It is the rule that if you get tax exemption, you have to show it as income in your tax returns.  There are few exceptions to forgiven debt tax:
Debts canceled when you were insolvent

This is the most sweeping exception, because debt is generally only canceled when debtors are “insolvent.”

Student loans forgiven after you worked a period of time

If your debt was cancelled on basis of loan forgiveness provision on service in the field of your work, then you are not suppose to include that debt as income in your returns.

Debts discharged in bankruptcy

If you filed for bankruptcy protection, do not report the canceled debt as income.

Mortgage debt forgiven due to foreclosure

Mortgage Forgiveness debt resolution Act, took effect in year 2007. You do not have to pay tax on debt forgiven when you lost your home.

Cancellation of debt as a gift

If the cancellation of debt is a gift, it’s not income. Generally, the IRS will believe you if you say that a property or asset  is a gift and it’s between parties such as family members or friends. The IRS takes a dim view of taxpayers claiming that canceled debt from banks, employers or anyone else with whom you have a strictly working relationship are “gifts.”

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