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www.DuncanLawOnline.com Yes, if you settle debts with a creditor for more than $600 then you will be taxed on that "forgiven" debt as gross income. Therefore, you are shifting the burden of who you owe from an unsecured creditor to the IRS. Sometimes debt settlements can be a good idea but you will want to weight the risk of then owing the IRS. The IRS can garnish wages, bank accounts, etc.