Insolvency

IRS Definition

A taxpayer is insolvent when his or her total liabilities exceed his or her total assets.

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You are considered insolvent by the IRS if you owe more than the value of your assets.

If you receive a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt from a credit card company or other lender who canceled or forgave your debt with them, you will need to report the amount they canceled on your tax return. You will need to report the amount shown on your Form 1099-C.

If you were considered insolvent immediately before the debt was canceled, you may be able to exclude from income on your return, the amount your liabilities exceed your assets. Example: You have $25,000 in credit card debt. Your assets total $15,000. You can exclude up to $10,000 in canceled debt from your income. Any amount above $10,000 will have to be reported as income on your return.

Received an IRS notice about your Form 1099-C? Learn how to handle an IRS underreporter inquiry.

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