After Tax Cost of Debt

The After Tax Cost of Debt is a key financial metric used to calculate the actual cost of borrowing for a company after accounting for the effect of taxes. It represents the interest expense a company incurs on its debt, taking into consideration the tax advantages provided by deducting the interest payments from taxable income.


When a company borrows money, it typically incurs interest expenses on its debt. However, these interest expenses may be tax-deductible, resulting in a reduction in the company’s taxable income. The After Tax Cost of Debt takes into account this tax advantage and provides a more accurate measure of the true cost of borrowing for a company.


To calculate the After Tax Cost of Debt, several steps are involved:

  1. Start by determining the pre-tax cost of debt, which is the interest rate charged by lenders or the yield on the company’s outstanding debt. This is usually expressed as a percentage.
  2. Multiply the pre-tax cost of debt by (1 minus the corporate tax rate) to adjust for the tax benefits. The corporate tax rate is the rate at which a company’s profits are taxed.

After Tax Cost of Debt = Pre-tax cost of debt × (1 – Corporate tax rate)

For example, if the pre-tax cost of debt is 6% and the corporate tax rate is 30%, the calculation would be:

After Tax Cost of Debt = 6% × (1 – 0.30) = 4.2%


The After Tax Cost of Debt is an essential metric for financial analysis, as it helps businesses evaluate the true cost of their borrowing activities. By factoring in the tax advantages, companies can assess the impact of interest expenses on their overall profitability and make informed decisions regarding their capital structure.

Furthermore, the After Tax Cost of Debt is crucial in other financial calculations, such as calculating the cost of capital or determining the company’s weighted average cost of capital (WACC). It contributes to the holistic understanding of a company’s financial health and aids in assessing its ability to generate returns on invested capital.

Additionally, investors and analysts rely on the After Tax Cost of Debt to evaluate the risk and potential returns associated with investing in a particular company or industry. It provides insights into the cost of borrowing and the impact on a company’s bottom line, helping stakeholders make informed investment decisions.


The After Tax Cost of Debt is widely used in financial modeling, valuation analysis, and various decision-making processes. It informs strategic choices, such as determining whether it is more cost-effective to borrow funds or raise capital through equity financing.

For example, a company considering issuing bonds at an interest rate of 5% would need to calculate the After Tax Cost of Debt to accurately assess the financial implications. If the corporate tax rate is 25%, the effective cost of borrowing after considering the tax benefits would be:

After Tax Cost of Debt = 5% × (1 – 0.25) = 3.75%

By using the After Tax Cost of Debt, the company can determine the impact on its financial statements and evaluate the affordability and feasibility of the proposed financing option.

In conclusion, the After Tax Cost of Debt is a critical financial metric that allows companies to assess the actual cost of borrowing by accounting for the tax advantages associated with interest expenses. It enables informed decision-making, aids in financial analysis, and provides valuable insights for investors and stakeholders.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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