What is a 1099-C and What to do About it!

If a creditor settled or wrote off a debt for you in 2015, you may get a 1099-C.  Here's what you can do to avoid paying any additional tax...

Debt settlement is an option that we use and you can use to help avoid bankruptcy and become free from the burden of too much debt.

Basically, is a debt settlement, the creditor or in most cases a debt collector who has purchased the debt agrees to accept an amount far less than the actual current balance.


If the "forgiven" amount is greater than $600, then the creditor or debt collector may report it to the IRS.  They don't do it in every case, but you need to be aware of what to do about it if it happens to you!

There a couple of different looking 1099-C forms.  Here is an actual form one of our clients received and I'll walk you through the process of how to file the proper forms to exempt the settlement/forgiveness when you file your taxes.

Here is an actual 1099-C one of our clients received.  Click to view:


The actual balance at the time of the settlement was $3,041 and the settlement was for $788, saving this client $2,253!

The 1099-C reflected this and you can see that in box 2, the amount is being reported as "Amount of debt canceled".

If this client did not file the proper forms with her 2014 taxes, she would have had an additional $2,253 added in as additional income and based on her 30% tax bracket (average net federal), she would have to pay an additional $676 of tax!

Here's what she did:

According to IRS publication 4681, she needed to prove that "at the time of forgiveness (settlement), she was INSOLVENT.

All she (and you) needed to do was to list all of her assets vs. liabilities to see where she stood.

This doesn't have to be a "fancy" spreadsheet or anything, but just write down (again, at the time of the settlement/forgiveness) your assets/equity on one side and your liabilities/debts on the other.

Something like this:

                      Assets:                                           Liabilities:                                  

         Home value:          $  0 (she rents)          Credit Cards total (including this debt):    $15,000

         Auto value today:   $ 5,000                      Auto loan:           $1,000                            

         Savings:                 $    250                      Student loan:      $ 10,000

         Personal assets:    $ 2,500                      Medical bills:       $     500

         Total Assets:          $ 7,750                      Total liabilities:     $ 26,500

It is clear that her Liabilities were greater than her Assets, therefore the amount forgiven should be exempt from taxation. 


She downloaded IRS Form 982 and followed the simple instructions we gave her:

In Part 1, on line 1a, she marked the box with an "X".

In the same Part 1, on line 2, she wrote in the amount that was forgiven, $ 2,253.

That's all on the Form 982. 


She could have just included that with her tax return and in most cases, that would have been sufficient.  But, I recommend writing a brief, legible explanation of what caused your situation, etc.  Again....very brief neatly written (doesn't have to be typed).

Something like this:

In 2014, I was laid off from my job of 15 years!  As I looked for work, I had to rely on credit to get by.  When it got to the point that I just couldn't keep up with the payments, I considered bankruptcy. 

Fortunately, the bankruptcy attorney I went to see referred me to a Debt Management Company who helped me pay off and/or settle my debts.



You have:

  • Asset vs. Liabilities worksheet
  • IRS Form 982 completed (yep, just two boxes)
  • Brief, legible handwritten explanation of your circumstances



  • Make a copy of these along with your tax return for your files.
  • Mail your tax return along with the documents above.
  • That's it!


If you would like more information or need any help, click below:



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Tags: debt collector, credit card, 1099-C, debts, additional taxes

How to Avoid Additional Tax After Receiving a 1099-C

If you had a debt settled or "forgiven" in IRS lingo, and it was for more that $600, you most likely will receive a 1099-C.  But, you may not be required to pay additional tax on the forgiven amount, but YOU MUST FILE THE CORRECT FORMS AND DOCUMENTATION

We have prepared a simple, easy-to-use instruction packet for you. 

Get yours now:


Receiving an IRS Form 1099-C is a little scary, but if you look closely at the form, you will see something like this:

"...do not include canceled debts in your income to the extent you were insolvent immediately before the cancellation of the debt.  If you exclude a canceled debt from your income, file Form 982."

OK, now what?

First, at the time of settlement (most likely last year), were you INSOLVENT?

According to the IRS, "insolvent" means that your debts (all liabilities, not just this settled debt) were greater than your assets (net worth).

