Tax Shield

What is Tax Shield?

Tax shield is the reduction in the taxable income by way of claiming the deduction allowed for the certain expense such as depreciation on the assets, interest on the debts etc and is calculated by multiplying the deductible expense for the current year with the rate of taxation as applicable to the concerned person.

A tax shield is a reduction in taxable income for an individual or corporation achieved through claiming allowable deduction as mortgage interestDeduction As Mortgage InterestMortgage interest deduction refers to the decrease in taxable income allowed to the homeowners for their interest on a home loan (taken for purchase or construction of the house) or any borrowings for house repair or more, medical expenditure, charitable donation, amortization, and depreciation.

  • This income reduces taxpayer’s taxable income for a given year or defers income taxes into future periods. It is a way to save cash flows and increase the value of a firm.
  • This strategy can be used to increase the value of a business since it reduces the tax liability that would otherwise reduce the value of the entity’s assets.
  • They are a path to save cash outflows and appreciate the value of a firm. Tax shield in the way of various forms involves in types of expenditure that is deductible from taxable income.

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Why is it Important?

Tax shield lower tax bills, which is one of the major reasons why taxpayers, whether individuals or corporations, spend a considerable amount of time determining which deduction and credits they qualify for each year.

There are various items/expenses whether it is cash or noncash on which an Individual or Corporation claims the tax shield benefits

Tax shield on Depreciation

Tax Shield Calculation on Depreciation Example

A company is reviewing an investment proposal in a project involving a capital outlayCapital OutlayCapital outlay, or the capital expenditure, refers to the sum of money spent by the company to purchase the capital assets such as plant, machinery, property, equipment or for extending the life of its existing assets to increase production more of $90,00,000 in a plant and machinery. The project would have a life of 5 years at the end of which the plant and machinery could fetch a value of $30,00,000.

Further, the project would also need a working capitalWorking CapitalWorking capital is the amount available to a company for day-to-day expenses. It's a measure of a company's liquidity, efficiency, and financial health, and it's calculated using a simple formula: "current assets (accounts receivables, cash, inventories of unfinished goods and raw materials) MINUS current liabilities (accounts payable, debt due in one year)"read more of $ 12,50,000, which would be built during year 1 and to be released from the project at the end of year 5. The project is expected to yield the following cash profits:

Cash profits ($ )35,30252020

A 25 % depreciation for plant and machinery is available on accelerated depreciation basisAccelerated Depreciation BasisAccelerated depreciation is a way of depreciating assets at a faster rate than the straight-line method, resulting in higher depreciation expenses in the early years of the asset's useful life than in the later years. The assumption that assets are more productive in the early years than in later years is the main motivation for using this method. read more as Income tax exemption. Assume that the corporate tax is paid one year in arrear of the periods to which it relates, and the first year’s depreciation allowance would be claimed against the profits of year 1.

The Management accountant has calculated Net Present Value (NPV) of the project using the company’s corporate target of 20 % pre-tax rate of return and has considered the taxation effect on the cash flows. The project’s cash flows should incorporate the effects of the tax. The corporate tax is expected to be 35 % during the life of the project, and thus the company’s rate of return post-tax is 13 % (20 % * 65 %).


  1. To calculate post-tax cash flow at a post-tax rate.
  2. Calculate the net present value (NPV) of the project, taking the tax shield formulaTax Shield FormulaTax Shield refers to the deduction allowed on the taxable income that eventually results in the reduction of taxes owed to the government. It is calculated by adding the different tax-deductible expenses and then multiplying the result by the tax more into consideration.

