instrument provides for qualified stated interest payments of $5,000 on June 30 and December 31 of each calendar year. The accrual periods are the 6-month periods ending on each of these dates. The number of days for the first accrual period (January 1 through June 30) is 181 days (182 for leap years). The daily OID for the first accrual period is figured as follows.

  ($86,235.17 x .12/2) – $5,000  
  181 days  

  = $174.11020 = $.96193
  181
         

The adjusted issue price at the beginning of the second accrual period is the issue price plus the OID previously includible in income ($86,235.17 + $174.11), or $86,409.28. The number of days for the second accrual period (July 1 through December 31) is 184 days. The daily OID for the second accrual period is figured as follows.

  ($86,409.28 x .12/2) – $5,000  
  184 days  

  = $184.55681 = $1.00303
  184

Since the first and second accrual periods coincide exactly with your tax year, you include in income for Year 1 the OID allocable to the first two accrual periods, $174.11 ($.95665 × 182 days) plus $184.56 ($1.00303 × 184 days), or $358.67. Add the OID to the $10,000 interest you report on your income tax return for Year 1.

Example 6.

Assume the same facts as in Example 5, except that you bought the debt instrument at original issue on May 1 of Year 1, with a maturity date of April 30, Year 16. Also, the interest payment dates are October 31 and April 30 of each calendar year. The accrual periods are the 6-month periods ending on each of these dates.

The number of days for the first accrual period (May 1 through October 31) is 184 days. The daily OID for the first accrual period is figured as follows.

  ($86,235.17 x .12/2) – $5,000  
  184 days  

  = $174.11020 = $.94625
  184
         

The number of days for the second accrual period (November 1 through April 30) is 181 days (182 for leap years). The daily OID for the second accrual period is figured as follows.

  ($86,409.28 x .12/2) – $5,000  
  181 days  

  = $184.55681 = $1.01965
  181

If you hold the debt instrument through the end of Year 1, you must include $236.31 of OID in income. This is $174.11 ($.94625 × 184 days) for the period May 1 through October 31 plus $62.20 ($1.01965 × 61 days) for the period November 1 through December 31. The OID is added to the $5,000 interest income paid on October 31 of Year 1. Your basis in the debt instrument is increased by the OID you include in income. On January 1 of Year 2, your basis in the A Corporation debt instrument is $86,471.48 ($86,235.17 + $236.31).

Short first accrual period.   You may have to make adjustments if a debt instrument has a short first accrual period. For example, a debt instrument with 6-month accrual periods that is issued on February 15 and matures on October 31 has a short first accrual period that ends April 30. (The remaining accrual periods begin on May 1 and November 1.) For this short period, figure the daily OID as described earlier, but adjust the yield for the length of the short accrual period. You may use any reasonable compounding method in determining OID for a short period. Examples of reasonable compounding methods include continuous compounding and monthly compounding (that is, simple interest within a month). Consult your tax advisor for more information about making this computation.

  The OID for the final accrual period is the difference between the amount payable at maturity (other than a payment of qualified stated interest) and the adjusted issue price at the beginning of the final accrual period.

Reduction for acquisition premium.   If you bought the debt instrument at an acquisition premium, figure the OID includible in income by reducing the daily OID by the daily acquisition premium. To figure the daily acquisition premium, multiply the daily OID by the following fraction.
  • The numerator is the acquisition premium.

  • The denominator is the total OID remaining for the debt instrument after your purchase date.

Example 7.

Assume the same facts as in Example 6, except that you bought the debt instrument on November 1 of Year 1 for $87,000, after its original issue on May 1 of Year 1. The adjusted issue price on November 1 of Year 1 is $86,409.28 ($86,235.17 + $174.11). In this case, you paid an acquisition premium of $590.72 ($87,000 − $86,409.28). The daily OID for the accrual period November 1 through April 30, reduced for the acquisition premium, is figured as follows.

