Credit Infocenter

IRS Form 1099-C - Tax on Discharged Debt or Canceled Debt

Step to Take if You Received a 1099-C

Last Updated: July 12, 2016

They can come out of the blue, reminding you of debts you thought finally resolved. Isn't that the point of debt settlement, after all? Unfortunately, the debt you've been forgiven is considered income by the Internal Revenue Service (i.e., you're expected to pay taxes on it). Thus the purpose of the 1099-C, a form creditors are required to file on forgiven debts of $600 or more so that the IRS knows to how much to bill you for. Fortunately, there is also a system in place to protect the rights of tax payers. Under certain circumstances, you may owe nothing.

Step One

Don't ignore it. If you received a copy of a 1099-C in the mail, so did the IRS. Ignoring it suggests to the IRS that you are trying to avoid paying the tax you owe. Best case scenario, they take what you owe out of your income tax return, or they send you a bill. Worst case, you get audited.

Step Two

Validate the debt. If you've been through the debt settlement process, you're probably well aware that creditors can make mistakes. The information on a 1099-C is no exception. Look over the form carefully and request validation of the debt from the creditor. If they cannot prove you ever owed this debt, you can provide documentation of such to the IRS so that you can be relieved of your tax liability.

866.785.9884 Call for a FREE credit repair consultation from Lexington Law

Steps Three and Four

Determine if you qualify for an exclusion or an exception. Such qualifications mean the settled debt amount should not be counted toward your gross (taxable) income.

You may qualify for an exclusion in the follow circumstances:

You may qualify for an exception in the following circumstances:

Note, the two most common circumstances under which tax payers qualify are exclusions for either debt canceled in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy; or debt canceled for insolvency, meaning it is proven the tax payer's liabilities exceed their assets.

Step Five

Fill out and submit Form 982 to the IRS. It is on this form that you will indicate why you qualify for an exclusion or exception.

Step Six

Consult a tax professional if you have any doubt as to how to fill out Form 982 and/or whether you qualify for an exclusion or exception.

Step Seven

Pay the tax, if need be, but only after exhausting all of your other possibilities, as discussed with a tax professional.

Call 855.255.1963 and speak to a Credit Repair Expert at Lexington Law
Have Questions About Credit Repair? Get Answers with a FREE Consultation
Call Lexington Law 1-855-255-1963