No, those 9000 folks on the list that the TeeVee guy bought are NOT now saddled with a tax bill because he forgave their debt. Here is a great piece from Forbes which goes into more detail on the TeeVee guy’s action.
Bottom line, because the medical debt would have been deductible, it would not generate “income” on the other side. The key quote is this, but do read the whole thing.
But if you were listening closely to Oliver’s explanation of the process, he added that the debt would be forgiven “with no tax consequences” to the debtor.
How can that be?
The answer is found in Section 108, a provision that offers a host of exclusions to the general rule that the forgiveness of debt generates taxable income. Hidden among the more well-known exception for bankrupt or insolvent taxpayers, or the forgiveness of a mortgage on a principal residence, is subsection 108(e)(2), which provides that “no income shall be realized from the discharge of indebtedness to the extent that payment of the liability would have given rise to a deduction.”
Another point about this situation. The scam on the part of the debt collectors is even worse than imagined. In this case, not only were they NOT telling the debtors their true cost basis on their debt, nor telling them that the originator of the debt was totally out of the picture and thus ALL funds would go to the debt collection agency, it turns out that this particular debt package from Texas was “OUT-OF-STATUTE”, which means that it was too old to be collectible by law. So, it had already been wiped, in a sense, by law.
That is why the market for this class of debt is less than $0.01 cent on the dollar. The market for “in statute” debt is higher, like $0.05 on the dollar.
Not only do these collection vultures try to collect on debts that are legally wiped, they gain access to people’s identities, including Social Security Numbers, and then harass and intimidate them, sometimes “turning their life upside down”. What a truly, truly evil business.
Let’s apply what we have learned about Diabolical Narcissism to this paradigm. What kind of people do you suppose WORK FOR SUCH COMPANIES? What kind of people do you suppose take a job calling, harassing and intimidating people, trying to collect debts, purchased for less than one cent on the dollar, that are legally uncollectible? What kind of person would take a job in which MENDACITY (lying) is the foundational premise?
You bet. This is textbook BETA DIABOLICAL NARCISSIST territory. Remember, the “Beta” goes with “Bureaucracy”. The depraved souls that set up such companies are probably ALPHA DNs.
And finally, why would ANYONE be paying taxes to the Washington DC regime anyway?