What You Need To Know About Taxable Interest

With COLAs set to increase at a record rate, many may find that they will be pushed into a different tax bracket. The concept behind tax-deferred accounts is relatively simple. Because you are not working, you make less money. Making less money puts most in a lower tax bracket. With this logic, you are taxed at a lower rate when you pull your money out. Then there are your savings, bonds, and other assorted investments. The Government makes money off your investments too. As many retirees may be looking at a different tax bracket, it’s worth taking a minute to learn about Taxable Interest. 

What is the definition of taxable interest income?

You must usually pay tax on your income if you earn interest on your investments. Uncle Sam wants a share of your interest money, just like he wants a bit of your wage income.

Even though the interest you earned appears to be extremely modest, it is still income, and you still pay taxes on it. In a nutshell, taxable interest income is money earned on assets you must pay taxes.

So, how much tax must I pay on interest income?

In most circumstances, earned interest income is taxed at the same rate as the rest of your income. So, if your typical tax bracket is 25%, you’ll additionally pay 25% in interest taxes.

Assume you got $1,000 in CD interest (certificate of deposit). If your marginal tax rate is 25%, you will owe $250 in taxes on the income.

Remember that the amount of tax you owe is determined by everything on your tax return, including your income, deductions, credits, exemptions, and the number of dependents. Because all of these elements change, your tax rate may vary from year to year. When your typical tax bracket changes, so do the amount of tax you pay on interest income.

What kinds of interest earnings are taxable?

All interest on federal bonds, mutual funds, CDs, and interest-bearing accounts is taxed.


United States Treasury bonds, savings bonds, and corporate bonds are typically taxed at your regular tax rate on your federal tax return. However, interest on US Treasury bonds is often free from state and municipal taxes.

Investing in mutual funds

Mutual fund interest is subject to taxation. Tax-deferred accounts, including 401ks and IRAs, provide tax-deferred interest, which is not taxable immediately.

Certificates of deposit and interest-bearing accounts

Interest collected on CDs, savings, checking, and money market accounts is taxed at your ordinary tax rate in the year it is earned.

Is there any interest income that isn’t taxable?

The interest generated from municipal bonds is usually exempt from federal taxes; therefore, any interest generated from municipal bonds is tax-free. Municipal bonds are often free from state and local taxes.

However, municipal bond capital gains are subject to federal and state capital gains taxes.

What if I don’t redeem the interest?

In most circumstances, you must pay tax on interest in the year it was paid to you. So, if you have an investment account that pays interest regularly and keeps the money in your account undisturbed, you must still pay tax on it for the year it was earned.

Most interest income is taxed when it is received or when it may be withdrawn. Even if you do not withdraw it, you must pay taxes on the interest as soon as it is paid to you.

The only exception is when you get interested in a tax-deferred account such as a 401k or IRA. The tax you owe on interest and other profits will be delayed until you begin withdrawing from the account.

How should I include interest on my tax return?

Banks and financial businesses must submit a 1099-INT to every client who has paid more than $10 in interest in the previous year. They will send a copy to you as well as the IRS. This form reflects the total interest paid to you throughout the fiscal year, which must be recorded on your tax return.

You must include the information on Schedule B of your tax return if you get a 1099-INT. Add your interest income reported on Schedule B to your other income to calculate your total taxable income.

Earning interest income is usually beneficial. However, because it raises your taxable income, remember to pay taxes on the interest when it is due.