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Debt forgiveness paper


This paper addresses the following tax issues:

  • what debts are caught by the commercial debt forgiveness rules?
  • what happens if an unpaid trust entitlement is forgiven?
  • what needs to happen for a debt to be "forgiven"?
  • will a debt be forgiven if it is merely written off in the accounts?
  • are the commercial debt forgiveness rules really a problem?
  • the interaction of Division 7A and debt forgiveness
  • what happens if a company forgives a loan previously caught by Division 7A?
  • the dangers in forgiving debts owed to trusts and companies which have made family trust and interposed entity elections
  • when is a debt forgiveness assessable as income?
  • can a capital loss be claimed in respect of a forgiven loan?
  • what are the dangers of assigning loan accounts?

Author profile

Noel Beharis CTA
Noel is the Tax Technical Director for Dominion Private Clients. Noel commenced in the legal profession as an articled clerk at Phillips Fox Solicitors and worked there until 1992 as a litigator in their insurance litigation division. For the last 14 years since leaving Phillips Fox he has worked at Pitcher Partners, William Buck, MGI Meyrick Webster and his current employer in varying tax technical roles. Areas of expertise include corporate and international taxation, taxation of large private enterprises, high wealth individuals and defending tax audits. - Current at 15 September 2011
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