As you know, working capital is what’s left of your business funds after factoring in income and costs through the fiscal year—and it can determine whether your business struggles or thrives. That’s why many companies turn to short-term working capital loans when they temporarily need to extend their working capital.
But many businesses fail to take advantage of major tax deductions when it comes to the short-term working capital loans they receive. Why? Because they don’t know that recent bills like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) make it easier than ever to claim deductions on these loans. That makes short-term working capital loans more financially viable and accessible than ever.
Let’s look at four ways you can take advantage of deductions on your working capital business loan:
- Recognize what qualifies as working capital. The good news is that interest paid on nearly any type of business debt can be deducted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other tax laws. That includes short-term bank loans, other bank loans, lines of credit, real estate mortgages, credit cards or even car loans used for business purposes. Even a personal loan that’s used to cover business expenses can be tax deductible. That also goes for business loans where personal property is used as collateral.
You must be the party legally responsible for the repayment of that debt for it to qualify. You’ll also need paperwork showing the debt transaction—a UCC-1 statement provided by your bank or creditor is the most effective. Similarly, you must be able to show the IRS that you and your creditor are taking steps to repay the debt. This includes proof of payments and proof of those deposits provided by the lender.
- Understand which parts of debt you can deduct. It’s important to remember that only interest on your business debts can be claimed. The principal repayment value of the loan can’t be deducted, since this isn’t considered income earned by your business.
You also can’t claim a deduction on loan interest until the borrowed money has been put to use. That means it must be spent for a purpose relating to your business, not just kept in the bank. Loaned monies deposited into a bank are considered an investment and thus aren’t eligible for loan interest deductions. They may be eligible for deduction as an investment expense—but you should talk to an expert to see if you qualify under those IRS regulations.
- Accurately deduct loans used for personal and business use. Many businesses don’t realize that even interest on personal loans can be deducted as long as some portion of that loan was used for business purposes. You’ll simply need to determine and clearly show which portion of the loan was used for business expenses, and then only deduct that percentage of interest in your tax filing. The same applies for business-centered loans that are partially used for personal reasons.
For example, let’s say you took out a working capital loan and used it to purchase some equipment. Let’s also say that you use that equipment for personal use around 15% of the time. You’ll be able to deduct 85% of the interest on that purchase, since that’s the amount used for business reasons.
- Avoid non-deductible loan expenses. Certain types of debt aren’t eligible for tax deductible interest. These include interest on large loans made off of life insurance policies for employees or owners, as well as interest on loans used to pay taxes or penalties that are owed or overdo. (C-corps are exempt from this rule, as they can claim deductions on tax debt loans.)
If you can learn the best ways to take advantage of business loan payment deductions through tax laws like the TCJA, you’ll be able to save money for your business and ensure that working capital is always available to get you where you’re going. These four steps will put you on the right track to increasing your deductions and decreasing your liability this tax season.
If you’d like to learn more about financing software for your business, contact Dimension Funding today.