1) Daily OID on date of purchase (2nd accrual period) $1.01965*
 
2)
 
Acquisition premium
$590.72  
 
3)
 
Total OID remaining after purchase date ($13,764.83 − $174.11)
13,590.72  
4) Line 2 ÷ line 3 .04346
 
5)
 
Line 1 × line 4
.04432
 
6)
 
Daily OID reduced for the acquisition premium. Line 1 − line 5
$0.97533
 
* As shown in Example 6.

The total OID to include in income for Year 1 is $59.50 ($.97533 × 61 days).

Contingent Payment Debt Instruments

This discussion shows how to figure OID on a contingent payment debt instrument issued after August 12, 1996, that was issued for cash or publicly traded property. In general, a contingent payment debt instrument provides for one or more payments that are contingent as to timing or amount. If you hold a contingent payment bond, you must report OID as it accrues each year.

Because the actual payments on a contingent payment debt instrument cannot be known in advance, issuers and holders cannot use the constant yield method (discussed earlier under Debt Instruments Issued After 1984) without making certain assumptions about the payments on the debt instrument. To figure OID accruals on contingent payment debt instruments, holders and issuers must use the noncontingent bond method.

Noncontingent bond method.    Under this method, the issuer must compute a comparable yield for the debt instrument and, based on this yield, construct a projected payment schedule for the instrument, which includes a projected fixed amount for each contingent payment. In general, holders and issuers accrue OID on this projected payment schedule using the constant yield method that applies to fixed payment debt instruments. When a contingent payment differs from the projected fixed amount, the holders and issuers make adjustments to their OID accruals. If the actual contingent payment is larger than expected, both the issuer and the holder increase their OID accruals. If the actual contingent payment is smaller than expected, holders and issuers generally decrease their OID accruals.

Form 1099-OID.   The amount shown on Form 1099-OID in box 1 you receive for a contingent payment debt instrument may not be the correct amount to include in income. For example, the amount may not be correct if the contingent payment was different from the projected amount. If the amount in box 1 is not correct, you must figure the OID to report on your return under the following rules. For information on showing an OID adjustment on your tax return, see How To Report OID, earlier.

Figuring OID.   To figure OID on a contingent payment debt instrument, you need to know the “comparable yield” and “projected payment schedule” of the debt instrument. The issuer must make these available to you.

Comparable yield.   The comparable yield generally is the yield at which the issuer would issue a fixed rate debt instrument with terms and conditions similar to those of the contingent payment debt instrument. The comparable yield is determined as of the debt instrument's issue date.

Projected payment schedule.   The projected payment schedule for a contingent payment debt instrument includes all fixed payments due under the instrument and a projected fixed amount for each contingent payment. The projected payment schedule is created by the issuer as of the debt instrument's issue date. It is used to determine the issuer's and holder's interest accruals and adjustments.

Steps for figuring OID.   Figure the OID on a contingent payment debt instrument in two steps.
  1. Figure the OID using the constant yield method (discussed earlier under Debt Instruments Issued After 1984 ) that applies to fixed payment debt instruments. Use the comparable yield as the yield to maturity. In general, use the projected payment schedule to determine the instrument's adjusted issue price at the beginning of each accrual period (other than the initial period). Do not treat any amount payable as qualified stated interest.

  2. Adjust the OID in (1) to account for actual contingent payments. If the contingent payment is greater than the projected fixed amount, you have a positive adjustment. If the contingent payment is less than the projected fixed amount, you have a negative adjustment.

Net positive adjustment.   A net positive adjustment exists for a tax year when the total of any positive adjustments described in (2) above for the tax year is more than the total of any negative adjustments for the tax year. Treat a net positive adjustment as additional OID for the tax year.

Net negative adjustment.   A net negative adjustment exists for a tax year when the total of any negative adjustments described in (2) above for the tax year is more than the total of any positive adjustments for the tax year. Use a net negative adjustment to offset OID on the debt instrument for the tax year. If the net negative adjustment is more than the OID on the debt instrument for the tax year, you can claim the difference as an ordinary loss. However, the amount you can claim as an ordinary loss is limited to the OID on the debt instrument you included in income in prior tax years. You must carry forward any net negative adjustment that is more than the total OID for the tax year and prior tax years and treat it as a negative adjustment in the next tax year.

