Tax Deductible Title Loans

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Jacksonville title loans are a trending option to help the average person navigate through financial pinches. These borrowing options don’t come with the hassles of traditional bank loans and can be for small amounts repaid over short periods of time. Florida also has excellent consumer protections in place to ensure that borrowers are treated in a fair and legal manner. A question people often ask is: are tax deductible title loans available? After all, a write-off would make these borrowing options even more affordable and practical.

A Brief Overview of Auto Title Loans

Before diving into whether tax deductible title loans are available, it’s important to understand what auto title loans are. These options are a type of personal loan. They’re secured loans. The security or collateral you provide is the title for a car, truck, or even a motorcycle that you own. That’s why the title must be free and clear—in other words, you can’t still be paying off the loan. Since the loans are secured and the lenders are protected, borrowers have a lot of options. Loan amounts can be as small as $100 or less, and the repayment period can be 24 hours or less. The requirements for these loans include:

  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Possessing a valid federal- or state-issued ID
  • A vehicle title that’s free and clear
  • An odometer reading or mileage estimate
  • The year, make, model and trim of the vehicle

What is a tax write-off?

A tax write-off is a deduction for a legitimate expense. In order for tax deductible title loans to be viable, they must be associated with personal or business expenses that the IRS has deemed suitable for deduction. Many individuals and even small businesses opt to take a standard deduction for convenience. In order to deduct loan payments, for instance, then you would need to itemize deductions on your return.

Can a title loan be deducted for personal reasons?

The simple answer to whether you can deduct expenses related to a title loan for personal purposes is probably not. There are a lot of items that you can deduct as an individual or married couple, including mortgage interest, property taxes, sales taxes, and even many miscellaneous expenses. Purchasing and owning a vehicle and any expenses ancillary to that are generally not tax deductible. The exception here would be if that vehicle or loan principal was used for business purposes, but then, it becomes a business write-off and not a personal deduction.

Can a title loan be deducted for business purposes?

You may be able to deduct expenses related to your vehicle if you use it wholly or in part for business purposes. The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct certain car and truck expenses, including mileage, registration, licensing, insurance and lease payments. In certain scenarios, title loan payments can fit the criteria of lease payments, which allows them to be tax deductible title loans. Be mindful that itemizing your business deductions in this manner would be in lieu of taking the standard business deduction, so careful bookkeeping would be required in case the return is audited. It’s also worth noting that the loan may need to be associated with a valid business expense, such as:

  • Insurance
  • Startup fees
  • Supply costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Equipment and other assets

Can you deduct the principal?

When a loan is tax deductible, that deduction generally doesn’t apply to the principal. After all, that loan is a source of income and must be taxed accordingly. The principal from tax deductible title loans may be used for expenses that can be write-offs, such as purchasing business assets. However, in those cases the deduction would be the purchase of the asset and not the repayment of the loan.

Can you deduct the interest and any fees?

Yes. If a loan—including an auto title loan—is deductible, then that write-off primarily applies to the interest. After all, the interest you pay is a business expense and thus reduces your taxable income for the year. Be mindful that this interest plus any other deductions must exceed the standard business deduction in order to be worthwhile. Whether fees are deductible is a bit trickier to answer. It depends on a number of factors, and you’ll need to consult with a tax professional to determine if the fees are considered with the principal or the interest.