Tag Archives: IRS

Money Monday: Questions about taxes

Tax season: the deadline is nearing; have you done your taxes yet?

taxes

Perhaps you haven’t started or completed your taxes because you have questions. You may be embarrassed to ask them, but CNN Money has answered some of them; read their article to find out the answers:

  • Do you have to file a federal tax return?
  • How long does it take to get your refund?
  • Can the IRS withhold a refund?
  • What do you do if you owe the IRS but can’t afford to pay?
  • Will you get audited?

Find out the answers to these questions here: “(Not so) dumb tax questions you’re too embarrassed to ask“.

Money Monday: How you’ll benefit from the new tax deal

Parents, low-income families, students, teachers and mass commuters are among those who will benefit from a $760 billion tax deal that was signed into law on December 11, 2015.

taxes“The deal, which was combined with a $1.1 trillion spending package for 2016, is dominated by business tax breaks. But it also includes more than $250 billion worth of tax breaks for individuals”:

  • Bigger refund when you have kids.
  • More generous tuition tax credit.
  • Higher refund for low-income working families.
  • Fairer treatment for mass transit commuters.
  • Permanent deduction for residents of states without income taxes.
  • Teacher deduction made permanent.
  • Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums.
  • Income exclusion for mortgage debt that’s been forgiven.
  • Tuition tax deduction.

All information is from CNN Money; read the full article here: “How you’ll benefit from the new tax deal”.

 

Good news for California homeowners facing short sales

short saleUnder regular tax rules, when a lender forgives a debt — that is, relieves the borrower from having to pay it back — the amount of the debt is taxable income to the borrower.

A homeowner who has $100,000 in mortgage debt forgiven through a short sale, for example, would have to pay income tax on the $100,000.

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Greed, Desperation and Power in Today’s Real Estate Market, but SUMMER is HERE!!

In the past week, reports are that Ben Bernanke announced the Federal reserve will slow it’s bond buying later this year to a gradual stop by next year that cause long term interest rates to be at record lows and unemployment is below the recent high of 10% in 2009-2010 and projected to hit 6.2% by 2015, thus signaling the end of rock bottom interest rates for 30 year Mortgages, at which time rates will start increasing.  They have actually started going up at this writing. In the meantime, as long as Bernanke can do the same thing Nik Wallenda did at the Grand Canyon through 2015 balancing inflation and unemployment, then all will be good.  The minor details of capturing the latest defector of espionage and avoid resulting consequences of this gaffe, then terrorist attacks or other world calamities are the only other issues to disrupt our financial system crème de la crème!!

buy homeThank you IRS for your controversial focus in coming down hard on political backed groups dividing Republicans and Democrats again, as a result of the groups that were backed by each party and now being rewarded with $70M in employee bonuses, wow!  Could this mess, once sorted out, cause a whiplash in the economy and the Real Estate markets, HELLO!! The White House could be accused ultimately of using this platform that paved the way for reelection and will hopefully weather this new storm and not be implicated for the whole mess to begin with! See this article.

Back to our Real Estate market in general, the San Diego region, along with Los Angeles and San Francisco- is now setting the precedent with consistent strength in the housing recovery for California.  In this report, it states: “The recovery is definitely broad based. The two composites showed the largest year-over-year gains in seven years. Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Francisco posted year-over-year gains of over 20% in April. San Francisco was the highest at 23.9%. Phoenix posted 12 consecutive months of double-digit growth. Recent economic data on home sales and inventories confirm the housing recovery’s strength. Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco posted their highest gains since 2004, 1988 and 1987, respectively. The article states more Shocking News:  As of April 2013, average home prices across the United States are back to their early 2004 levels for both the 10-City and 20-City Composites. Measured from their June/July 2006 peaks, the peak-to-current decline for both Composites is approximately 26-27%. The recovery from the March 2012 lows is 13.1% and 13.6%, respectively.