You'll need a simple, Basic Financial Worksheet:

Budget Worksheet FREE Download here!


You will list all of your assets, net value of your home, autos, etc.  Most people who have have debts settled would have had little if any equity in their home and/or auto. 

You most likely have little or no savings, hence the financial hardship that helped lead to using DEBT SETTLEMENT to eliminate your debts!

Once you have completed the Financial Worksheet, if your LIABILITES were greater than your ASSETS at the time of the settlement, then you were 'INSOLVENT".


We have included Form 982 with the FREE 1099-C PACKET.  If you haven't requested the FREE DOWNLOAD, click on the button above.

Follow the instructions to compete the Form 982. It's so simple.

It is a good idea to include a short explanation of your financial situation.

Just a brief note (can be handwritten, but make it legible).

So now you should have completed:

  • Financial Worksheet showing your were insolvent at the time of the debt forgiveness
  • Form 982
  • Brief note of your financial circumstances at the time

Make a copy for your records and then send all of the above along with your tax return to the  IRS.  You should send via Priority Mail so that you will have proof that the IRS received it, but don't ask for a signature, as this may delay the process.  You can track delivery online.

Don't be surprised if your accountant and/or tax preparer is not aware or does not know how to complete the Form 982.  Just download and print the FREE 1099-C Packet for them.

If you have alreadly filed your tax return and before you received the 1099-C, you will need to file an amended form along with the 982 and other documents.  You should probably seek the help of a qualified tax specialist for this.

Hope this helps! 

Tags: insolvent, form 982, 1099-C, IRS Form 982, IRS, additional taxes

What To Do If You Receive a 1099-C

what to do if you receive a 1099-C

Have you had a debt settled for less than you owe?  If so, chances are pretty good that you also received a 1099-C for the amount of the "forgiven" debt amount.  WHAT?  How can that be possible? 

Unfortunately, if you settle your debts, the forgiven amount is considered taxable income.  However, you don't necessarily have to included it as taxable income.  Read on to hear Bob's story and how he was able to avoid paying taxes on his forgiven debt.

How to avoid paying taxes if you receive a 1099-C for FORGIVEN DEBT

Bob lost his job and started using several credit cards to make ends meet. He was paying for groceries, gas, and even had to take a cash advance once in a while to survive.Bob had every intention of paying off the cards, but due to our country's severe economic downturn, he could not find a job.

After about a year or so, he had added another $10,000 to his cards, making the total of all his credit cards to be about $22,000!The minimum payments on all of them totaled a little over $500 per month and he just couldn't meet his obligation.  After 3-4 months of non payment, most of his cards went into collections, debt collectors started

Bob had heard about DEBT SETTLEMENT and DEBT MANAGEMENT, but didn't know if he qualified.

After a FREE COUNSULING SESSION, it was clear that he could not qualify for the Debt Management Program and therefore chose to enroll in the Debt Settlement Program.

Let's see what happened during the Debt Settlement Program:

After searching the net and talking with several companies, Bob had chosen a reputable Debt Settlement Company to help him settle his debts.

His total debt was settled at an average of 40% of what he owed, so his creditors FORGAVE about $13,000 of debt.

Because the amount of the forgiven debt was over $600, Bob's creditor reported the settlement to the IRS and mailed him a 1099-C.  The 1099-C basically said that $13,000 had been forgiven and he needed to report that amount as additional income for the taxt year the forgiveness was granted.

But his Debt Settlement Company helped him understand that he was not going to be liable for the additional income and resulting tax on that income.

They provided him with a information about how to file IRS Form 982 and the other documents he needed to provide with his taxes.

IRS Form 4681, says that if, at the time of forgiveness, you were INSOLVENT (meaning your liabilities were greater than your assets), then the forgiven amount DID NOT HAVE TO BE INCLUDED as additional income!

Since Bob had completed an Asset vs. Liabilities worksheet, provided by his Debt Settlement Company, he was able to completely avoid any additional tax on the settlement or "forgiven" debt shown on the 1099-C!

If you have received a 1099-C and need help, we can help, please let us know!


