Imputed Interest

What is an ‘Imputed Interest’

Imputed interest is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a means of collecting tax revenues on loans or securities that pay little or no interest. Imputed interest is important for discount bonds, such as zero-coupon bonds, and other securities that are sold below face value and mature at par. The IRS uses an accretive method when calculating the imputed interest on Treasury bonds and has Applicable Federal Rates (AFR) that set a minimum interest rate in relation to imputed interest and original issue discount rules.

Explaining ‘Imputed Interest’

Imputed interest may apply to loans among family and friends. For example, a mother loans her son $50,000 with no interest charges. The applicable short-term federal rate is 2%. The son should be paying his mother $1,000 annually ($50,000 x .02 = $1,000.) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumes the mother collects this amount from her son and lists it on her tax return as interest income, even though she did not collect it.

Applicable Federal Rates

Because many low-interest or interest-free loans were being transacted and not being taxed, the IRS established Applicable Federal Rates (AFR) through the Tax Act of 1984. The AFR determines the lowest interest that may be charged on loans below a specific interest rate threshold and considers the amount of potential income generated from the interest rate as imputed income. Because of the creation of AFR, the IRS may collect tax revenue from loans that otherwise are not taxed.

Calculating Imputed Interest on a Zero-Coupon Bond

When calculating imputed interest on a zero-coupon bond, an investor first determines the bond’s yield to maturity (YTM). Assuming the accrual period is one year, the investor divides the face value of the bond by the price he paid when purchasing it. He then increases the value by a power equal to one divided by the number of accrual periods before the bond matures. The investor reduces the number by one and multiplies by the number of accrual periods in one year to determine the zero-coupon bond’s YTM.

Example of Imputed Interest

Imputed interest is important for determining pension payouts. For example, when an employee retires from a company in which he was a member of a pension plan, the company may offer the retiree a lump sum of the $500,000 set aside for him under the plan, or he may receive $5,000 a year in benefits. Assuming the applicable short-term federal rate is 2%, the retiree needs to determine whether he may receive a better imputed interest rate in another market by taking the lump sum and purchasing an annuity providing greater income.

Imputed Interest FAQ

What is an imputed interest rate?

Imputed Interest alludes to interest that is considered by the IRS to have been paid for charge purposes, regardless of whether no interest installment was made. The IRS utilizes ascribed interest as an instrument to gather charge incomes on credits that don’t pay interest, or expressed interest is low. Sep 30, 2020

What is the imputed interest rate for 2020?

IRS Applicable Federal Rates (AFRs)Nov. 2020Sept. 2020Monthly0.39%0.35%

Who pays imputed interest?

Imputed interest will be interest that the expense code expects you gathered yet you didn’t in reality gather. For instance, say you advance a companion $20,000 for one year at 0.1% premium. That companion will pay you $20 in interest

How do I calculate imputed interest?

Figuring Imputed Interest on a Zero-Coupon Bond Expecting the accumulation time frame is one year, the financial specialist isolates the presumptive worth of the bond by the cost paid when it, he, or she bought it. The financial specialist at that point expands the incentive by a force equivalent to one isolated by the quantity of accumulation periods before the bond develops. Jan 19, 2020

Can you deduct imputed interest?

In the event that the credit is an underneath market advance—one bearing a loan fee beneath the IRS-set material government rate—at that point attributed revenue results. This implies the bank must report this attributed revenue as premium pay, and the borrower might have the option to deduct the credited revenue. Jun 20, 2019

When should you impute interest on a loan?

Consistently, the IRS distributes a rundown of current Relevant Government Rates, which reflect economic situations. For instance, in June 2018, the AFR for advances of under 3 years was 1.78%. In the event that you advance somebody cash at no revenue, or at 0.25%, or at any rate underneath 1.78%, you need to manage attributed revenue.

How can imputed interest be avoided?

Imputed interest can be evaded on different credits as long as the current government loan cost is concerned them. The rates are set month to month by the Inward Income Administration. For term credits, the rate that ought to be applied is the government rate that was determined to the day the advance was made. Jul 31, 2019

Further Reading

  • Tax expenditures for owner-occupied housing: Deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest and the exclusion of imputed rental income – [PDF]
  • Multiple imputation in the 1992 Survey of Consumer Finances – [PDF]
  • Farm financial stress in a changing economic environment: simulating credit risk with new imputed ARMS data on farm debt – [PDF]
  • Intertemporal cost allocation and managerial investment incentives: A theory explaining the use of economic value added as a performance measure – [PDF]
  • Making finance productive – [PDF]
  • Imputing risk tolerance from survey responses – [PDF]
  • Financial contract innovation and income tax policy – [PDF]
  • Bank imputed interest rates: unbiased estimates of offered rates? – [PDF]