Lending Club TurboTax Integration Attempts to Solve Marketplace Lending’s Tax Problem
Lending Club’s retail investors scored big on February 12th when they announced an integration with TurboTax software. The complexity of marketplace lending from a tax perspective has historically been one of the most prohibitive cost barriers for retail investors. Unlike savings accounts which issue a standard 1099-INT, Lending Club (and Prosper) issue both a 1099-OID and a 1099-B.
According to the IRS, the 1099-OID should “state the excess of an obligation’s stated redemption price at maturity over its issue price. Original Issue Discount (OID) on a taxable obligation is taxable as interest over the life of the obligation. If you are the holder of a taxable OID obligation, generally you must include an amount of OID in your gross income each year you hold the obligation.”
For the average person, explanations like these are enough to warrant the help of an accountant. But that’s a problem for people that are investing a small amount. For example, if $10,000 invested in Lending Club notes generated $700 in income for the year, it wouldn’t be practical to pay an accountant $500 to help you figure it all out. Between that and the actual taxes owed, an investor could easily end up losing money.
Lending Club tries to make it all as easy as possible for investors with their step-by-step tax guide, but it can still feel a little confusing. One problem to consider is that investors can only deduct up to $3,000 of their losses if they don’t have any other capital gains.
While an integration with TurboTax is a win for retail investors, marketplace lending had long been a thorn in the side for TurboTax. Complaints about the software not being “peer-to-peer friendly” have haunted Intuit’s help pages for years.Last modified: February 15, 2016
Sean Murray is the President and Chief Editor of deBanked and the founder of the Broker Fair Conference. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter. You can view all future deBanked events here.