- STRIPS is the acronym for Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities.
- STRIPS let investors hold and trade the individual interest and principal components of eligible Treasury notes and bonds as separate securities.
- STRIPS are popular with investors who want to receive a known payment on a specific future date.
- STRIPS are called “zero-coupon” securities. The only time an investor receives a payment from STRIPS is at maturity.
- STRIPS are not issued or sold directly to investors. STRIPS can be purchased and held only through financial institutions and government securities brokers and dealers.
When a Treasury fixed-principal note or bond or a Treasury inflation-protected security (TIPS) is stripped through the commercial book-entry system each interest payment and the principal payment becomes a separate zero-coupon security. Each component has its own identifying number and can be held or traded separately.
For example, a Treasury note with 10 years remaining to maturity consists of a single principal payment, due at maturity, and 20 interest payments, one every six months over a 10 year duration. When this note is converted to STRIPS form, each of the 20 interest payments and the principal payment becomes a separate security.
Minimum Par Amounts
The minimum face amount needed to strip a fixed-principal note or bond is $100 and any par amount to be stripped above $100 must be in a multiple of $100.
The minimum face amount needed to strip a TIPS is $100 and any par amount to be stripped above $100 must be in a multiple of $100.
STRIPS components can be reassembled into a fully constituted security in the commercial book-entry system. To reconstitute a security, a financial institution or government securities broker or dealer must obtain the appropriate principal component and all unmatured interest components. The principal and interest components must be in the appropriate minimum or multiple amounts for a security to be reconstituted.
If you have questions about buying, redeeming, or selling STRIPS, contact your financial institution, broker, dealer, or investment advisor. See also 31 CFR 356.31 for rules relating to stripping and reconstituting Treasury securities. If you are from a financial institution, broker, or dealer and have specific questions on the process for stripping or reconstituting Treasury securities, call the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at 201-531-3894.
- Interest earned on STRIPS must be reported in the year in which it is earned.
- Inflation adjustments to principal on TIPS must also be reported in the year earned.
- Income must be reported even though it is not received until maturity or the STRIPS are sold.
STRIPS are attractive investments for tax-deferred accounts, such as individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans, and for non-taxable accounts, which include pension funds.
Every investor in STRIPS receives a report each year displaying the amount of STRIPS interest income from the financial institution, government securities broker, or government securities dealer that maintains the account in which the STRIPS are held.
For further information on the tax treatment of STRIPS and other zero-coupon securities, see Internal Revenue Service Publication 550, “Investment Income and Expenses.”
Valuation Guidance for Government Agencies
The stripped principal component of a security will be recorded at book value. Book value is defined as the par value of a security minus the amount of any unamortized discounts or plus the amount of any unamortized premiums.
Interest Payment (TINT)
The stripped interest component (TINT) of a security represents future interest payments due and will be recorded as accrued interest six months prior to maturity.