Dealing with Debt & Interest

18 Credits: Taxes


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Dealing with Debt & Interest

Course Level
CPE Credits

18 Credits: Taxes

Course Description

In the intricate world of accounting and finance, understanding the nuances of tax issues related to debt and interest is critical, yet often perplexing for practitioners. The complexities of bona fide debt definitions, debt modifications, and the various types of interest require expert navigation to avoid adverse reporting outcomes. This online self-study CPE course offers a comprehensive guide through these complexities, providing up-to-date information on key aspects such as the purchase of income-producing property, retail valuation, cost allocations, and non-monetary exchanges. Led by experts in the field, the course also delves into the special considerations needed for economically troubled clients, including debt cancellation, repossession, discounts, and foreclosure. Participants will gain practical insights and strategies for handling these intricate tax issues, enhancing their ability to provide accurate and effective guidance in their professional practices.

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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Determine “interest” and select how much is tax deductible under §163 by:
    • Identifying what constitutes bona fide debt considering economic substance and purpose and specifying how transactions with family members and controlled corporations can recharacterize alleged indebtedness into gift or business equity and the factors used in this recharacterization; and
    • Specify the incentives to use corporate debt instead of equity, recognizing the special treatment of failed equity investment under §1244, and determining the differences among debt from installment sales, long-term and leveraged leases, and annuities.
  • Identify deductible interest, special calculation concepts, and procedures by:
    • Recognizing the allocation of interest based on the debt’s purpose, the application of any carryover rules and determining net investment income and its relationship to the investment interest deduction; and
    • Identifying the special tax treatment given to student loans, margin accounts, and market discount bonds specifying what happens to any disallowed interest expense and the timing considerations in interest reporting including interest paid in advance.
  • Identify nondeductible interest and the provisions that deny or restrict the deduction of interest by:
    • Recognizing when interest is nondeductible personal interest under §163(h)(1) and identifying the disallowance of interest related to tax-exempt income under §265, the life insurance interest restrictions of §264; the §465 at-risk limitations and the application of the §469 passive loss rules; and
    • Specifying the treatment of commitment fees and service charges based on R.R. 67-2897 and case law.
  • Recognize the deduction of interest using either the cash method or accrual method, determine the special elections applicable to and treatment of carrying charges under §266, below-market loans, imputed interest, and original issue discount.

Chapter 2

  • Determine the allocation of deductible interest based on the use and repayment of the loan proceeds and identify the special rules for the allocation of interest expense in connection with debt-financed acquisitions of, and distributions from, partnerships and S corporations.

Chapter 3

  • Identify categories of mortgages and characteristics of secured debt that influence the deductibility of interest, “qualified home,” and special situations affecting mortgage interest.
  • Specify special situations that can impact the qualified home mortgage interest deduction.
  • Recognize the general rule for the tax treatment of points and their exceptions, determine when a taxpayer will receive a Mortgage Interest Statement – Form 1098 and which information is included on this statement to figure interest deductions.
  • Identify when a stock in a cooperative housing corporation owned by a tenant-stockholder is a qualified home allowing for a deduction of interest paid, and specify the limits on the home mortgage deduction to ensure that appropriate deductions are taken.

Chapter 4

  • Identify distinctions between dividends and interest, the taxability of interest on CDs, deferred interest accounts, frozen deposits, and U.S. obligations, and specify the treatment of other miscellaneous interest items.
  • Recognize the types of U.S. savings bonds and their tax advantages and disadvantages, identify the tax treatment of bonds sold between interest dates, and determine when life insurance proceeds are taxable or excludable from income.
  • Identify state and local government debt obligations, the nature of the activity they fund, and their impact on whether the interest received from them is taxable.

Chapter 5

  • Recognize the importance of the installment method and, specify the §453 requirements and basic terminology associated with using the installment method.
  • Determine the impact of §483 (imputed interest rules) and §§1271 through 1274 (original issue discount rules) on installment sales, and identify the §1038 repossession rules that apply to repossessions by sellers and repossessions of principal residences.
  • Specify the rules associated with real property sales and casual sales of personal property, the provisions associated with the related party rules of §453 and the exceptions that override basic installment planning, identify regulations governing like-kind exchanges and their impact on delayed exchanges, and recognize the development and application the contingent payment rules.
  • Determine the allocation of payments for a single sale of several assets among different classes according to R.R. 76-110, identify the §1060 residual method to report the sale of a business, and identify “dealer dispositions” and when installment reporting may not be used.
  • Recognize the interest payable on installment dispositions exceeding $5 million and specify the circumstances when dispositions of installment obligations occur.

Chapter 6

  • Identify the variables that determine which §1038 rules for repossessions apply, and determine basis and gain or loss resulting from repossession of personal property using the installment method and the non-installment method sales.
  • Specify the distinctions between the rules, calculations, and effects of repossessions of personal and real property, and identify when a §166 bad debt deduction may be taken if the seller repossesses real property.

