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Tax Savings Tips: January 2023

  When Cancellation of Debt (COD) Income Can Be Tax-Free Sometimes debts can pile up beyond a borrower’s ability to repay, especially if we are heading into a recession. But lenders are sometimes willing to cancel (forgive) debts that are owed by financially challenged borrowers. While a de bt cancellation can help a beleaguered borrower survive, it can also trigger negative tax consequences. Or it can be a tax-free event. General Rule: COD Income Is Taxable When a lender forgives part or all of your debt, it results in so-called cancellation of debt (COD) income. The general federal income tax rule is that COD income counts as gross income that you must report on your federal income tax return for the year the debt cancellation occurs. Fortunately, there are a number of exceptions to the general rule that COD income is taxable. You can find the exceptions in Section 108 of our beloved Internal Revenue Code, and they are generally mandatory rather than elective. The two com