Investing has many benefits: it supports the economy, breathes life into new ideas and businesses, and can lead to profit further down the line. In general, it’s a very good idea to invest a portion of your savings as early as possible, since the benefits reaped increase as time passes.
While most of these are long-term benefits, there are some short-term benefits as well, such as the potential for tax write-offs. In certain situations, expenses incurred while investing can be written off, reducing the amount of taxes you need to pay each year.
Similar to how capital gains are taxed when investments have gained value, capital losses can be written off when investments have lost value. In this way, capital losses function as the opposite of capital gains. These losses can only be deducted when they are realized, meaning the only way to write off depreciating value of your investments is if they have been sold that year for a lower value than their buying price.
The maximum value of capital losses that can be written off in one year is $3000—any greater losses will roll over into the next year. In the event of a married couple filing separately, that maximum is split evenly between them, so they can only deduct $1500 each.
Investment Interest Expenses
If you’ve taken out a loan in order to purchase investments or securities, the interest paid on such loans can be deducted as a tax write-off. This even includes interest on loans taken out to purchase property, provided that the property in question derives interest or royalties, or if you take a passive role in the property’s business activities.
The maximum deductible investment interest expenses you can write off on your taxes is found by taking your net investment income and subtracting any miscellaneous itemized deductions, which are outlined below.
Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions
This category includes general expenses that are greater than 2% of your adjusted gross income. The main sources of miscellaneous itemized deductions are usually interest on home mortgages, charitable contributions, and taxes from property and income. However, certain expenses relating to investments are able to written off in this category as well.
As investments are considered by the IRS to be income-producing activities, fees incurred through the investing process can be deducted if declared as such on your tax forms. Some deductions that can be written off include custodial fees, clerical and attorney costs, and fees for transportation and safety deposit box rentals.
Investment expenses that count as miscellaneous itemized deductions:
- Attorney costs for collecting taxable income
- Accounting costs for collecting taxable income
- Expenses for owned real estate that collects income
- Rental fees for safety deposit boxes
- Subscriptions to finance-related publications
- Costs from transportation to financial advisors and brokers
Taxes are an unavoidable fact of life and can be very stressful when they sneak up on you. However, just as there are a seemingly limitless amount of taxes that are charged on your assets, there are many ways to write off these taxes as well. Losses incurred through investing can easily turn into a short-term boon, and may eventually become tax breaks in the years to come.
In addition, standard operating costs to acquiring and maintaining successful investments can be written off, however miniscule these write-offs can seem. Several small tax write-offs do add up, and the money saved from these breaks can be used to pursue future investments and increase the value and diversity of your portfolio. However, it is still important to consult with a tax professional before pursuing any of the potential tax breaks outlined here.
Christine Sato founded the CPA Review Courses website – an online resource dedicated to helping professionals pass all four sections the CPA Exam on their first try. Christine provides reviews of best cpa study materials and gives expert cpa study tips to ease the process of becoming a CPA.