San Diego is far from the 2004-2006 levels in value, however the upswing trend is not farfetched, will continue and possibly reach those levels by 2015.  This is absolutely a POSSIBILITY and at the same time it is a huge GAMBLE.  As a seller, you ask yourself: do I continue to hold out for values to go higher, while interest rates are going up or do I pull the trigger now and avoid another crash, also expected to come again, by selling now?  While you’re thinking, does the thought of GREED cross your mind as well? Selling now is more optimum, obviously considering interest rates are starting to creep up now, so your purchase of a new home will be manageable with a great interest rate.  A Listing agent to represent you with creative ways to leverage your bottom line is optimum.

For the buyers, does this market cause you to be in a mindset of desperation because of no inventory?  Aligning yourself with an experienced Buyer agent who can maneuver through the mind fields to secure your property in a very limited inventory market is optimum.  “All cash” buyers are still KING and have the most POWER, while being set up to be protected for a future inevitable crash as our cycle takes its normal course.  

Thanks for reading, Happy 4th of July, AND God BLESS America!!

A Happy New Year With a Few Twists

mortgage debt forgivenessThe HOT topic for real estate that everyone was talking about coming up to the new year is official, but with an asterisk regarding the extensions of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and American Taxpayer Relief Act. This is a little lengthy article, but worth your extra 15 minutes to digest. While federal government has extended the tax law, California to this date has not extended their tax law, but more importantly the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness has been definitely extended. What does all this mean to you and your situation, whether owner-occupied or an investment property that is upside down and you’re wanting an answer to what you have to do, CALL ME for help. Letting a property go to foreclosure or doing a Deed in Lieu could put you in a liability situation for all the debt of a Trust Deed. I work with CPAs and attorneys that can help. After over 20 years of short sales, hundreds closed, you owe it to yourself to only talk to the BEST!  CALL NOW! JOHN A SILVA — 619-890-3648. MAKE IT YOUR BEST YEAR!

III. Extension of Mortgage Cancellation of Debt Relief

Q 4. What is mortgage cancellation of debt relief?

A. As a result of a foreclosure on a recourse loan, a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure, a lender may cancel, reduce or forgive the debt that the borrower owes on the loan. The IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board consider this cancelled or forgiven debt as income to the borrower. As a result, the forgiveness or cancellation of the whole or a portion of the loan balance, often termed “cancellation of debt income,” may result in a tax liability.

The cancellation of debt income is generally treated as “ordinary income,” as opposed to capital gains income which is taxed at a lower rate, and the taxpayer will typically receive a 1099 tax form from the lender in the amount of the cancellation of debt.

Under the tax law there exist various situations where the cancellation of debt income is not taxable including bankruptcy, insolvency and when there is a foreclosure on a non-recourse loan. However, for most homeowners involved in a short sale, foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure, the tax relief provided by the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 3648) signed by President Bush on December 20, 2007 and subsequently extended by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, provides the most important protection against having to pay tax on the cancellation of debt income.

As a result of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, Internal Revenue Code §108(a)(1) (E) was added and provides that a taxpayer will not be taxed upon cancellation of debt income if the following conditions are met:

The property sold in the short sale is the taxpayer’s principal residence, as that term is used in IRC §121.

The cancellation of debt is Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness under IRC Section 163(h)(3)(B). Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness is a loan secured by the residence used to acquire, construct or substantially improve the residence. The income relief provided is capped at $1,000,000 in the case of a married person filing a separate return and $2,000,000 for all others. Any reduction of indebtedness excluded by IRC §108(a)(1)(E) will be applied to reduce the basis of the taxpayer’s principal residence, but not below zero. This could result in a higher amount of capital gains tax owed by the taxpayer. Also the cancellation of debt relief provided by the law, therefore, does not apply to any portion taken as “cash out” and not used to substantially improve the residence.

Q 5. How does the American Taxpayer Relief Act affect the mortgage cancellation of debt relief?

A. The original law applied to indebtedness discharged before January 1, 2010. That end date was extended by three years from 2010 to 2013 pursuant to H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The new law extends the date one year further to any indebtedness discharged prior to January 1, 2014.