Basis adjustments.   In general, increase your basis in a contingent payment debt instrument by the OID included in income. Your basis, however, is not affected by any negative or positive adjustments. Decrease your basis by any noncontingent payment received and the projected contingent payment scheduled to be received.

Treatment of gain or loss on sale or exchange.   If you sell a contingent payment debt instrument at a gain, your gain is ordinary income (interest income), even if you hold the debt instrument as a capital asset. If you sell a contingent payment debt instrument at a loss, your loss is an ordinary loss to the extent of your prior OID accruals on the debt instrument. If the debt instrument is a capital asset, treat any loss that is more than your prior OID accruals as a capital loss.

See Regulations section 1.1275-4 for exceptions to these rules.

Premium, acquisition premium, and market discount.   The rules for accruing premium, acquisition premium, and market discount do not apply to a contingent payment debt instrument. See Regulations section 1.1275-4 to determine how to account for these items.

Inflation-Indexed Debt Instruments

This discussion shows how you figure OID on certain inflation-indexed debt instruments issued after January 5, 1997. An inflation-indexed debt instrument is generally a debt instrument on which the payments are adjusted for inflation and deflation (such as Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS)).

In general, if you hold an inflation-indexed debt instrument, you must report as OID any increase in the inflation-adjusted principal amount of the debt instrument that occurs while you held the debt instrument during the tax year. You must include the OID in gross income whether or not you hold the debt instrument as a capital asset. Your basis in the debt instrument is increased by the OID you include in income.

Inflation-adjusted principal amount.   For any date, the inflation-adjusted principal amount of an inflation-indexed debt instrument is the debt instrument's outstanding principal amount multiplied by the index ratio for that date. (For TIPS, multiply the par value by the index ratio for that date.) For this purpose, determine the outstanding principal amount as if there were no inflation or deflation over the term of the debt instrument.

Index ratio.   This is a fraction, the numerator of which is the value of the reference index for the date and the denominator of which is the value of the reference index for the debt instrument's issue date.

  A qualified reference index measures inflation and deflation over the term of a debt instrument. Its value is reset each month to a current value of a single qualified inflation index (for example, the nonseasonally adjusted U.S. City Average All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), published by the Department of Labor). The value of the index for any date between reset dates is determined through straight-line interpolation.

The daily index ratios for Treasury inflation-protected securities are available on the Internet at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/instit/annceresult/tipscpi/tipscpi.htm.

Form 1099-OID.   The amount shown in box 8 of the Form 1099-OID you receive for an inflation-indexed debt instrument may not be the correct amount to include in income. For example, the amount may not be correct if you bought the debt instrument other than at original issue or sold it during the year. If the amount shown in box 8 is not correct, you must figure the OID to report on your return under the following rules. For information about showing an OID adjustment on your tax return, see How To Report OID, earlier.

Figuring OID.   Figure the OID on an inflation-indexed debt instrument using one of the following methods.
  • The coupon bond method, described in the following discussion, applies if the debt instrument is issued at par (as determined under Regulations section 1.1275-7(d)(2)(i)), all stated interest payable on the debt instrument is qualified stated interest, and the coupons have not been stripped from the debt instrument. This method applies to TIPS, including TIPS issued with more than a de minimis amount of premium (see Regulations section 1.1275-7).

  • The discount bond method applies to any inflation-indexed debt instrument that does not qualify for the coupon bond method, such as a stripped debt instrument. This method is described in Regulations section 1.1275-7(e).

  Under the coupon bond method, figure the OID you must report for the tax year as follows.

Debt instrument held at the end of the tax year.   If you held the debt instrument at the end of the tax year, figure your OID for the year using the following steps.
  1. Add the inflation-adjusted principal amount for the day after the last day of the tax year and any principal payments you received during the year. (For TIPS, multiply the par value by the index ratio for the day after the last day of the tax year, and add any principal payments received.)

  2. Subtract from (1) above the inflation-adjusted principal amount for the first day on which you held the debt instrument during the tax year. (For TIPS, subtract from (1) above the product of the par value times the index ratio for the first day held during the tax year.)

