North Bay Business Journal

Monday, April 26, 2010, 3:05 am

Accounting: State OKs tax debt relief for struggling homeowners


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    Jannicelli leaves Moss Adams to join Burr Pilger

    jennaheader3California homeowners no longer have to pay state income tax on debt forgiven in a short sale, foreclosure or loan modification, aligning the state with the federal law.

    Senate Bill 401 says that for debt forgiven on a loan secured by a “qualified principal residence,” borrowers are exempt from both federal and state income tax consequences.

    Federal exemption is for debt up to $2 million, and the California exemption is for debt up to $800,000 and forgiven debt up to $500,000.

    The definition of “qualified principal residence” indebtedness is debt incurred in acquiring, constructing or substantially improving a principal residence.

    Both first and second trust deeds are covered.

    The tax breaks apply to forgiven debt from 2009 through 2012. Californians who have already filed their 2009 tax returns may claim the exemption by filing a Form 540X amendment.

    According to the California Association of Realtors, taxpayers who do not qualify for the above exemptions may nevertheless be exempt under other provisions. Most notably, taxpayers who are bankrupt are exempt from debt relief income tax. Also, taxpayers who are insolvent are exempt from debt relief income tax to the extent their current liabilities exceed current assets.


    Steve Jannicelli

    Steve Jannicelli

    Steve Jannicelli, formerly a senior manager with Moss Adams LLP in Santa Rosa, has joined the consulting group at Burr Pilger Mayer’s Santa Rosa office as a senior manager.

    He has more than 15 years of experience in both private industry and public accounting. He focuses on ownership transition, management succession, strategic planning, growth and capital strategy, and financial advisory services for privately owned and family-controlled businesses.

    “I’m excited to join Burr Pilger Mayer as the unique structure of the firm gives me the opportunity to expand my service platform and increase my personal attention to clients,” said Mr. Jannicelli.

    A business writer and speaker, Mr. Jannicelli has spoken at a variety of high-profile venues.

    Mr. Jannicelli’s experience includes strategic roles with Deloitte & Touche, The Gap, PeopleSoft and Macromedia.

    BPM has 400 professionals in six Bay Area locations including San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, Novato and Santa Rosa.


    Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.

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