Bad Debt is Usually a Lost Cause

by : Roland Jefferson

Companies and businesses often end up with bad debt and institutions regard bad debt as a loss for all intents and purposes. From an accountant's point of view, this debt is in the accounts receivable category, and these are accounts receivable that will not be paid. Eventually bad debt will often be written off by a company as debt that will never be collected. The accountants in a company also classify bad debt in the expense category. This expense reduces the income of the company on the accountant's statements.

Most companies and the executives that run them anticipate that they will have bad debt from time to time. This debt could be from loans paid out that will not be repaid or from accounts that will not be paid for various reasons. Bad debt is often just part of doing business in a competitive world. Many business experts make their reputation and their fortunes on taking some risks to make profits. The risks are made based on information available at the time. Few business people want to end up with accounts receivable or loans that are not going to be paid off, but most business people know that this will happen at times.

Bad Debt Is not Always a Total Loss

Bad debt is not always disastrous for a business, and it is not always a total loss. There are some ways that clever accountants can make up for debt that is not collected. Accountants often use this type of debt to get some money back on taxes when it is reported as a loss. This debt can be deducted on tax returns under certain conditions. The debt must be legitimate debt in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The debt must also be a loss for the current tax year.

The IRS has many complex rules and bad debt must meet these rules so the accountants of a company can use this as a tax deduction. The rules must be carefully studied and understood so there are no subsequent problems presented by the government auditors and officials. The misuse of this deduction could be worse than the initial loss from the bad debt. The debt of a company differs quite significantly from the debt of an individual and each company has expert accountants who are ready and able to figure out ways to use debt to the benefit of their company.