  Interest is reported separately, as discussed later under Stated interest.

Debt instrument sold or retired during the tax year.   If you sold the debt instrument during the tax year, or if it was retired, figure your OID for the year using the following steps.
  1. Add the inflation-adjusted principal amount for the last day on which you held the debt instrument during the tax year and any principal payments you received during the year. (For TIPS, multiply the par value by the index ratio for the sale or retirement date, and add any principal payments received.)

  2. Subtract from (1) above the inflation-adjusted principal amount for the first day on which you held the debt instrument during the tax year. (For TIPS, subtract from (1) above the product of the par value times the index ratio for the first day held during the tax year.)

  Interest is reported separately, as discussed later under Stated interest.

Example 8.

On February 6 of Year 9, you bought an old 10-year, 3.375% inflation-indexed debt instrument (maturing January 15 of Year 11) for $9,831. The stated principal (par value) amount is $10,000 and the inflation-adjusted principal amount for February 6 of Year 9 is $12,047.50 ($10,000 par value times 1.20475 index ratio). You held the debt instrument until August 29 of Year 9 when the inflation-adjusted principal amount was $12,275.70 ($10,000 par value times 1.22757 index ratio). Your OID for Year 9 is $228.20 ($12,275.70 − $12,047.50). Your basis in the debt instrument on August 29 of Year 9 was $10,059.20 ($9,831 cost + $228.20 OID) for Year 9.

Stated interest.   Under the coupon bond method, you report any stated interest on the debt instrument under your regular method of accounting. For example, if you use the cash method, you generally include in income for the tax year any interest payments received on the debt instrument during the year.

Deflation adjustments.   If your calculation to figure OID on an inflation-indexed debt instrument produces a negative number, you do not have any OID. Instead, you have a deflation adjustment. A deflation adjustment generally is used to offset interest income from the debt instrument for the tax year. Show this offset as an adjustment on your Form 1040, Schedule B, in the same way you would show an OID adjustment. See How To Report OID, earlier.

You decrease your basis in the debt instrument by the deflation adjustment used to offset interest income.

Example 9.

Assume the same facts as in Example 8, except that you bought the debt instrument for $9,831 on January 6 of Year 9, when the inflation-adjusted principal amount was $12,050.10, and sold the debt instrument on March 1 of Year 9, when the inflation-adjusted principal amount was $12,011.20. Because the OID calculation for Year 9 ($12,011.20 − $12,050.10) produces a negative number (negative $38.90), you have a deflation adjustment. You use this deflation adjustment to offset the stated interest reported to you on the debt instrument.

Your basis in the debt instrument on March 1 of Year 9 is $9,792.10 ($9,831 cost − $38.90 deflation adjustment) for Year 9.

Premium on inflation-indexed debt instruments.   In general, any premium on an inflation-indexed debt instrument is determined as of the date you acquire the debt instrument by assuming there will be no further inflation or deflation over the remaining term of the debt instrument. You allocate any premium over the remaining term of the debt instrument by making the same assumption. In general, the premium allocable to a tax year offsets the interest otherwise includible in income for the year. If the premium allocable to the year is more than that interest, the difference generally offsets the OID on the debt instrument for the year. See Regulations section 1.1275-7 for an example applying the coupon bond method to a TIPS issued with more than a de minimis amount of premium.

Figuring OID on Stripped Bonds and Coupons

If you strip one or more coupons from a bond and then sell or otherwise dispose of the bond or the stripped coupons, they are treated as separate debt instruments issued with OID. The holder of a stripped bond has the right to receive the principal (redemption price) payment. The holder of a stripped coupon has the right to receive an interest payment on the bond. The rule requiring the holder of a debt instrument issued with OID to include the OID in gross income as it accrues applies to stripped bonds and coupons acquired after July 1, 1982. See Debt Instruments and Coupons Purchased After July 1, 1982, and Before 1985 or Debt Instruments and Coupons Purchased After 1984, later, for information about figuring the OID to report.

Stripped bonds and coupons include the following instruments.

  • Zero coupon bonds available through the Department of the Treasury's STRIPS program and government-sponsored enterprises such as the Resolution Funding Corporation and the Financing Corporation.

