You may not have to include it in income

When you are liable for a loan but can't repay it, some lenders will forgive the debt. What many borrowers don't realize is that this cancellation of debt results in taxable income in the year of forgiveness. The lender usually will issue a 1099-C to report the cancelled debt. If you receive one, don't ignore it. Be sure to give it to your tax preparer and discuss the circumstances surrounding the loan.

If you have cancelled debt but are bankrupt or insolvent, you may exclude the income on your tax return. To prove insolvency, your liabilities must exceed the fair market value of your assets immediately before the debt discharge. The amount of forgiven debt can be excluded cannot be more than the amount your liabilities exceed the value of your assets.

In light of the current mortgage crisis, Congress has provided more relief for borrowers who couldn't pay their mortgages. If you have forgiveness of debt on the mortgage of your qualified principal residence (usually due to foreclosure), you don't have to recognize cancelled debt. The maximum amount of debt forgiveness eligible for exclusion is $2 million. This relief is available for tax years 2007 through 2014.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Employee Meals: When Does the 50-Percent Limit Apply?

    Don't reduce your deduction if you aren't required to

    In most cases, an employer is only allowed to deduct one-half of the expense that is paid to employees for meals. However, in some instances, the full amount is allowed.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Business Mileage Rate

    Instead of deducting the actual expenses for the business use of your vehicle, opt for the standard mileage rate. In 2016, you can deduct 54 cents for each business mile you drive.
Monday, 17th June 2019
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Take Advantage of Tax Savings in a Down Market

    Know when you have a deductible loss

    Just because the stock market lost money, doesn't mean you have a deductible loss. As long as you hold on to an investment, you only have a loss on paper. It's only when you actually sell the investment that you have a transaction to report on your tax return.

    Fortunately, the tax law allows you to offset your capital gains by your capital losses. You can avoid or minimize taxable gain by selling two investments, one at a gain and the other at a loss.

    Read more ...

Personal Quick Tip

  • IRA Contribution Deadline 2

    Contributions to your IRA must be made by the due date of your tax return. Generally this is April 15. Extending the due date of your tax return does not extend the due date of your IRA contribution.