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Investment Interest Expense Deduction to Expect in 2021

Investment Interest Expense Deduction to Expect in 2021

The TCJA eliminated several itemized deductions from 2018 through to 2025. However, the investment interest deduction was not affected. This means that single taxpayers can claim their expense for investment interest as one of their itemized deductions to appear on Schedule A of the 1040 tax return.

People that qualify for the investment interest need to consider these two factors.


Explaining Investment Interest

Interest paid on any loan in which the funds served to buy a property that you hold for investment is called investment interest. Uncle Sam has some property examples for investment, like any property that gives dividends, annuities, interest, etc., which does not come in regular business activity. Properties producing gains or losses also fit into the category.

This means that for anyone who took a loan to purchase stocks, the person can deduct interest on the loan as investment interest. Also, when people in the higher earning bracket calculate their net investment income tax of 3.8%, it is essential to deduct investment interest. 

The interest amount allowed for Deduction in a particular year is tied to the taxpayer's net investment income for the year. 


Calculating Your Investment Income 

We calculate investment income by removing the investment expenses from the income for taxes. 

Parts of investment incomes are dividends, rental income, interest payments, etc. Residents of Alaska cannot include Permanent Fund Dividends (Permanent) as part of their investment income.

The following can be part of the expenses to be deducted for investment expenses: legal fees, fees to take care of investment service, investment advisory fees, accounting fees, costs for safe deposit. When you have all your expenses,  the figure will be removed from your income, which gives the net investment income. 


The Capital Gains Election

Taxpayers can decide to have net capital gains and qualified dividends as part of what they need to estimate their investment income, which helps deduct their investment interest. This election is possible by selecting the part of your qualified dividend alongside the net capital gains that you want to be part of the net investment income, which will appear in Form 4952 Line 4(g).

This election comes with an effect – an ordinary tax rate will apply to the net capital gains alongside the qualified dividends. One can have a higher and better value of net investment income for higher capital gains. This translates to a higher and better investment interest deduction for the taxpayer. 

The return that accommodates this election must happen on a tax return filed by the Tax date. For people that request an extension, it must happen by the estimated due date. There is a provision for taxpayers to amend a return that has been filed previously to make the election possible in six months. On completing the election, Uncle Sam must provide its consent before it can be revoked. 


Claiming the Deduction 

Investment expense is part of the Deduction present on Form 1040 Schedule A.

One might need to File Form 4952 along. Although Uncle Sam advises that it might not be necessary if one meets the following qualifications:

  • The expense of your investment interest is not above your investment income.

  • There is no other investment expense you have that can be deducted. 

  • There is no investment interest carryover you have from past or previous years.

Provided you meet all these tests, there is the possibility to deduct your entire investment interest. 


Standard Deduction will not be Allowed. 

It is your choice to claim the standard Deduction or go by the itemizing rule when you file. Since you cannot do it, you need to go with the one that makes the most sense. The only case in which itemizing is advisable is when your entire itemized Deduction is more than the standard deduction you can claim. TCJA raised the standard deduction, which could make it high to achieve.

For the 2021 tax year, single filers have their deductions set at $12,550 (a $150 increase from 2020). Married couples filing jointly have it at $25,100 ($300 increase from 2020). Head of households has this value at $18,800 (a $150 increase from 2020).

People who have the total of their itemized Deduction less than their standard Deduction and prefer to itemize will have to pay more income tax.


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