California Adopts some Federal Debt Relief Provisions

Debt Relief Income Exempt from California State Income Tax:

This will be welcome relief for those taxpayers who had relief of debt in 2007 & 2008. If you've already filed your tax return, there are options to file an amended return. Given that the federal provisions were recently extended to 2012, California legislatures are being short sighted, and creating unnecessary anxiety for taxpayers who will be recognizing relief of debt from 2009 to 2012. Details on Senate Bill 1055

summary:

The California mortgage forgiveness debt relief law is effective immediately. It is similar to federal law, but with important differences.

The California law covers qualified debt forgiven in 2007 and 2008, and it:
  • 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 $250,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $125,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.

The federal law covers qualified debt forgiven from 2007 through 2012 and it:

  • 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.