May 17, 2024

FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Student Loan Relief for Borrowers Who Need It Most

If you’re a young adult wondering about the federal PLUS loans your relatives took out to pay for your education, you may be wondering whether the debt dies with the person or people who take it on. For Pennsylvania tax purposes, a debtor or estate must reduce their Pennsylvania tax attributes in a similar manner as their federal tax attributes are reduced. Pennsylvania follows the rule of Section 108(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, to the extent that Pennsylvania allows for a similar tax attribute. A liability is not forgiven or cancelled merely because it is temporarily uncollectible or unenforceable.

Cancelled Debt

For federal income tax purposes, a bifurcation is required based on the relationship between fair market value of the property and adjusted basis. If the collateral encumbered by recourse debt is transferred, foreclosed or abandoned to the creditor, then the gain is reported on PA Schedule D. The basis of an insolvent debtor’s property must be reduced but not below its fair market value (FMV). Basis reductions for amounts cancelled shall be allocated in any manner that has the effect of reducing the difference between the fair market value and the adjusted basis of the properties.

Cancellation of Recourse Debt for Solvent Debtor with Seller Purchase Price Reduction

If a taxpayer’s tax attributes were not reduced, taxpayers could intentionally create large tax attributes by creating debt, cancelling the debt, and unjustly reducing their future taxes without paying on the debt. For example, a taxpayer could intentionally run up large amounts of business debt and losses, creating a large NOL. Then, after filing a bankruptcy to wipe out the debt, they could use the NOL carryforward for up to twenty years or until it was exhausted. Borrowers who are facing serious financial difficulties can sometimes get all or a portion of their debts cancelled. However, debt cancellation can have long-term negative consequences for the borrower and should be considered only in situations when there are no better alternatives.

Cancelled Debt

If you get on one of these plans, your repayment term will last 20 or 25 years, after which any remaining debt is forgiven. Debt settlement companies will assess a borrower’s entire credit profile and contact creditors directly on the borrower’s behalf for debt forgiveness. Debt relief programs will usually request that borrowers stop payments on their monthly credit bills in order to increase the likelihood that a creditor will settle. Generally, most companies will also require clients to make monthly escrow payments toward a lump sum settlement that will have to be paid at some point in the future.

When Cancellation of Debt Occurs

More information on claiming relief will be available to borrowers in the coming weeks.Borrowers can sign up to be notified when this information is available at The main home indebtedness exclusion also includes any debt secured by your main home that you used to refinance a mortgage you originally used to buy, build, or substantially improve your main home. Only an amount up to the amount of the old mortgage principal just before the refinancing can qualify. If you end up owing money, start working on a savings plan now to ensure you can afford to pay it.

  • In general, you must report any taxable amount of a canceled debt as ordinary income from the cancellation of debt on Form 1040, U.S.
  • Some creditors also have provisions in their credit agreements for canceled debt.
  • Therefore, a cancellation of a $20,000 debt will not need to be reported as gross income.
  • If you are able to get your debt completely canceled, you then no longer have any responsibility for the amount owed.
  • If you’ve succeeded in getting a debt discharged or forgiven, you may need to report the canceled amount as income on your tax return.

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Individuals filing for Bankruptcy

Debt consolidation, debt management plans and bankruptcy are all ways to manage your debts if you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’re having difficulty making your mortgage payments, for instance, your loan servicer may work with you to lower the monthly payment, interest rate or even principal balance through mortgage modification. However, in the case of reducing the taxpayer’s tax attributes, this policy does not create a new tax burden on the taxpayer. It instead reduces tax credits and carryforwards that would be used to offset future earned income. Many creditors also have credit relief services that are available for a small additional fee and come into play in specific hardship situations such as a job loss or serious illness. Even if a borrower is not considered disabled by another government agency, a doctor or nurse practitioner may also be able to make the case that they qualify for the discharge.

For those in the middle of counting to 20 or 25 years, the Education Department is adjusting the credits that millions of people have earned toward debt cancellation. If you were ever, say, in forbearance or deferment, you could benefit by having additional months or years count toward the total years of qualifying payments. And if you availed yourself of the pandemic payment pause that is supposed to end this year, those months that you did not make payments will still count toward your 20 or 25 years. Too many people do not know they are eligible for one or more of these programs.

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