An investment's rate of return after subtracting all applicable taxes, expressed as a percentage. Most analysts prefer to look at afterax yield instead of pretax yield when weighting investment decisions. Mutual funds are required to disclose their aftertax yields to provide the most accurate picture possible. See also: Current yield.
The rate of return on an investment after taxes have been calculated and subtracted. Aftertax yield, as opposed to pretax yield, is generally a preferred basis for comparing investment alternatives.
Case Study Utilizing aftertax rather than pretax yield to evaluate investments is a universal rule that applies to stocks, bonds, real estate, and mutual funds. In 2001 the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a rule requiring that mutual funds disclose in their prospectuses aftertax returns based on stipulated formulas. The SEC order also required certain funds to include standardized aftertax yields in advertisements and other sales materials. The order was prompted by the belief that many investors lack a clear understanding of the impact of taxes on their mutual fund investments. Mutual funds regularly tooted their horns regarding their pretax returns, but SEC studies indicated substantial differences existed in the extent to which these returns were taxed. The tax consequences of distributions are especially puzzling to many mutual fund shareholders who are taxed on distributions based on realized gains from which they frequently did not benefit. To provide investors with more accurate information, the SEC requires that mutual funds present aftertax returns in two ways: on fund distributions only, which would apply to investors who continued to hold their mutual fund shares, and on fund distributions and a redemption of fund shares, which would apply to investors who liquidated their mutual fund shares. In each case aftertax returns are presented as if the shareholder is in the highest applicable federal income tax rate. Pretax and aftertax returns are presented using a standard format.