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Free Tax PreperationFree tax preperation 5. Free tax preperation Student Loan Cancellations and Repayment Assistance Table of Contents Introduction Student Loan CancellationQualifying Loans Student Loan Repayment Assistance Introduction Generally, if you are responsible for making loan payments, and the loan is canceled (forgiven), you must include the amount that was forgiven in your gross income for tax purposes. Free tax preperation However, if you fulfill certain requirements, two types of student loan assistance may be tax free. Free tax preperation The types of assistance discussed in this chapter are: Student loan cancellation, and Student loan repayment assistance. Free tax preperation Student Loan Cancellation If your student loan is canceled, you may not have to include any amount in income. Free tax preperation This section describes the requirements for tax-free treatment of canceled student loans. Free tax preperation Qualifying Loans To qualify for tax-free treatment, for the cancellation of your loan, your loan must have been made by a qualified lender to assist you in attending an eligible educational institution and contain a provision that all or part of the debt will be canceled if you work: For a certain period of time, In certain professions, and For any of a broad class of employers. Free tax preperation The cancellation of your loan will not qualify for tax-free treatment if it is cancelled because of services you performed for the educational institution that made the loan or other organization that provided the funds. Free tax preperation See Exception, later. Free tax preperation Eligible educational institution. Free tax preperation This is an educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities. Free tax preperation Qualified lenders. Free tax preperation These include the following. Free tax preperation The United States, or an instrumentality thereof. Free tax preperation A state, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or any political subdivision thereof. Free tax preperation A public benefit corporation that is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3); and that has assumed control of a state, county, or municipal hospital; and whose employees are considered public employees under state law. Free tax preperation An eligible educational institution, if the loan is made: As part of an agreement with an entity described in (1), (2), (3) under which the funds to make the loan were provided to the educational institution, or Under a program of the educational institution that is designed to encourage its students to serve in occupations with unmet needs or in areas with unmet needs where the services provided by the students (or former students) are for or under the direction of a governmental unit or a tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organization. Free tax preperation Occupations with unmet needs include medicine, nursing, teaching, and law. Free tax preperation Section 501(c)(3) organization. Free tax preperation This is any corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the following purposes. Free tax preperation Charitable. Free tax preperation Religious. Free tax preperation Educational. Free tax preperation Scientific. Free tax preperation Literary. Free tax preperation Testing for public safety. Free tax preperation Fostering national or international amateur sports competition (but only if none of its activities involve providing athletic facilities or equipment). Free tax preperation The prevention of cruelty to children or animals. Free tax preperation Exception. Free tax preperation The cancellation of your loan does not qualify as tax-free student loan cancellation if your student loan was made by an educational institution and is canceled because of services you performed for the educational institution or other organization that provided the funds. Free tax preperation Refinanced Loan If you refinanced a student loan with another loan from an eligible educational institution or a tax-exempt organization, that loan may also be considered as made by a qualified lender. Free tax preperation The refinanced loan is considered made by a qualified lender if it is made under a program of the refinancing organization that is designed to encourage students to serve in occupations with unmet needs or in areas with unmet needs where the services required of the students are for or under the direction of a governmental unit or a tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organization. Free tax preperation Student Loan Repayment Assistance Student loan repayments made to you are tax free if you received them for any of the following: The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (NHSC Loan Repayment Program). Free tax preperation A state education loan repayment program eligible for funds under the Public Health Service Act. Free tax preperation Any other state loan repayment or loan forgiveness program that is intended to provide for the increased availability of health services in under served or health professional shortage areas (as determined by such state). Free tax preperation You cannot deduct the interest you paid on a student loan to the extent payments were made through your participation in the above programs. Free tax preperation Prev Up Next Home More Online Publications
Renting a Home or Apartment
Get the Facts About Renting
A lease is an agreement that outlines the obligations of the owner and the tenants of a house or apartment. It is a legally binding document that courts will generally uphold in legal proceedings, so it is important for you to know the exact terms of the lease agreement before you sign it. Before agreeing to lease a home to you, a landlord may review your credit report, so you may want to get a copy before you start your apartment search. Some things to look for in a lease:
- Clauses that allow the landlord to change the terms of the lease after it is signed
- Requirements/responsibilities of the tenants to do routine repairs such as lawn maintenance, cleaning or notification of repairs
- Restrictions that would prevent you from living normally or comfortably in the home
- Term of the lease and any important dates such as when the rent is due, or garbage pick up days
- Extra fees for parking spaces or storage, garbage collection, and pets
- Information regarding utility providers, how to arrange for service and whether you or the landlord is responsible for those bills.
Read the lease carefully and discuss anything you don't understand or issues you might have. All landlord responsibilities should be clearly stated. Always get a copy of the signed lease to keep in your records. Any clause or terms in the agreement affects ALL parties who sign.
Tenants who lease or rent property are protected against discrimination by The Fair Housing Act. If you think your rights have been violated, you may write a letter or telephone the HUD office nearest you. You have one year after the alleged violation to file a complaint with HUD, but you should file as soon as possible.
Each state has its own tenant rights, laws and protections. Contact HUD for a state-by-state directory. You can also find public housing that is available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency offers several housing assistance programs for tenants and landlords as well as information of displaced residents.
Ten Tips for Renters
- The best way to win over a prospective landlord is to be prepared by bringing a completed rental application; written references from previous landlords, employers, friends and colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report with you.
- Carefully review all the important conditions of the lease before you sign.
- To avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your landlord, get everything in writing.
- Know your rights to live in a habitable rental unit-and don't give them up.
- Keep communication open with your landlord.
- Ask about your privacy rights before you sign the lease.
- Purchase renter's insurance to cover your valuables.
- Make sure the security deposit refund procedures are spelled out in your lease or rental agreement.
- Learn whether your building and neighborhood are safe, and what you can expect your landlord to do about it if they aren't.
- Know when to fight an eviction notice and when to move. Unless you have the law and provable facts on your side, fighting an eviction notice is usually shortsighted.