  • Debt instruments backed by U.S. Treasury securities that represent ownership interests in those securities. Examples include obligations backed by U.S. Treasury bonds that are offered primarily by brokerage firms (variously called CATS, TIGRs, etc.).

Seller of stripped bonds or coupons.   If you strip coupons from a bond and sell the bond or coupons, include in income the interest that accrued while you held the bond before the date of sale to the extent the interest was not previously included in your income. For an obligation acquired after October 22, 1986, you must also include the market discount that accrued before the date of sale of the stripped bond (or coupon) to the extent the discount was not previously included in your income.

  Add the interest and market discount you include in income to the basis of the bond and coupons. This adjusted basis is then allocated between the items you keep and the items you sell, based on the fair market value of the items. The difference between the sale price of the bond (or coupon) and the allocated basis of the bond (or coupon) is the gain or loss from the sale.

  Treat any item you keep as an OID bond originally issued and purchased by you on the sale date of the other items. If you keep the bond, treat the excess of the redemption price of the bond over the basis of the bond as OID. If you keep the coupons, treat the excess of the amount payable on the coupons over the basis of the coupons as OID.

Purchaser of stripped bonds or coupons.   If you purchase a stripped bond or coupon, treat it as if it were originally issued on the date of purchase. If you purchase the stripped bond, treat as OID any excess of the stated redemption price at maturity over your purchase price. If you purchase the stripped coupon, treat as OID any excess of the amount payable on the due date of the coupon over your purchase price.

Form 1099-OID

The amount shown in box 8 of the Form 1099-OID you receive for a stripped bond or coupon may not be the proper amount to include in income. If not, you must figure the OID to report on your return under the rules that follow. For information about showing an OID adjustment on your tax return, see How To Report OID, earlier.

Tax-Exempt Bonds and Coupons

The OID on a stripped tax-exempt bond, or on a stripped coupon from such a bond, is generally not taxable. However, if you acquired the stripped bond or coupon after October 22, 1986, you must accrue OID on it to determine its basis when you dispose of it. How you figure accrued OID and whether any OID is taxable depend on the date you bought (or are treated as having bought) the stripped bond or coupon.

Acquired before June 11, 1987.   None of the OID on bonds or coupons acquired before this date is taxable. The accrued OID is added to the basis of the bond or coupon. The accrued OID is the amount that produces a yield to maturity (YTM), based on your purchase date and purchase price, equal to the lower of the following rates.
  1. The coupon rate on the bond before the separation of coupons. (However, if you can establish the YTM of the bond (with all coupons attached) at the time of its original issue, you can use that YTM instead.)

  2. The YTM of the stripped bond or coupon.

  Increase your basis in the stripped tax-exempt bond or coupon by the interest that accrued but was neither paid nor previously reflected in your basis before the date you sold the bond or coupon.

Acquired after June 10, 1987.   Part of the OID on bonds or coupons acquired after this date may be taxable. Figure the taxable part in three steps.

Step 1. Figure OID as if all taxable.   First figure the OID following the rules in this section as if all the OID were taxable. (See Debt Instruments and Coupons Purchased After 1984, later.) Use the yield to maturity (YTM) based on the date you obtained the stripped bond or coupon.

Step 2. Determine nontaxable part.   Find the issue price that would produce a YTM as of the purchase date equal to the lower of the following rates.
  1. The coupon rate on the bond from which the coupons were separated. (However, you can use the original YTM instead.)

  2. The YTM based on the purchase price of the stripped coupon or bond.

  Subtract this issue price from the stated redemption price of the bond at maturity (or, in the case of a coupon, the amount payable on the due date of the coupon). The result is the part of the OID treated as OID on a stripped tax-exempt bond or coupon.

Step 3. Determine taxable part.   The taxable part of OID is the OID determined in Step 1 minus the nontaxable part determined in Step 2.

Exception.   None of the OID on your stripped tax-exempt bond or coupon is taxable if you bought it from a person who held it for sale on June 10, 1987, in the ordinary course of that person's trade or business.

