top of page

Q & A

What is Arbitrage?  

As demonstrated in the graphs above, Arbitrage is the spread between the tax-exempt borrowing rate and taxable earnings rate. When taxable investments generate a yield in excess of tax-exempt borrowing rate, the dollar value of the difference is paid back to the IRS as a Rebate.

Why do the Arbitrage Rules Exist? What if I don't Comply?                                  

Tax-Exempt borrowing is a privilege from the federal government. As such, the government does not want its generosity to be abused. The arbitrage rules are designed to remove borrower incentive to –

  • Issue more bonds than necessary

  • Issue bonds earlier than necessary

  • Have bonds outstanding longer than necessary

If non-compliant, bonds may be declared taxable retroactively, or the IRS may seek settlement.

When do Arbitrage Rebate Calculations need to be Done?

IRS Filing Dates


Every 5th Bond Year

  • The Bond Year for arbitrage purposes may be the anniversary of the issue or other selected date. Check the Tax Certificate, as it may be selected prior to closing.


Final Redemption – Including Early Call or Reissuance

  • If Bonds are refinanced, final maturity may change from the scheduled date to a call date. An IRS filing calculation is needed immediately to confirm compliance of the refinanced issue.

bottom of page