A new ruling has been released by the ATO on the deductibility or otherwise of penalty interest. Ruling TR 2019/2 replaces an earlier ruling on the same topic that has since been withdrawn (TR 93/7W), and spells out the circumstances when penalty interest is generally deductible and the situations where this is not the case.

The term “penalty interest” refers to an amount payable by a borrower under a loan agreement in consideration for the lender agreeing to an early repayment of a loan. The amount payable is commonly calculated by reference to a number of months of interest payments that would have been received but for the early payment.

The new ruling stresses that the deductibility or otherwise is determined by the relevant circumstances, and also that different provisions of the tax law will also influence the outcomes. Relevant provisions dealt with in the ruling include: Readmore