FAQs: Liabilities

Below are some answers to questions that are based on questions OGE has received. In answering these questions, we have assumed that the liability at issue exceeded $10,000 at some point time during the reporting period. Otherwise, the filer would not have needed to report the liability.

1. Do I have to report a mortgage on my vacation home?

A mortgage on your vacation home is treated like a mortgage on your primary home. Follow the guidance for mortgages that is provided on the main “Liabilities” page.

2. Do I have to report a revolving home equity line of credit where my personal residence serves as collateral for the loan?

An exercised line of credit secured by your personal residence is treated like a mortgage. Follow the guidance for mortgages that is provided on the main “Liabilities” page. You do not need to report a line of credit that has not been exercised.

3. Do I have to report a loan against my retirement plan?

No.

4. Do I have to report a loan against the cash value of my life insurance policy?

No.

5. Do I have to report all loans taken out by a business I own?

No. You do not have to report loans that are directly related to the company’s trade or business.

6. What if I have paid off a liability?

You still need to report the liability. If you wish, you may indicate that you have paid off the liability in your description of the liability in the “Type of Liability” column, but you are not required to indicate that you have paid off the liability.

However, the reporting rules for revolving charge accounts, such as credit card balances, are different from all other liabilities. You do not have to report credit card debt if you paid off the debt before the close of the reporting period. For a Nominee or New Entrant, the reporting period ends on the date on which you file the report.

7. Do I have to report personal loans from relatives?

It depends. The relevant statutory provision is somewhat complicated. You do not need to report personal liabilities that (a) you, your spouse or your dependent child owe (b) to a spouse, child, parent, or sibling of (c) you, your spouse or your dependent child.

Personal loans from other relatives are reportable. However, if you received the loan from a close relative or a family trust, you may write “family member” or “family trust” in the “Creditors” column.

8. Do I have to report a personal loan from a close friend?

Yes, personal loans from friends are generally reportable.

9. Do I have to report a loan on which I co-signed but no present liability exists for me to pay?

No. If you are only a guarantor on a loan, such as a car loan for your child and you have no present legal obligation to repay that loan, then you do not have to report the loan as a liability. However, if by co-signing the loan you have created a current legal obligation to repay regardless of whether the person with whom you co-signed defaults on the loan, then you must report the loan.

10. Do I have to report any additional information for a current debt stemming from a co-signed loan?

Yes. Identify the co-signor in the “Type of Liability” column. If the party is a close relative, identify the party as a “family member” (e.g., “co-signed loan for family member”). Otherwise, provide the party’s name and location (e.g., “co-signed loan for Wilson Widgets, Newark, New Jersey”).

11. Do I have to report a debt that I dispute I owe?

You should consult with your ethics official in order to determine whether or not the disputed debt is reportable.

12. Do I have to report taxes I owe?

You never have to report taxes that you owe for the current year. In some cases, you may have to report overdue taxes. In the event of overdue taxes, you should talk to your ethics official about reporting requirements.

13. Do I have to report a tax liability that is being enforced through a lien that has been placed on my personal residence?

Yes. A tax lien is significantly different from a mortgage so the reporting exception for a mortgage on a personal residence does not apply.

14. Where can I find the interest rate on my margin account?

This information should be available in your margin agreement.

15. Do I have to list the securities purchased through a margin account?

You do not need to list the securities in Schedule C, Part I.

However, you need to report in Schedule A securities that have a value of more than $1,000 or that produced more than $200 during the Schedule A reporting period.

16. Do I have to report all capital calls?

Usually, yes. You have to report capital calls that you would be legally required to meet upon demand.

17. Do I have to report a bill for services, such as legal fees or university tuition?

You need to report a bill for services only if it was overdue and exceeded $10,000 at the end of the reporting period. If the bill was not overdue, you do not need to report it. 

 

This guide is not intended to provide investment advice, and you should not rely on statements in this guide when making investment decisions.

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