Mortgage loans to purchase personal real estate or investment properties. If you pay off a debt to a creditor for less than the full amount, or if a creditor cancels a debt you have, you may owe money to the IRS. The IRS treats forgiven debt as income, on which you could owe federal income taxes. In addition, as with income tax forms, the creditor who forgives the forgiveness will also receive a copy of the debt forgiveness form 1099-C in the tax year in which the final payment is made.
In both cases, check with the debt relief company or organization with your state's attorney general and local consumer protection agency to find out if there are any consumer complaints filed. If you apply for a personal loan to consolidate debts, cover an emergency, start a business, or for any other reason, that loan could affect your tax return and possibly influence your repayment. If you're using your personal loan for business purposes, you'll need to itemize those deductions when filing your business taxes. Your ordinary debt cancellation income is the amount of debt that exceeds the FMV of the property that the lender forgives.
Tax laws are complicated, and an exception or exclusion could save you from having to pay taxes on canceled debt. You may already benefit from other tax deductions on the interest on your mortgage or student loans. The IRS considered canceling debt income because you failed to repay a loan that you originally agreed to pay. If you're overwhelmed by aggressive collection calls, you can consider paying off your debt for less than you owe.
For example, if the financial institution issues a Form 1099-C, you don't have to report income on your tax return if you were insolvent before the creditor agreed to settle or cancel the debt. If any part of your debt was paid off, that means you didn't pay it, which means it's then considered income. Amounts that meet the requirements of any of the following exceptions are not considered debt cancellation income. You can pay off your debt for less than you originally owed, but you'll have to claim the forgiven amount as taxable income.
Paying off credit card debt with a balance transfer card or debt consolidation loan is generally less risky than paying off debt if researched beforehand. When you study these exemptions and exclusions, be sure to work with a certified tax professional with experience in debt settlement. You must include this debt cancellation in your income, unless an exception or exclusion applies, which is described below.