Basis adjustment.   Increase the basis of your stripped tax-exempt bond or coupon by the taxable and nontaxable accrued OID. If you own a tax-exempt bond from which one or more coupons have been stripped, increase your basis in it by the sum of the interest accrued but not paid before you dispose of it (and not previously reflected in basis) and any accrued market discount to the extent not previously included in your income.

Example 10.

Assume that a tax-exempt bond with a face amount of $100 due January 1 of Year 4 and a coupon rate of 10% (compounded semiannually) was issued for $100 on January 1 of Year 1. On January 1 of Year 2 the bond was stripped and you bought the right to receive the principal amount for $79.21. The stripped bond is treated as if it was originally issued on January 1 of Year 2 with OID of $20.79 ($100.00 − $79.21). This reflects a YTM at the time of the strip of 12% (compounded semiannually). The tax-exempt part of OID on the stripped bond is limited to $17.73. This is the difference between the redemption price ($100) and the issue price that would produce a YTM of 10% ($82.27). This part of the OID is treated as OID on a tax-exempt obligation.

The OID on the stripped bond that is more than the tax-exempt part is $3.06. This is the excess of the total OID ($20.79) over the tax-exempt part ($17.73). This part of the OID ($3.06) is treated as OID on an obligation that is not tax exempt.

The total OID allocable to the accrual period ending June 30 of Year 2 is $4.75 (6% × $79.21). Of this, $4.11 (5% × $82.27) is treated as OID on a tax-exempt obligation and $0.64 ($4.75 − $4.11) is treated as OID on an obligation that is not tax exempt. Your basis in the debt instrument as of June 30 of Year 2 is increased to $83.96 ($79.21 issue price + accrued OID of $4.75).

Debt Instruments and Coupons Purchased After July 1, 1982, and Before 1985

If you purchased a stripped bond or coupon after July 1, 1982, and before 1985, and you held that debt instrument as a capital asset during any part of a calendar year, you must figure the OID to be included in income using a constant yield method. Under this method, OID is allocated over the time you hold the debt instrument by adjusting the acquisition price for each accrual period. The OID for the accrual period is figured by multiplying the adjusted acquisition price at the beginning of the period by the yield to maturity.

Adjusted acquisition price.   The adjusted acquisition price of a stripped bond or coupon at the beginning of the first accrual period is its purchase (or acquisition) price. The adjusted acquisition price at the beginning of any subsequent accrual period is the sum of the acquisition price and all of the OID includible in income before that accrual period.

Accrual period.   An accrual period for any stripped bond or coupon acquired before 1985 is each 1-year period beginning on the date of the purchase of the obligation and each anniversary thereafter, or the shorter period to maturity for the last accrual period.

Yield to maturity (YTM).   In general, the YTM of a stripped bond or coupon is the discount rate that, when used in figuring the present value of all principal and interest payments, produces an amount equal to the acquisition price of the debt instrument or coupon.

Figuring YTM.   If you purchased a stripped bond or coupon after July 1, 1982, but before 1985, and the period from your purchase date to the day the debt instrument matures can be divided exactly into full 1-year periods without including a shorter period, then the YTM can be figured by applying the following formula.

  
srp = stated redemption price at maturity
ap = acquisition price
m = number of full accrual periods from purchase to maturity

  If the debt instrument is a stripped coupon, the stated redemption price is the amount payable on the due date of the coupon.

  If the period between your purchase date and the maturity date (or due date) of the debt instrument does not divide into an exact number of full 1-year periods, so that a period shorter than 1 year must be included, consult your broker or your tax advisor for information about figuring the YTM.

Daily OID.   The OID for any accrual period is allocated equally to each day in the accrual period. You figure the amount to include in income by adding the daily OID amounts for each day you hold the debt instrument during the year. If your tax year includes parts of more than one accrual period (which will be the case unless the accrual period coincides with your tax year), you must include the proper daily OID amounts for each of the two accrual periods.

  The daily OID for the initial accrual period is figured by applying the following formula.