Tax on cash profit ($ in ‘00,000s)

Year of profitCash profitTax@35 %Year of tax payment

Depreciation Allowances- Tax Rebate ($ in ‘00,000)

YearReducing BalanceDepreciation@ 25 %Tax rebate/ ( Tax payable) 35 % on depreciationYear of cash flow
Profit on sale of Plant and machinery (30.000 – 21.357)(8.643)(3.025)6

Calculation of NPV of the project ($ in ‘00,000)
YearInvestmentDepreciation allowance tax savedCash profitsTax on profitsNet cash flowDiscounting factor at 13 %Present ValuePresent Value
Plant and MachineryWorking Capital       
Net Present Value1.57       

  • * (3.025) + 2.492 = (0.533)

Tax shield on Interest

Interest Shield in case of company or corporations

One of the important major objectives of a corporation or firm or organization is to reduce its tax liability for which he has to compute

  1. The tax advantageTax AdvantageTax Advantage are the types of investments or saving plans that benefit tax exemption, deferred tax, and other tax benefits. Examples include Government bonds, Annuities, Retirement Plans. read more of debt.
  2. Computing the interest tax shield;

Valuation of the interest tax shield:

  1. Capitalize or Recapitalize the value of the firm.
  2. Limits on the tax benefits of the debt;

Interest expenses are, as opposed to dividends and capital gains, tax-deductible. Therefore the tax shield is an important factor. These are the tax benefits derived from the creative structuring of a financial arrangement. The tax shield on interest is positive when earnings before interest and taxes, i.e., EBIT, exceed the interest payment. The value of the interest tax shield is the present value, i.e., PV of all future interest tax shields. Also, the value of a levered firm or organization exceeds the value of an else equal unlevered firm or organization by the value of the interest tax shield. A lease optionA Lease OptionA Lease Option is an agreement between the lessor & the lessee where the latter can buy the property (commercial/residential) after paying up at the end of the lease term or after a particular period. read more is one of the live examples.

Interest Tax Shield Calculation Example

 ABC Ltd. is considering a proposal to acquire a machine costing $ 1,10,000 payable $ 10,000 down and balance payable in 10 equal installments at the end of each year inclusive of interest chargeable at 15 %. Another option before it is to acquire the asset on a lease rental of $ 25,000 per annum payable at the end of each year for 10 years. The following information is also available below. The present value factor of 15 % for 10 years is 5.019.

  1. Terminal scrap value of $ 20,000 is realizable if the asset is purchased.
  2. The company provides a 10 % depreciation on the straight-line methodDepreciation On The Straight-line MethodStraight Line Depreciation Method is one of the most popular methods of depreciation where the asset uniformly depreciates over its useful life and the cost of the asset is evenly spread over its useful and functional life. read more on the original cost.
  3. The income tax rate is 50 %.
  4. You are required to compute and analyze cash flow and to advise as to which option is better.
Option 1 – Buy

Working notes:

  1. In this option the firm has to pay $ 10,000 down and the balance $ 1,00,000 together with interest @ 15 % is payable in 10 equal installments. The annuity amount may be calculated for 10 years at 15 % as i.e.,

Annual repayment = $ 1,00,000/5.019 = $ 19925.

  1. Discounting rate: we can use the after-tax cost of debtCost Of DebtCost of debt is the expected rate of return for the debt holder and is usually calculated as the effective interest rate applicable to a firms liability. It is an integral part of the discounted valuation analysis which calculates the present value of a firm by discounting future cash flows by the expected rate of return to its equity and debt more as a discounting rate for both options. We can also use the borrowing rate as a weighted average cost of capital (WACC) and assume that this proposal is already considered in the calculation of the weighted average cost of capital (WACC). We, therefore, assume that the firm’s WACC is 15 %( the borrowing rate is given above).

Since we have to use the same rate for leasingRate For LeasingThe lease rate is the interest rate associated with leasing the asset during the lease period. In simple terms, it is the compensating amount that otherwise the lender would have earned if the same property, equipment, or vehicle would have been up for some other more and borrowing option, there will be no change in the final decision, though answers would be different.

