Does the Issuance of an IRS Form 1099-C Discharge a Debtor From Liability?

Bruce W. Akerly - Founding Member
Mar 17 2021

A Form1099–C is issued to comply with IRS reporting requirements. I.R.S. Ltr. Rul.2005–0207, 2005 WL 3561135 (Dec. 30, 2005). The IRS does not view a Form 1099–C as a legal admission that a debtor is absolved from liability for a debt. Id. The IRS's interpretation of regulations over which it has authority are given great deference courts. See Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 843–45, 104 S.Ct. 2778, 81 L.Ed.2d 694 (1984).  Accordingly, most courts adopt the view that a Form 1099–C does not discharge debtors from liability.  The fact that a lender issues a Form 1099–C in relation to a borrowers' indebtedness is irrelevant when deciding whether the debt remains owing by the borrower.