Miami, FL asked in Tax Law for Florida

Q: My wife had a student loan discharged in 2014 and was never sent a 1099c and we were not together at that time.

We are now married In June of 2015 and are being charged for that In our joint 2017 taxes. Is that legal or should it be placed in her 2014 taxes when she was single?

Just to be clear this was never initially put on our 2017 taxes. We received an IRS document stating that we owed for those taxes in December of 2019. which is now 3years after the student loan was discharged in 2014. When it was discharged that was my wife’s student loan. We were not married at the time of discharged and are now being charged in our joint taxes for the 2017 tax year. She made much less money in 2014 being single then we made in 2017 being married filing joint.

One gentleman answered and asked if I want her to pay taxes on her loan for 2014. The answer is yes because it was her loan that was discharged in a year that we were not together. So again is it legal to place taxes on our joint account for a discharged loan 3years later when it happened prior to us getting married.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Not trying to read anything into your comments--but it sounds like you want your current wife to have to pay income tax on her discharged student loan; right? If you want to go down that rocky road you can try to convince her to amend her individual 2014 return--and include the income and pay the taxes and penalty--and then the two of you can amend your 2017 joint return accordingly. Good luck with that.

Linda Simmons Campbell
Linda Simmons Campbell
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Burlington, CT

A: You should have an accountant look over your wife's financial picture. If your wife was insolvent during the time the debt was forgiven, she may not have to pay taxes on some or all of the amount forgiven.

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