DEFINITION of 'Cancellation Of Debt - COD'

When a creditor forgives a debt without requiring consideration in return. The amount of debt that is forgiven by cancellation of debt is considered income to the debtor and must be reported as a result. In most cases, it is taxable as ordinary income and is known as cancellation-of-debt (COD) income.

In some cases, this debt is from one country to another and is partially or fully wiped away to help rebuild the nation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Cancellation Of Debt - COD'

If the cancellation of debt is taxable, the debtor will receive a 1099-C at year-end that reports the amount of debt forgiven as taxable income. For example, if a bank lent $10,000 to you and you pay back $6,000, then are unable to pay the remainder, the bank can forgive the $4,000 difference, which will be recorded as income for you.

Cases in which debt forgiveness is not considered income include bankruptcies, insolvencies, certain farm loans and non-recourse loans.

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