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As the federal tax filing deadline approaches, millions of people across the country will likely receive tax forms that hold them accountable for charged off credit card debt.

The IRS estimates that lenders will send some 6.4 million 1099-C tax forms to Americans in 2012, and these documents are sent to those who had debt forgiven or canceled at some point in the past, according to a report from USA Today. In some cases the charged off debt being taxed can be as much as a few decades old, but the increased total for this year - up from 3.9 million in 2010 - is likely due to debt charged off during the recession, as federal regulations encourage lenders to submit 1099-Cs for debts that haven't been pursued in 36 months.

However, the IRS also acknowledges that there may be some flaws in the process, the report said. In some cases, the debts being pursued may not have been officially canceled, and other consumers may receive two 1099-Cs for the same balance. Americans are only not liable for their canceled balance if the debt was discharged during a bankruptcy filing, or they were insolvent when the debt was charged off. However, the burden of proof in these cases is on the borrowers, not the lenders.

During the recession, millions of consumers fell behind on their credit card debt and other financial obligations as a result of hardships brought on by factors outside their control. As a result, all of the nation's top lenders faced significantly higher instances of delinquent accounts that had to be written off as uncollectable after they went several months or more without payment.