  
  (ap × ytm)  
  p  
ap = acquisition price
ytm = yield to maturity
p = number of days in accrual period

  The daily OID for subsequent accrual periods is figured in the same way except the adjusted acquisition price at the beginning of each period is used in the formula instead of the acquisition price.

  The rules for figuring OID on these debt instruments are similar to those in Debt Instruments Issued After July 1, 1982, and Before 1985, earlier.

Debt Instruments and Coupons Purchased After 1984

If you purchased a stripped bond or coupon (other than a stripped inflation-indexed debt instrument) after 1984, and you held that debt instrument during any part of a calendar year, you must figure the OID to be included in income using a constant yield method. Under this method, OID is allocated over the time you hold the debt instrument by adjusting the acquisition price for each accrual period. The OID for the accrual period is figured by multiplying the adjusted acquisition price at the beginning of the period by a fraction. The numerator of the fraction is the debt instrument's yield to maturity and the denominator is the number of accrual periods per year.

If the stripped bond or coupon is an inflation-indexed instrument, you must figure the OID to be included in income using the discount bond method described in Regulations section 1.1275-7(e).

Adjusted acquisition price.   The adjusted acquisition price of a stripped bond or coupon at the beginning of the first accrual period is its purchase (or acquisition) price. The adjusted acquisition price at the beginning of any subsequent accrual period is the sum of the acquisition price and all of the OID includible in income before that accrual period.

Accrual period.   For a stripped bond or coupon acquired after 1984 and before April 4, 1994, an accrual period is each 6-month period that ends on the day that corresponds to the stated maturity date of the stripped bond (or payment date of a stripped coupon) or the date 6 months before that date. For example, a stripped bond that has a maturity date (or a stripped coupon that has a payment date) of March 31 has accrual periods that end on September 30 and March 31 of each calendar year. Any short period is included as the first accrual period.

  For a stripped bond or coupon acquired after April 3, 1994, accrual periods may be of any length and may vary in length over the term of the debt instrument, as long as each accrual period is no longer than 1 year and all payments are made on the first or last day of an accrual period.

Yield to maturity (YTM).   In general, the YTM of a stripped bond or coupon is the discount rate that, when used in figuring the present value of all principal and interest payments, produces an amount equal to the acquisition price.

Figuring YTM.   How you figure the YTM for a stripped debt instrument or coupon purchased after 1984 depends on whether you have equal accrual periods or a short initial accrual period.

1. Equal accrual periods.   If the period from the date you purchased a stripped bond or coupon to the maturity date can be divided evenly into full accrual periods without including a shorter period, you can figure the YTM by using the following formula.

n = number of accrual periods in 1 year
srp = stated redemption price at maturity
ap = acquisition price
m = number of full accrual periods from purchase to maturity

  If the debt instrument is a stripped coupon, the stated redemption price is the amount payable on the due date of the coupon.

Example 11.

On May 15 of Year 1, you bought a coupon stripped from a U.S. Treasury bond through the Department of the Treasury's STRIPS program for $38,000. An amount of $100,000 is payable on the coupon's due date, November 14 of Year 13. There are exactly 25 6-month periods between the purchase date, May 15 of Year 1, and the coupon's due date, November 14 of Year 13. The YTM on this stripped coupon is figured as follows.

Use 7.892% YTM to figure the OID for each accrual period or partial accrual period for which you must report OID.

2. Short initial accrual period.   If the period from the date you purchased a stripped bond or coupon to the date of its maturity cannot be divided evenly into full accrual periods, so that a shorter period must be included, you can figure the YTM by using the following formula (the exact method).

n = number of accrual periods in 1 year
srp = stated redemption price at maturity
ap = acquisition price
r = number of days from purchase to end of short accrual period
s = number of days in accrual period ending on last day of short accrual period
m = number of full accrual periods from purchase to maturity

Example 12.

On May 30 of Year 1, you bought a coupon stripped from a U.S. Treasury bond through the Department of the Treasury's STRIPS program for $60,000. $100,000 is payable on the coupon's due date, August 11 of Year 7. You decide to figure OID using 6-month accrual periods. There are 12 full 6-month accrual periods and a 74-day short initial accrual period from the purchase date to the coupon's due date. The YTM on this stripped coupon is figured as follows.