  1. Depreciation of 10% i.e. $ 11,000 ($ 1,10,000 * 10 %) has been provided for all the years.
  2. The asset is fully depreciatedAsset Is Fully DepreciatedFully depreciated assets are the assets that can no longer be depreciated for accounting or tax purposes. It implies that the entire depreciation has been provided in the accumulated depreciation account. These assets continue to be a part of the balance sheet unless they are sold or more during its life of 10 years. Therefore, the book value at the end of the 10th year would be zero. As the asset is having a salvage value of $ 20,000, this would be capital gain, and presuming it to be taxable at the normal rate of 50 %, the net cash inflow on account of salvage valueSalvage ValueSalvage value or scrap value is the estimated value of an asset after its useful life is over. For example, if a company's machinery has a 5-year life and is only valued $5000 at the end of that time, the salvage value is $ more would be $ 10,000 only, i.e. ($ 20,000 * 50 %). This is further discounted to find out the present value of this inflow.

The cash flow of the interest in the purchase option may be calculated as follows:

( Amount in $ )

YearInstallment ($)Interest ($)Repayment ($)Balance ($)
ABC =15 %D = B-CE
0 – – –1,00,000

The Present value of cash outflows may now be found as follows:

( Amount in $)

YearPaymentInterestDepreciationTax shield 50 %Net cash flowPresent value factor (15 %n)Present value
12345 = (3+4) * 50 %6 = (2-5)78
 The present value of total cash outflows – (A)53,806     
 Salvage value ( after tax ) – (B)10,0000.2472,470   
 Net present value of cash outflows – (C) = (A) + (B)51,336     
Option II – leasing

Evaluation of Lease option. – In case, the asset is acquired on the lease. There is an annual lease rent of $ 25,000 payable at the end of the next 10 years. This lease rental is tax-deductible; therefore, the net cash outflow would be only $ 12,500 i.e. ( $ 25,000 * 50 % ).  The present value annuity factor for 10 years at a rate of 15 % is already provided above, i.e., 5.019.

So, the present value of annuityThe Present Value Of AnnuityThe present value of the annuity is the current value of future cash flows adjusted to the time value of money considering all the relevant factors like discounting rate. Thus, it helps investors understand the money they will receive overtime in today’s dollar’s terms and make informed investment more will be calculated as $ 12,500 * 5.019 = $ 62738.

By comparing the above two options calculated, we came to the conclusion that the present value in case of buying by taking a tax shield is lower than the lease option.

Therefore it is advisable to go for the buying option (go for the lower expense)

Tax Shield for Individuals

One of the best illustrations of this concept for an Individual is to acquire a home with a mortgage or loan. The interest expenses associated with the mortgage or loan is tax-deductible, which then offset against the taxable income of the person, resulting in a significant reduction in his or her tax liability. The ability to use a housing loan as a tax shield is a major benefit for middle-class people whose houses are major components of their net worthNet WorthThe company's net worth can be calculated using two methods: the first is to subtract total liabilities from total assets, and the second is to add the company's share capital (both equity and preference) as well as reserves and more. It also makes beneficiary to those who are interested in purchasing the house, by providing a specific tax benefitTax BenefitTax benefits refer to the credit that a business receives on its tax liability for complying with a norm proposed by the government. The advantage is either credited back to the company after paying its regular taxation amount or deducted when paying the tax liability in the first more to the borrower.

Tax Shield Example for Individual

Suppose a cash outflow, interest or salary expenses, is $ 1,000/- and the rate of income tax is 30 percent. So the cash outflow which will consider for discounting would be

$ 700/- i.e. $ 1000* (100-30) %.

Finally, we conclude on account of the above-stated cases that tax shield can be utilized as a valuable option for effective evaluation of cash flow, financing, etc. activities.

Tax Shield Video



So what we need to be understood is tax shields are an important aspect of business valuation and vary from country to country, and their benefits depend upon the taxpayer’s overall tax rate and cash flowCash FlowCash Flow is the amount of cash or cash equivalent generated & consumed by a Company over a given period. It proves to be a prerequisite for analyzing the business’s strength, profitability, & scope for betterment. read more for the given tax year. Governments often create tax shield as a way to encourage certain behavior or investment in certain industries or programs.

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Reader Interactions


  1. prit says

    Have learnt something in regards to my accounting profession.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      thanks Prit!

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