President Bush signed into law Tuesday a new bill providing tax relief for homeowners facing foreclosure or bankruptcy. The bill eliminates federal taxes due from homeowners who have had mortgage debt forgiven as part of a foreclosure, short sale or the renegotiation of a loan. Currently such debt forgiveness is treated as taxable income.
The bill came in response to the current mortgage crisis, which has become more prevalent in booming metropolitan cities over recent years including Northern Virginia and Washington DC. It is anticipated to reduce taxes on strapped homeowners by $650 million. “When you’re worried about making your payments, higher taxes are the last thing you need to worry about,” Bush said. With some 2 - 2.5 million adjustable-rate mortgages scheduled to reset through 2008, the new law will be a nice holiday gift for many homeowners facing foreclosure in Virginia and Washington DC.
If you fall into this group, be sure to ask your tax preparer what paperwork you may need to provide from your short sale or foreclosure in order to file the proper forms with your tax return.