Tags: debt collection, credit card debt, debt settlement, debt settlement vs bankruptcy, debt settlement in oregon, 1099-C, IRS Form 982, IRS Form 4681, debt management, additional taxes, IRS 4681

Have you received a 1099-C due to Cancellation of Debt?

1099C and cancelation of debt

If you have settled a debt or had a debt, you may receive an IRS Form 1099-C.  This doesn't necessarily mean that you will have to pay additional tax on the amount "forgiven".  Here's what you need to do:

The 1099-C has Instructions for Debtor:

You received this form because a Federal Government agency or an applicable financial entity (a lender) has discharged (canceled or forgiven) a debt you owed, or because an identifiable event has occurred that either is or is deemed to be a discharge of a debt of $600 or more.  If a creditor has discharged a debt you owed, you are required to include the discharged amount in your income, even if it is less that $600, on the "Other income" line on your Form 1040.

However, YOU MAY NOT HAVE TO INCLUDE ALL OF THE CANCELED DEBT IN YOUR INCOME (capitalization mine!).  There are EXCEPTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS, such as BANKRUPTCY or INSOLVENCY see Pub. 4681...for more details.

Most people who have had debts settled (forgiven) have gone through a very hard time, financially. And, most people who have had debts settled would fall into the catagory of INSOLVENCY, according to the IRS and several publications.

The bottom line is, if AT THE TIME OF SETTLEMENT your liabilites were greater than your assets, you were insolvent and therefore the amount of debt forgiven would be excluded.

We have helped hunderds of our clients to become DEBT FREE through DEBT SETTLEMENT, but we also have assisted them in AVOIDING (or paying very little) ADDITIONAL TAX after receiving a 1099-C.

We have put together a complete 1099-C Kit that will show you (and/or your tax preparer) how to fill out and file the proper forms.

CLICK HERE to get you FREE 1099-C KIT

Tags: debt forgiveness, 1099-C, IRS Form 982, additional taxes, IRS 4681

How to Avoid paying Taxes after receiving a 1099-C

avoid paying taxes after recieving a 1099cIf you have had a debt "forgiven", and receive a 1099-C, how do you avoid paying taxes?

Any amount of "forgiveness" over $600 can be reported to the IRS and if so, then you would receive a 1099-C form.  The IRS says that any debt that is settled for less than the full balance must be included back into your income and you must pay the resulting taxes!

Instructions from the IRS can be found in IRS 4681.

In the instructions, you will find an explanation of "INSOLVENCY".  Of course, when reading anything from the IRS, it is not very easy to understand or interpret.

Basically, the information states that if at the time of the forgiveness, you were INSOLVENT, then the amount of forgiveness IS NOT INCLUDED as additional income and therefore you would not pay any additional tax.

Let's look at an example:

After many harassing phone calls from your creditor, you are able to settle your account for less than the balance.  When it came time to file your taxes, you receive a 1099-C which would lists the debt, the debtor and the amount that was "forgiven".

What do you do now that you have received a 1099-C?

First you need to determine if you were INSOLVENT at the time the debt was forgiven. To determine if you were insolvent :

1.  List all of you assets (things you own that has positive equity):

  • Equity of your home
  • Net (depreciated) value of your cars, boat, etc.
  • Net value of jewelery, stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Savings or investment accounts
  • Cash in the bank

2.  List all of the debt you had at the time of forgiveness:

  • Mortgage (1st and 2nd)
  • Auto, boat or other loans
  • Credit card debt
  • Medical debt
  • Personal loans to...

3.  Now subtract your LIABILITIES (that's all the debt) from your ASSETS.

Is the result a NEGATIVE number?  If so, you WERE INSOLVENT!

When filing you tax return, you will need to complete IRS form 982 and submit with your tax return.  Most accountants and/or tax preparers are not aware of the exceptions to paying tax on "forgiven" debt, so you need to be very careful.

Although we are not attorneys nor tax accountants, we can help guide you through the process.

