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

  • Electing to Expense the Cost of Your Business Assets

    Section 179 deduction limits increase

    The IRS allows taxpayers the option of either depreciating some assets over a specified number of years or deducting all or a portion of the cost in one year. The expense election, commonly referred to as the Section 179 deduction, is made in the year the asset is placed in service. The benefit is a large deduction in the current year that is not reduced even if the asset is placed in service late in the tax year.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Self Employed Health Insurance

    If you are a self-employed taxpayer, you may deduct 100 percent of your health insurance premiums from your income. The deduction for health insurance premiums does not reduce your self-employment tax, however.
Thursday, 18th January 2018
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Let the Sun Shine

    Certain solar-powered improvements are eligible for a tax credit

    You are allowed a credit for 30 percent of certain expenditures that increase the energy efficiency of your personal residence. Costs eligible for the credit include qualified solar electric property expenditures, qualified solar water heating property expenditures, and qualified fuel cell property expenditures. The credit is available for residential energy-efficient property placed in service in 2006, 2007, and 2008. There is no requirement that property be new to qualify. Read more ...

Personal Quick Tip

  • Making Gifts

    Are you planning on making any substantial gifts? Talk to your tax preparer first. Gifts with values exceeding $14,000 must be reported to the IRS.