The relief act’s extension was seen as vital to the recovering housing market. Short sales nationwide had been surging in anticipation of the exception’s end on Dec. 31. The exception will now expire on Dec. 31, 2013.
The exception for “qualified principal residence indebtedness” was created by the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 and applies to most homeowners whose mortgages have been restructured to prevent foreclosures, or those who have gone through “short sales,” selling their homes for less than what is owed in mortgages.
Normally, debt that is forgiven or cancelled by a lender must be included as income on your tax return and is taxable.
The “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012’’ that was passed by Congress extends current tax rates for all households earning less than $450,000, and $400,000 for individual filers. Households earning above these limits will see tax rates revert to where they were in 2003, meaning taxpayers in the highest bracket would pay taxes on ordinary income at a rate of 39.6%, up from 35%. The tax rate on capital gains would also remain the same, at 15%, for most households, but for those earning above the $400,000-$450,000 threshold, the rate would rise to 20%.
Fiscal cliff on short sales