Deferred financing costs or debt issuance costs is an accounting concept meaning costs associated with issuing debt (loans and bonds), such as various fees and commissions paid to investment banks, law firms, auditors, regulators, and so on. Since these payments do not generate future benefits, they are treated as a contra debt account. The costs are capitalized, reflected in the balance sheet as a contra long-term liability, and amortized using the effective interest method or over the finite life of the underlying debt instrument, if below de minimus. The unamortized amounts are included in the long-term debt, as a reduction of the total debt (hence contra debt) in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Early debt repayment results in expensing these costs.
For U.S. federal income tax purposes, DFC are generally amortized over the life of the debt using the straight-line method.