What are the Different Types of Tax-Deductible Interest?

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  • Written By: Osmand Vitez
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 16 February 2020
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Federal, state or local government typically offer individuals and businesses different types of tax-deductible interest. While these deductions are specific to countries and regions, a few common types are investment, mortgage, trade or business, passive activity, student loans and personal interest. Individuals and business must fill out a tax form and follow certain instructions to determine if they meet the requirements for the tax-deductible interest. Interest deductions help reduce a taxpayer’s liability for an individual’s or business’ income.

Investment interest deductions typically relate to individuals or groups who purchase investments. For example, investors may purchase stocks, bonds or other equities using a margin account. This allows the investor to borrow money from a brokerage house to buy securities or sell them short. The interest associated with this activity may fall under tax-deductible interest requirements. Real estate investment may also qualify.

Home mortgage interest is perhaps the most commonly known tax-deductible interest. Individuals can usually deduct the interest payments made on their primary residence from their tax liability. This helps reduce their tax burden while promoting home ownership within a nation. Individuals must have sufficient paperwork to verify that they own the home and it is their primary residence for the majority of the tax year. Other requirements may also exist per government requirements.


Trade or business interest is another type of tax deductible interest. This can relate to construction interest when building a facility or building, trade accounts from payables or other activities in which a company must pay interest. This deduction helps companies avoid the negative effects of interest on large-scale operations. Government agencies may also allow for the deduction of interest on business loans, credit lines, or mortgages for buildings used in the company’s operations.

Passive activity interest is the income earned when individuals or businesses incur expenses on passive investments. These interest payments can be deductible or may be written against gains from other passive income investments. However, passive income losses can usually be written off against similar passive income investments. For example, a loss on a stock investment can only go against a gain from stock, not a gain from rental income.

Student loan interest is another well-known type of tax-deductible interest. Individuals securing student loans for higher education can typically deduct the amount of interest paid against their taxable income. Most student loan programs offered through government agencies allow for delayed payments. For example, individuals do not need to repay the loan until they graduate. Deducting this interest is typically not possible until the individual begins to pay back the loan.



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