What to do to Avoid Tax Charges on Forgiven Debt?

Being charged to pay taxes even after foreclosure is a clear manifestation of what is said to be adding insult to injury. Losing a home which most likely implies not having enough money would surely make anybody in this situation wonder why they still owe anything to the IRS. However, the simple answer to this is that the IRS considers canceled or forgiven debt as a taxable income

As an illustration, if a $400,000 home is foreclosed and the bank sells it for $300,000, the rest of the loan which amounts to $100,000 is the forgiven debt. However, the tax code says that the forgiven debt which is $100,000 in this case is considered a taxable income.

In 2007, a legislation enacted by the Congress exempts up to $2 million in canceled mortgage debt from being charged with taxes. This comes with the condition that the loan was utilized for purchase or improvement of the primary residence of the taxpayer. According to Thomson Reuters’ tax analyst Robin Christian, this means that individuals whose houses were foreclosed do not have to pay taxes for the forgiven debt.

This legislation however will expire by the end of 2012. The implication of this is that homeowners who are experiencing difficulties and are having payment delays in their mortgages may be surprised by the taxes that they have to pay in 2013. Moreover, people who have other types of cancelled debts may also be in trouble.

Financial institutions tasked to write off debts amounting to at least $600 must submit a Form 1099-C to both the IRS and the borrower. If a 1099-C is received for a forgiven debt after foreclosure, make sure to inform the IRS about its exclusion, says Christian. Do this by filling out Form 982 on Form 1040 and put a check mark on Part I of box 1E. Without this, IRS may consider the forgiven debt as taxable income. Other forgiven debt in the category includes credit card debt, student loans, mortgage debt from a second home, and home equity line of credit that was not utilized for home improvement.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No related posts.

No comments yet.

Write a comment: