Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Original Issue Discount (OID)


The Original Issue Discount (OID) is a form of interest on a debt instrument such as a bond, issued at a discount to its face value. The OID is essentially the difference between the stated redemption price at maturity and the issue price of the bond. It serves as a form of compensation to the bondholder, as it will eventually be paid the face value, even though it purchased the bond for less than this amount.


The phonetics of Original Issue Discount (OID) would be:Original: /əˈrɪdʒɪnəl/Issue: /ˈɪsjuː/Discount: /ˈdɪskaʊnt/OID: /ˌoʊ.aɪ.’diː/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Original Issue Discount (OID) refers to the difference between the face value (or par value) and the discounted price at which a bond or note is originally issued. This difference is treated as interest earned by the bondholder, not as capital gains.</li><li>OID bonds or notes are usually issued at a price lower than their face value to make them more attractive to investors. The issuer then pays the face value to the bondholder upon maturity, making a profit equivalent to the OID.</li><li>The discount amount is taxable. For Federal income tax purposes, the OID is considered as interest income, which is reported annually over the tenure of the bond, not in the year the bond is redeemed or sold. This means the bondholder gets taxed on interest that hasn’t been received yet, a concept known as ‘phantom income’.</li></ol>


The Original Issue Discount (OID) is an important term in business/finance as it refers to bonds or other forms of indebtedness that are issued at a discount to their face value. The amount of this discount, or OID, effectively represents the interest that will be earned by the investor. It’s crucial because it allows the return on investment to be spread out over the life of the bond, rather than being paid out all at once at the maturity of the bond. It also impacts the tax treatment of such investments, as the IRS views the annual accretion of the OID as a form of interest income, even though the bondholder only receives the actual cash flow when the bond matures or is sold. Therefore, understanding OID is critical for both the pricing of debt instruments and for the tax planning related to such investments.


The Original Issue Discount (OID) serves an important role in the investment and finance world, primarily as an enticement to encourage potential investors to purchase bonds or other forms of debt securities. Under this scheme, bonds are sold at a discount to face value, which means they are sold for less than their redemption price. Over the bond’s lifetime, it gradually increases in value until maturity, when it reaches its face value. Essentially, the OID is a form of interest – the difference between the discounted price at issuance and the amount paid back at maturity.OIDs are often utilized by companies for various strategic reasons. Most commonly, when the prevailing interest rates are higher than the coupon rate of the bond, a company can utilize OIDs to make their bonds more attractive for the investors, helping to compensate for the lower returns they might otherwise receive. In this way, the OID serves to bridge the gap between the lower coupon rate and the higher interest rate in the market. On the investor’s side, OIDs provide the opportunity for a higher yield compared to other investment options in the market. This strategy is beneficial for both the issuer and the investor, making OIDs a vital tool in the financial market.


1. Corporate Bonds: Corporations often issue bonds as a way of raising capital. In some instances, these bonds are sold at a discount to their face value, otherwise known as their par value. This is an example of Original Issue Discount (OID). The corporations then pay back the full face value on the bond’s maturity date, providing the investors with a return on their investment.2. Government Bonds: Similar to corporations, governments can also issue bonds with an Original Issue Discount. For example, U.S. Treasury bills are often sold at a discount from their face value. The government then pays the full face value to the bond owners when the bonds mature.3. Zero-coupon Bonds: These are perhaps the clearest example of OID. In this scenario, a company or government issues a bond which does not make periodic interest payments (also known as coupon payments) to the bondholder. Instead, the bond is issued at a substantial discount to its face value. The bondholder then profits by receiving the face value of the bond when it matures.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Original Issue Discount (OID)?

Original Issue Discount (OID) is a type of interest that bond issuers use. It is the difference between the stated redemption price at maturity and the issue price. In simpler terms, it’s the discount at which a bond is issued below its par value.

How does the Original Issue Discount (OID) work?

OID bonds are usually issued at a discount to their face value, and the discount amount serves as a form of interest. Over time, the bond increases in value until it reaches its full face value at maturity, the increase in value is known as the OID.

What is the relevance of OID in finance?

OID is significant in accounting and finance as it provides an investor with a type of interest income that is realized over the life of the bond until its maturity. OID is also an important factor for tax purposes.

How is Original Issue Discount (OID) taxed?

OID is taxed as interest income, so it is includable in taxable income annually, even if no payment is received until maturity. The IRS requires taxpayers to calculate and include OID income on their tax return every year.

How is the OID amount calculated?

The OID can be calculated by subtracting the issue price from the stated redemption price of the bond at maturity.

Are there any exceptions to the tax treatment of OID?

There are specific situations where OID may be excluded from taxable income, such as when the bond was issued by a state or municipality, or if the bond is a tax-exempt bond.

Where can I find more information on the OID of a particular bond?

Information on the OID of a specific bond can be found in the bond indenture, the legal document outlining the characteristics of the bond. Additionally, the IRS publishes an annual list of OIDs.

Is OID applicable to all types of bonds?

No, OID is generally applicable to zero-coupon bonds, which do not pay periodic interest. Instead, they are issued at a discount to their face value and appreciate over time.

What happens if I sell my OID bond before maturity?

If you sell your OID bond prior to maturity, you may have a capital gain or loss, which will depend on the sale price of the bond compared to your adjusted basis in the bond.

: Does OID affect the yield of a bond?

: Yes, OID affects the yield of a bond, as it is essentially built-in interest. It’s important to note that the yield on a bond with OID could be higher than the stated interest rate because the holder receives the face amount at maturity but originally paid less for the bond.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More