The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act places limits on the deduction of business interest for larger business entities as determined by sales volume.

Prior Law

Through December 31, 2017

Under the law as it existed, there was no limit on the deduction of interest on business debt.

New Law

Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017

For entities that have average sales (over the past three years) of more than $25 million, the deduction for interest on business debt is limited to 30% of adjusted taxable income. For 2018 through 2021 adjusted taxable income is calculated before deductions for depreciation, amortization and depletion. Certain industries are exempt from the limit while other businesses can avoid this provision by electing the alternative depreciation system.

Floor plan interest for the acquisition of inventory (such as motor vehicles) where the inventory secures the debt, is also exempt from the interest deduction limit.

Commentary

The limit is designed to level the playing field between companies that finance via equity versus debt.

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Doug Wendlandt
I began my career in public accounting in 1978 and became a certified public accountant in 1981. I worked at a public accounting firm for 25 years and then started my own practice. In 2010, Hawkins Ash CPAs acquired my firm in Marshfield and welcomed me as a partner. I am a member of the firm’s Tax Committee.

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