Applicable Federal Rate - AFR

DEFINITION of 'Applicable Federal Rate - AFR'

Rates published monthly by the IRS for federal income tax purposes. These rates are used to calculate assigned interest charges. Every month, the IRS publishes these rates in accordance with section 1274(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. Interest on loans should not be less than the AFR for the loan to be considered a taxable event and not a gift by the IRS.

BREAKING DOWN 'Applicable Federal Rate - AFR'

Short-term AFR rates are determined from the one-month average of the market yields from marketable obligations, such as U.S. government t-bills with maturities of three years or less. Mid-term AFR rates are from obligations of maturities of more than three and up to nine years. Long-term AFR rates are from bonds with maturities of more than nine years. These rates are used to determine the original issue discount, unstated interest, gift tax and income tax consequences of below-market loans.

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