Understanding Deductible and Non-Deductible Debt.

Kearney Group Debt Illustration Credit Cardsartboard 1
24 May 2024 Read time: 2 min

Deductible and non-deductible debt are distinct concepts with significant implications for both your tax and financial strategy. Understanding the differences between these two types of debt is central to making informed financial decisions.

What is Deductible Debt?


Deductible debt refers to loans or debt facilities that have been borrowed for income-producing activities, and therefore qualify for tax deductions on the interest paid.

In other words, if you borrow money in order to make more money, your debt may be tax deductible.

Key categories of deductible debt include:

1. Investment Loans:

Loans taken out to finance investments such as property or shares often qualify for tax deductions on the interest payments.


2. Business Loans:

Borrowings utilised for business purposes, including expansion, inventory purchases, or operational expenses, typically qualify for tax-deductible interest. This provision is designed to support entrepreneurship and economic growth.


What is Non-Deductible Debt?


Non-deductible debt are loans or borrowings that do not qualify for tax deductions on the interest paid.

Common examples of non-deductible debt include:

1. Personal Loans:

Loans obtained for personal expenses, such as vehicle purchases, vacations, or home renovations, typically do not qualify for tax deductions. The interest incurred on these loans is considered a personal expense and is therefore, not deductible.

2. Credit Card Debt:

Interest payments on personal credit card balances are not tax-deductible. Any interest expenses for personal purchases are borne by the individual without tax relief.

3. Home Loans (primary residence):

While mortgage interest for an investment property is tax deductible, interest on home loan payments for your primary residence are not.


Summing it all up:
The differences between deductible and non-deductible debt.


In summary, deductible debt offers tax benefits when you borrow money for income-producing activities. For example, you might take out a loan for investment or business purposes. Conversely, non-deductible debt does not provide tax advantages and encompasses private-use loans, personal credit card debt, and the mortgage on your home.

Understanding the distinction between deductible and non-deductible debt is essential for planning for and managing your tax, household cashflow, and making informed financial decisions.

And as with all things finance, the devil is in the details. So be sure to speak to a qualified adviser to help you understand the specifics of your personal situation.

Need a hand getting your debt in order?

Explore our Lending, Tax and Financial Advice services.

Or speak to one of our award-winning advisers.

Get in touch

Speak to the team.