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jgordosea, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3161
Experience:  I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
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Can I deduct a business loan principle and interest?

Resolved Question:

I loaned my LLC (wife and I are the only partners) money to buy a business three years ago. Until now, the business has taken interest payments as a deduction. I want the business to now payback the principle. Can the business deduct principle payments back to me as a business expense? How is this supposed to be reflected on the books for tax return purposes?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  jgordosea replied 8 years ago.


When you loaned the principal to the business whatever assets (or expenses) that the money was used to purchase would have been recorded on the company books.

Usually the case is that the expenses or assets that the borrowed money is used for are recorded at the time the money is spent by the company. This is true whether the loan is from a shareholder or a bank or any source.

So, the business will not have a deduction when principal is repaid on a loan (as that would result in counting that money twice as a deduction).

I hope this helps explain that you will not have a deduction, but will just reduce the balance due on the loan in the company books, when the principal is repaid. Please ask if you need clarification.

Best regards.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. This is as I suspected. Can you please tell me how would be the appropriate way in which to account for the loan/balance, etc.? Currently I have the following in Quickbooks:

3000-Opening Balance Equity: Equity

2100-Note Payable for Original Business Purchase: Other Current Liability:

I have not repaid any of the principle yet, only interest up to now. Is my assumption correct then, based on your answer, that I would be liable for tax on any net profit for the year, before I could use that net profit to pay back some of the principal?

What I misunderstand is once the principal balance is paid back to the business partners (my wife and I) and there's no longer that liability from the company to us, then do we still remain equity owners of "the business' 'value'"?

Thanks again and I look forward to your reply. I think these are my only remaining clarification questions.

Expert:  jgordosea replied 8 years ago.

Hello again,

You will reduce the 2100-Note Payable for Original Business Purchase by the amount of principal that the company pays (up to the time that it is all repaid and the balance will then be zero) when you write the check for paynig the principal.

Just as you did not add the amount loaned into income when the loan amount is received you will not deduct the amoutn of principal paid back. There is no affect on the profit for the year from taking or paying a loan.

So, as always, the net profit of the company will flow through to you as the shareholders.

Loans and equity are two separate items. Whether or not you have any loans due from the company does not change that you are shareholders and have an equity interest.

On your balance sheet there should be an Owners Equity account that reflects that ownership.

I hope this helps to clarify for you. Please let me know if you desire further assistance.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

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