The yield of a taxable investment that equals the yield of a tax-free investment with a lower stated yield. A corporate bond yields less than its stated interest rate because of taxation whereas a tax-exempt municipal bond does not. Thus, a municipal bond that pays a lower interest rate will often net the bondholder more than a corporate bond with a slightly higher interest rate, depending upon one's tax bracket. The tax equivalent yield is the extra yield required on a corporate bond to equal the post-tax yield of a municipal bond. See also: Municipals-over-bonds spread, After-tax basis.
The pretax yield that provides the same return as a specified aftertax yield. Tax-equivalent yield is calculated by dividing tax-free yield by the difference obtained from subtracting the applicable tax rate from 1. For example, for an investor who pays taxes at a rate of 40%, an aftertax yield of 6% has a tax-equivalent yield of 0.06/(1 - 0.4), or 10%.