Are Personal Loans Tax Deductible? 

Taxes may not be the most exciting thing people will ever do, but if they have a personal loan, knowing the potential tax implications can help them when it comes time to file their return.

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There is no specific tax for personal loans. However, knowing how and when a personal loan might impact their taxes can help ensure they don’t miss out on any potential deductions. This article will emphasize personal loans with tax-deductible interest.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • You will understand how tax-deductible interest on personal loans works
  • How canceled personal loan debts affect taxes 
  • Types of loans with tax deductible interest 
  • Answers to some frequently asked questions on personal loans.
Personal Loans Tax
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Are Personal Loans Tax Deductible?

In some cases, personal loans are not tax deductible. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. People can get tax-deductible interest on loans if they use the loan proceeds for qualified education expenses, business expenses, or eligible taxable investments.

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If people do not use a personal loan for one of the reasons stated above, a personal loan won’t affect their taxes.

Personal loans could help people save money by providing the funds they need to pay for an unexpected expense or emergency or consolidating high-interest debt.

While there are exceptions to these, generally, personal loans don’t affect people’s taxes. Below are reasons how a personal loan doesn’t affect one’s tax

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The loan is for personal use

Personal loans are primarily for personal use, and people generally don’t get to deduct personal expenses.

  • In most cases, only interest is tax deductible.

Some types of personal loans can qualify for a tax deduction. But generally, people can deduct only the interest portion they pay on loan and, most times, origination fees in the case of student loans, not the loan amount.

  • A personal loan is not an income.

The money people receive from a personal loan isn’t added to their taxable income, meaning the borrower or the person does not have to pay taxes.

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5 Types of Loans with Tax-Deductible Interest

People can get tax-deductible interest on some types of loans if they meet all the criteria. Below are a few examples of loans that may qualify for tax-deductible interest:

1. Mortgages

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established new rules for deducting mortgage interest payments; the law didn’t eliminate the deduction.

People can still deduct mortgage interest when they use the funds to build, buy, or improve a home. If people pay mortgage interest points, those payments can be deductible. In both cases, if people qualify, they must itemize their deductions to benefit.

The law limit how much interest people may be able to deduct. Now, people can deduct interest on up to $375,000 worth of mortgage debt, $750,000 if they are married and file jointly. Higher limits of $500,000 and $1,000,000 apply if people took out the mortgage before December. 16, 2016.

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2. Second mortgages

Interest payments on second mortgages, such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a home equity loan (HEL), may also be deductible. However, the mortgage limit applies to the combined balance of an individual’s first and second mortgages.

To qualify, people need to use the proceeds from the loan to improve the home by extending its life or increasing its value. In other words, building an addition might qualify people, but making cosmetic changes that don’t increase its value would not qualify them.

3. Business loans

If people are self-employed or run a business, they may be able to deduct the interest they pay on a business loan or a portion of a personal loan they use for business purposes. To qualify, they must:

           • The individual must be liable for the debt

           • The individual must have a true debtor-creditor relationship

           • The individual must have the intention to repay the debt, and the credit must be repaid

If a family member of Mr. Johnson offers to give Mr. Johnson money to start a business and he later decides to repay the gift plus interest, that won’t count. But if he takes out a personal loan to buy equipment and supplies for his business, he may be able to deduct their interest payment.

Or for example, an individual takes out an auto refinance loan for a car they use for business half the time. They may be able to deduct half (1/2) of the interest on the loan.

4. Student loans

If an individual took out student loans for qualified higher education expenses, they might be able to deduct up to $2,500 in interest payments yearly. For the interest deduction, qualified expenses include textbooks, tuition, fees, lodging, and other necessary expenses. The definition depends on certain higher education tax credits.

People can take this deduction even if they don’t itemize. However, they can’t take the deduction if they use the married filing separately status or if people can claim they or their spouse as a dependent. The deduction phases out based on their modified adjusted gross income.

5. Investment interest expenses

An investment interest deduction is an itemized deduction for the interest people pay if they borrow money to purchase an eligible taxable investment. For example, an individual may claim the deduction if they have a brokerage account and take out a margin loan to purchase stocks. 

If an individual qualifies, the deduction is limited to the net investment income the individual earned at their ordinary income tax rate. They may be able to carry over interest expenses if they can’t claim the full deduction this year.

When Can You Get Tax-Deductible Interest on Loans?

Depending on how people use the money, there are a few circumstances when people can get tax-deductible interest on loans.

For example, suppose a person takes out a loan solely to refinance a student loan or to pay for qualified education expenses. In that case, they may be able to claim the student loan interest deduction.

Similarly, people may also be able to take a business or an investment interest expense deduction if they use a personal loan for these purposes. However, some lending marketplaces and lenders may not allow people to take out a personal loan for these types of purposes.

Additionally, an unsecured loan won’t qualify for mortgage-related deductions because the borrower’s home doesn’t secure the loan. It is true even if people take out the loan for home improvements.

How Does Canceled Personal Loan Debt Affect Your Taxes?

If a creditor discharges, cancel, or forgives part of a person’s debt, the portion of the loan that the person didn’t repay might be considered taxable income. Often, this occurs if people fall behind on payments and agree to settle with the creditor.

The creditor will send the person a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, which shows how much debt owned by the person was canceled. People may need to include the canceled debt in their income and pay taxes on the amount.

However, there are some exceptions, and people may be able to exclude the amount from their income if they are insolvent (i.e., their liabilities exceed their assets). 

Read Also:

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Conclusion

With the potential tax consequences, people can be more strategic about why and when they take out a loan. Small-business owners can benefit, as most loans may qualify them for a deduction even if the small business owner uses only a portion of the proceeds for business expenses.

People should remember that tax planning is a year-round process and is an important part of managing their personal finances. Many people often think about using a tax refund to pay down debt. However, a suitable approach might be to use a better reliable source of money, such as a personal loan.

FAQS

What interest is tax deductible?

According to the IRS, people can get a tax-deductible interest on the loans listed below:

           • Investment interest expenses

           • Interest on business loans

           • Interest on home loans

           • Interest on outstanding student loans

Are loan repayments tax deductible?

No, auto loans, personal loans, and credit card debt repayments are not tax-deductible.

Is interest on a personal loan tax deductible?

In some cases, people cannot get tax-deductible interest on personal loans. They may not deduct interest expenses from an unsecured loan unless the loan is for qualified education expenses, business expenses, or eligible taxable investments.

What kind of personal expenses is tax deductible?

The personal expenses that remain tax deductible for people include charitable donations, medical expenses, 401(k), mortgage interest, student loan interest, IRA contributions, and certain education expenses. These loans can only be taken if people file an itemized tax return.

You can learn more from the video below:

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