Q 6. Does the federal law apply to potential cancellation of debt income under California tax law?

A. No. California has its own cancellation of debt relief law which has been codified as California Revenue and Tax Code Section 17144.5 which is similar to the federal law but with some significant differences (see next question). That law has expired. However, C.A.R. has sponsored Senate Bill 30 (Calderon, D- Montebello) to extend California’s debt relief protections which is currently pending. The proposed law would be effective retroactive to January 1, 2013. Information on the status of the bill can be found at www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Q 7. What are some of the differences between the state and federal law on cancellation of debt on qualified principal residences?

A. California law has different limits for maximum indebtedness and the amount of cancellation of debt income that can be forgiven which are detailed below:

The maximum amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness is $800,000 for married couples filing jointly, registered domestic partners filing jointly, single persons, head of household, or widow/widower; and $400,000 for married couples or registered domestic partners filing separately;

The maximum amount of debt relief income that can be forgiven is $500,000 for married couples filing jointly, registered domestic partners filing jointly, single persons, head of household, or widow/widower; and $250,000 for married couples or registered domestic partners filing separately.

This is an excerpt from California Association of Realtors Legal — Part 2 coming next week will be on Taxation of Foreclosures and Short Sale.

Watch Out for This Law Expiring: the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act

If you know someone who is upside down or owes more on their property than it is worth of residential real estate, NOW is the time to really take a close, hard look at the law that has saved millions of homeowners over the past several years: the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act that expires on January 1, 2013. Federal and California state guidelines are listed below.

For anyone you know in a modification, I strongly suggest you have your agreement reviewed ASAP with a real estate attorney if you haven’t already.  For a referral, I can help; I keep in contact with several top-quality attorneys and accountants.  The modification agreement in place may circumvent the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act–causing liability for the difference of the home loan on your property of what it is worth, whether you let your home go to foreclosure, or sell the property as a short sale now or after this law expires this year. 

mortgage debt forgiveness relief act

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief act

Please do yourself, friends, and family a favor–YOU will always be remembered as the knight in shining armor to them if you help them out.  And I can always help to answer any questions about this Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and the effect it will have on you and them once it expires.  Since short sales can take several months to process in some cases, immediate action is necessary, and with that a financial windfall is possible–even if there is no equity in your property.  Call me now for details–(619) 890-3648!

Below you will find some of the details pertinent to the Federal and California government laws, but there are others as well (not noted here) that will also be expiring.  I am here to help!

New law–Taxable years 2009 through 2012

California law conforms, with modifications, to federal mortgage forgiveness debt relief for discharges that occurred in the tax years of 2007 through December 31, 2012.  The amount of qualifying indebtedness is less than the federal amount, and California imposes a state-only limitation on the total amount of relief excluded from the gross income.  The following summarizes the differences between the Federal and California provisions.

Federal provision applies to discharges occurring in 2007 through the end of 2012, and:

  • Limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $2,000,000 for taxpayers who file as married filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $1,000,000 for taxpayers who file as married filing separately.
  • Does not limit the debt relief amount; it only limits the indebtedness amount used to calculate the debt relief amount.
  • See the Federal law: Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation for more information.

California provision applies to discharges that occurred in 2007 through 2012, and:

Taxable years 2009 through 2012
  • Limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $800,000 for taxpayers who file as married/registered domestic partners (RDP) filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $400,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
  • Limits debt relief to $500,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $250,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
Taxable years 2007 and 2008
  • Limited the amount of qualified principal residence indebtness to $800,000 for taxpayers who file as married/(RDP) filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $400,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
  • Limited debt relief to $250,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, ad to $125,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.

You can read more about the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and Debt Cancellation via the IRS website

If you’re confused still about this law, or need help getting the ball rolling NOW–please give me, John A. Silva, a call.  I would love to help sort this all out for you and save you headaches in the future–call me! (619) 890-3648