What Do I Do if I Don’t Get a 1099-C?


Dear Steve,

In 2020 I hired a law firm to help me settle six credit cards that I could no longer afford to pay even the minimum payments on after I lost my job. When I lost the job, I also lost the $3,000 net I used to make there monthly.

Two of the credit cards have now been settled. I usually do my own taxes, but have not yet received any 1099-C papers from these 2 creditors.

I know that the creditors are supposed to send the 1099-C’s to IRS & a copy to me.

What should I do if I don’t get them by the time I file my taxes? I like to file them in Feb. Please advise.



Dear Denise,


Now there is a question with a convoluted answer. Let’s see if I can help demustify it a bit. Unfortunately, I’m not going to able to give you a black or white answer. You’ll see why as you read.

If the forgiven debt was for less than $600 then they are not required to send you a 1099-C.

So let’s assume the forgiven debt was for more than $600. There are a few possible reasons you did not get the 1099-C.

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  1. It was lost in the mail.
  2. They didn’t send it.
  3. It will appear in the future.

There is nothing that would prevent you from reporting the forgiveness yourself on your taxes but if the IRS does not get a 1099 or it shows up with a different amount, that could create an issue and information won’t match.

So let’s say the 1099-C shows up at the IRS next year instead and you reported it on this year. Now you are going to have to fix the problem and maybe file and amended return.

Just logically it seems to make more sense to either fille out a Form 982 if you are insolvent this year. That would eliminate any tax that might be due on the forgiven debt. It would draw a line in the sand that you dealt with the debt when you were insolvent and you can try to fix it if the 1099-C ever appears.

See also  How Does a 1099-C Impact My New Tax Filing Status?

Or, you can not report it and wait till it shows up or the IRS contacts you.

There is no clean answer to this situation.

My advice is based on practical commonsense and might not agree with an answer from the IRS but you are welcome to try and talk to someone there to ask.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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