Chapter 7

  • Recognize the effect that debt cancellation has on net worth and potential income inclusion from cancellation of indebtedness income, and specify exceptions to the general income inclusion rule and their tax impact.
  • Identify tax attribute reductions and their application when reducing canceled debt, cite the special basis reduction rules, recognize the depreciable property election in reducing the basis of depreciable property before reducing any other tax attributes, determine what constitutes individual, partnership, and S corporation bankruptcy, and specify the variables used in determining whether shares of stock issued to a creditor are nominal or token.
  • Determine gain or loss resulting from foreclosure or repossession and their reporting and filing requirements, specify the timing and character of the gain or loss, and cite the hidden income tax danger of directly or indirectly acquiring one’s own debt at a discount.

Chapter 8

  • Recognize the mechanics of equity participation debt and the value of this financing option to clients by:
    • Identifying equity participation loans, the lender’s role in each and common elements and characteristics of shared appreciation loans along with key terms; and
    • Specify the economic aspects of shared appreciation mortgages including the tax treatment of shared appreciation mortgages based on the hybrid concept and R.R. 83-51.
  • Determine the types of equity participation debt by:
    • Specifying the basic tests for loans where “interest” is measured in whole or in part by equity participation, the importance of the Culbertson rule, and the risk of partnership status;
    • Identifying the tax consequences of being a property owner and the recharacterization of debt based on the failure to find a debtor-creditor relationship between the borrower and lender; and
    • Specifying the conversion and option rights associated with equity participation debt, the application to debt instruments of the time value of money provisions of imputed interest, and original issue discount.

Chapter 9

  • Recognize the general tax treatment of interest received from sources within the United States, and identify the tax treatment of foreign interest by:
    • Specifying types of interest paid to foreign payees that are subject to withholding and how to figure the tax;
    • Identifying the requirements of tax treaties to ensure entitlement to benefits under the tax treaty and specifying statutory withholding rates for tax-free covenant bond interest; and
    • Determining the types of interest of U.S. obligors that are not subject to withholding and the conditions of their exemption.

Chapter 10

  • Identify bad debt categories and their tax treatment and effect on accounting and reporting by:
    • Determining the concepts of worthlessness and true debt including the unique characteristics of deductible nonbusiness bad debt;
    • Recognizing the treatment of bad debts related to political debts, mechanics’ liens, and secondary liabilities on home mortgages; and
    • Specifying the forms used to report bad debts and the tax treatment of recovered amounts.
  • Determine the §166 tax treatment of business bad debts by:
    • Identifying the tax treatment of business credit transactions, loan guarantees, accounts receivable or notes receivable particularly the tax treatment of accounts receivable in a business sale and specifying the various forms on which a bad debt deduction should be taken depending on the entity type;
    • Recognizing the tests that must be met by an accrual method business taxpayer to be able to take a bad debt deduction for a political debt and identifying the tax consequences of the insolvency of a partner when a business partnership terminates and debts are owed; and
    • Specifying methods that can be used by businesses to treat uncollectible amounts and the rules that apply to each.
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Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
June 20, 2023

General understanding of federal income taxation.

Advanced Preparation


Number of Pages

Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220
IRS Provider Number: 0MYXB
IRS Course Number: 0MYXB-T-02190-22-S
IRS Federal Tax Law Credits: 18
CTEC Provider Number: 2071
CTEC Course Number: 2071-CE-1630
CTEC Federal Tax Law Credits: 18

CFP Notice: Not all courses that qualify for CFP® credit are registered by Western CPE. If a course does not have a CFP registration number in the compliance section, the continuing education will need to be individually reported with the CFP Board. For more information on the reporting process, required documentation, processing fee, etc., contact the CFP Board. CFP Professionals must take each course in it’s entirety, the CFP Board DOES NOT accept partial credits for courses.

CTEC Notice: California Tax Education Council DOES NOT allow partial credit, course must be taken in entirety. Western CPE has been approved by the California Tax Education Council to offer continuing education courses that count as credit towards the annual “continuing education” requirement imposed by the State of California for CTEC Registered Tax Preparers. A listing of additional requirements to register as a tax preparer may be obtained by contacting CTEC at P.O. Box 2890, Sacramento, CA, 95812-2890, by phone toll-free at (877) 850-2832, or on the Internet at

Meet The Experts

Danny Santucci, BA, JD, is a prolific author of tax and financial books and articles. His legal career started with the business and litigation firm of Edwards, Edwards, and Ashton. Later he joined the Century City entertainment firm of Bushkin, Gaims, Gaines, and Jonas working for many well-known celebrities. In 1980, Danny established the law firm of Santucci, Potter, and Leanders in Irvine, California. With increasing lecture and writing commitments, Danny went into sole practice in 1995. His practice emphasizes business taxation, real estate law, and estate planning. Speaking to more than 100 groups nationally each year, he is known …