Use 8.406% YTM to figure the OID for each accrual period or partial accrual period for which you must report OID.

Daily OID.   The OID for any accrual period is allocated equally to each day in the accrual period. You must include in income the sum of the daily OID amounts for each day you hold the debt instrument during the year. Since your tax year will usually include parts of two or more accrual periods, you must include the proper daily OID amounts for each accrual period.

Figuring daily OID.   For the initial accrual period of a stripped bond or coupon acquired after 1984, figure the daily OID using Formula 1, next, if there are equal accrual periods. Use Formula 2 if there is a short initial accrual period.

  For subsequent accrual periods, figure the daily OID using Formula 1 (whether or not there was a short initial accrual period), but use the adjusted acquisition price in the formula instead of the acquisition price.

Formula 1.   
  ap × ytm / n  
  p  

Formula 2.   
  r 
s
 
  ap x (1 + ytm /n) − ap  
  r  
ap = acquisition price
ytm = yield to maturity
n = number of accrual periods in 1 year
p = number of days in accrual period
r = number of days from purchase to end of short accrual period
s = number of days in accrual period ending on last day of short accrual period

  The rules for figuring OID on these debt instruments are similar to those illustrated in Example 5 and Example 6, earlier, under Debt Instruments Issued After 1984.

Example 13.

Assume the same facts as in Example 12, and that you held the coupon for the rest of Year 1.

For the short initial accrual period from May 30 through August 11, the daily OID is figured using Formula 2, as follows.

  74 
181
  $60,000 × (1 + .08406/2) − $60,000  
  74  
  = $1,018.48 = $13.76327  
  74  

The OID for this period is $1,018.48 ($13.76327 × 74 days).

For the second accrual period from August 12 of Year 1 through February 11 of Year 2, the adjusted acquisition price is $61,018.48. This is the original $60,000 acquisition price plus $1,018.48 OID for the short initial accrual period. The daily OID is figured using Formula 1, as follows.

  $61,018.48 × (.08406/2) 
184
  = $2,564.60671 = $13.93808
  184

The OID for the part of this period included in Year 1 (August 12 – December 31) is $1,979.21 ($13.93808 × 142 days).

The OID to be reported on your income tax return for Year 1 is $2,997.69 ($1,018.48 + $1,979.21).

Final accrual period.   The OID for the final accrual period for a stripped bond or coupon is the amount payable at maturity of the stripped bond (or interest payable on the stripped coupon) minus the adjusted acquisition price at the beginning of the final accrual period. The daily OID for the final accrual period is figured by dividing the OID for the period by the number of days in the period.

How To Get Tax Help

Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you.

Free help with your tax return.   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS.gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887.

  As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www.aarp.org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. For more information on these programs, go to IRS.gov and enter “VITA” in the search box.

Internet.    IRS.gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs.

  • Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS.gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day.

  • Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. New subject areas are added on a regular basis. 
    Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS.gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. You can use the IRS Tax Map, to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics.

  • Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years.

  • Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant.

  • Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS.

  • If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance.

  • Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS.gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system.

  • Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS.gov. Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS.gov for more information.

  • Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today.

  • Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov. Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld.

  • Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS.gov.

  • Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS.gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box.

  • Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities.

  • Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS.gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS.gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.

  • Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Go to IRS.gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box.

  • Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance.

  • Read Internal Revenue Bulletins.

  • Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS.gov and choose from a variety of options.

Phone.    You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play.
  • Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS.gov, or download the IRS2Go app. Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location.

  • Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return.

  • Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system.

  • Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). You should receive your order within 10 business days.

  • Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040.

  • Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service.

Walk-in.   You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person.
  • Products. You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs.

  • Services. You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS.gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided.

Mail.   You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

 
 
The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights.  
 
What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and:
  • Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business.

  • You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action.

  • You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised.

 
 
If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. Here's why we can help:
  • TAS is an independent organization within the IRS.

  • Our advocates know how to work with the IRS.

  • Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs.

  • We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

 
 
How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. 
 
How else does TAS help taxpayers? 
 
TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.


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