If you would like a FREE CONSULTATION, just let us know.



 photo by: MoneyBlogNewz

Tags: how to avoid paying tax on forgiven debt, how to stop collection calls, 1099-C, additional taxes

What is a 1099-C AND what do I need to do when I get one?

what is a 1099-c

What is a 1099-C?

I you have had a debt settled or forgiven, you may receive an IRS Form 1099-C.

If you or a Debt Settlement Company has helped you settle a debt for less than the balance, the difference is reported to the IRS by the original creditor as a loss.

The IRS looks at this settled or "forgiven" amount as if the money was returned to you, even though it wasn't. The IRS is thinking that you will have to include this amount as additional income and therefore pay additional tax on it!

Sadly, most tax preparers and/or accountants are not aware of how to EXCLUDE a settled debt from being included as additional income.


According to the IRS, the amount of forgiveness (for the sake of this article, we are talking about unsecured debt) IS EXCLUDED if at the TIME OF FORGIVENESS, you were INSOLVENT.

INSOLVENT means that your liabilities are more than your assets or in other words, you have a negative net worth.

Sounds terrible, but in reality, in this case, it is good for you.

Let's say that when you list all of your assets:

  • Home equity
  • Net value or current value of your car
  • Home items (furniture, tools, stuff)
  • Savings accounts (stocks, bonds, yeah...right!)

Now offset that by all of your debt:

  • Mortgage
  • Car payment
  • Student Loan(s)
  • Medical Bills
  • Credit Cards
  • Personal Loans
  • Equity Line of Credit

Most likely, your net worth (Assets - liabilities) will be negative.

Using IRS Form 982, you will check the box in Part 1, on line 1-b that states Discharge of indebtedness to the extent of insolvency.

It is also helpful to write a brief (I said brief...don't say too much) explaining why you were insolvent.

Attach this with the Asset-liabilities Worksheet together with the Form 982 and send in with your tax return.

That should do it!  If you would like a more complete explanation of how the IRS treats forgiven debt and insolvency, click here.

Do you still have debts that need to be settled? We can help! Click the link -->> FREE DEBT ELIMINATION SUMMARY or give us a call!


what is a 1099-c


photo by: alancleaver_2000

Tags: debt settlement, do i have to pay taxes on settled debts, additional taxes, what is a 1099-c

I received a 1099-C for forgiven debt. Do I have to pay more tax?

If you or a debt management company has successfully negotiated a settlement of your credit card debt, and the amount is over $600, you may receive a 1099-C.1099-c

It basically states that unless the amount forgiven (IRS terminology for settlement) is exempt, then it has to be included as additional income subject to normal taxation. 

So, how do you determine if the forgiven amount is exempt?

According to IRS Form 4681, there are several exemptions to including forgiven amounts back into taxable income.

For the purpose of this article, let's focus on the settlement or forgiveness of credit card or unsecured debt.

On page 4 of IRS Form 4681, there is an explanation of  "INSOLVENCY".  As usual, the government has a hard time explaining the rules (I think they do it on purpose!), but basically the rule states:

If at the time of the settlement or forgiveness you were INSOLVENT, then the amount of the forgiveness IS NOT INCLUDED as additional taxable income.

How do you determine if you were insolvent?

At the time of the settlement, you need to show that your liabilities were only equal to or greater than your assets.

You need to complete a basic budget showing all of your income, outgo, and assets:

  • Equity in your home
  • Net value of your automobile(s), boat, etc.
  • Net value of jewelery, stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Savings or investment accounts
  • Net furniture value, coin collections, etc.

For most people who have negotiated a settlement of their credit card or cards, they usually do not have any real assets and therefore the amount forgiven is not included as additional taxable income.

You will need to complete IRS Form 982You will check a couple of boxes and sign, and along with the Budget Worksheet, turn in with the 1099-C and your normal tax return.

Don't be surprised if your tax preparer or accountant is not really up on this procedure!  You might want to download IRS 4681 for their review.

We have helped dozens of tax preparers and accountants deal with the 1099-C issue and would be glad to assist.

Got Questions? We've got 1099-cANSWERS!



photo by: alancleaver_2000


Tags: credit card debt, 1099-C, IRS Form 982, IRS Form 4681, additional taxes