The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge
The amount of penalties and interest on taxes owed and late filing can be onerous. However, all taxes, interest and penalties owed at the time of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition can be discharged if certain requirements are met. If you qualify, a significant burden can be lifted from your financial shoulders.
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Can Irs Debt Be Discharged In Chapter 13
Some clients have to file Chapter 13. Since the IRS debt is dischargeable: the amount to be repaid can be small maybe 10% or less.
Interest And Penalties
Chapter 7: If the tax will be discharged so will the Interest and Penalties.
Chapter 13: Penalties are general unsecured debt. Thus that part may be repaid at a low dividend Interest stops in Chapter 13.
Can You Discharge Taxes In Bankruptcy
It depends but is possible for individual taxpayers. LLCs, corporations, and partnerships usually cannot discharge taxes in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
With Chapter 7, an individual taxpayer can get taxes discharged if they meet specific criteria. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you usually end up paying all your taxes in your repayment plan, but you may be able to get a small percentage of non-priority taxes owed discharged. The rules on taxes owed also vary for Chapter 11 and Chapter 12.
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Debt Relief Alternatives To Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy has serious consequences. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your for 10 years, and a Chapter 13 will remain for seven years. That can make it more expensive or even impossible to borrow money in the future, such as for a mortgage or car loan, or to obtain a credit card. It can also affect your insurance rates.
So itâs worth exploring other types of debt relief before filing for bankruptcy. Debt relief typically involves negotiating with your creditors to make your debts more manageable, such as reducing the interest rates, canceling some portion of the debt, or giving you longer to repay. Debt relief often works to the creditorâs advantage, too, as they are likely to get more money out of the arrangement than if you were to declare bankruptcy.
You can negotiate on your own or hire a reputable debt relief company to help you. As with , there are scam artists who pose as debt relief experts, so be sure to check out any company that youâre considering. Investopedia publishes a regularly updated list of the best debt relief companies.
Bankruptcy And Taxes: Eliminating Tax Debts In Bankruptcy
In many cases, a debtor is still liable for tax debt after bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy law allows the discharge of tax debt in some circumstances.
A debtor is more likely to have tax debt discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy than in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 13, tax debt, along with other debt, enters a repayment plan. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, on the other hand, allows a debtor to discharge certain kinds of debt, such as credit card debt and medical bills, and in some instances, federal tax debt.
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Bankruptcy And Taxes: Qualifying For Discharge
Whether you can discharge tax debt will depend on the type of tax, how old the tax debt is, if you filed a return, and the type of bankruptcy. Federal income taxes in Chapter 7 are dischargeable if you meet all of the following conditions:
- The discharge is for income taxes: Payroll taxes and penalties for fraud are not eligible for discharge.
- You filed legitimate tax returns: You filed a tax return for the relevant tax years at least two years before filing for bankruptcy.
- The tax liability is at least three years old: The tax debt is from a tax return that was originally due at least three years before filing for bankruptcy.
- You are eligible under the 240-day rule: The IRS assessed the tax debt at least 240 days before you filed for bankruptcy. If the IRS suspended collection activity during negotiation, the applicable date may be extended.
- You did not commit willful tax evasion: Possible evasive actions include changing your Social Security number, your name, or the spelling of your name repeated failure to pay taxes filing a blank or incomplete tax return and withdrawing cash from a bank account and hiding it.
- You did not commit tax fraud: The return contains no information that was intended to defraud the IRS.
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Buttax Liens Don’t Go Away
If the IRS has already placed a lien on your property, you’re out of luck. Even if you can discharge an income tax obligation, the discharge only wipes out your liability for the debtthe lien will not go away. So even though the IRS won’t be able to garnish your wages to collect the discharged tax debt, you’ll need to pay off the lien when you sell the property.
Can I File Bankruptcy On Tax Debt
You may be able to file bankruptcy on some types of tax debt. For instance, you may be able to discharge income tax debt if certain conditions are met .
Note that you will need to pass the means test to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the first place. The means test compares your disposable income to the state median income for your household size. If your income is too high and you can’t pass the means test, you can file for Chapter 13 instead and develop a plan to repay your debts over the course of a few years.
What Happens If You Owe The Irs And Cant Pay
Option #1: Apply for a Hardship Extension
- A statement of assets and liabilities at the end of last month.
- An itemized list of income and expenses for each of the 3 months prior to the tax bill due date.
Fees or cost:Option #2: Set Up a Payment PlanAction required:Fees or cost:Option #3: Request a temporary collection delay Action required: Fees or cost:
The Automatic Stay And The Irs
The moment you file a consumer bankruptcy, a mechanism called the “automatic stay,” or auto-stay, stalls most legal proceedings and prohibits your creditors from continuing collection efforts. This means creditors can’t sue, garnish, bill, or call you, or otherwise attempt to collect a debt you owe. The auto-stay applies to the IRS as well. While the automatic stay is in place, the IRS cannot send you collection notices, garnish your wages or bank accounts, or even offset your tax refund.
The automatic stay expires when your bankruptcy discharge is entered or your case is closed or dismissed, whichever happens first. If you owe tax debt to the IRS, it might hold your refund until the automatic stay expires, so that it can collect by taking back some of your refund. Also, while the IRS is not allowed to collect for itself while the automatic stay is in effect, it may offset your refund to pay back persons to whom you owe child support — because child support collections are not stopped by the automatic stay.
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Need Tax Debt Help Get A Free Consultation With A Kansas City Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are struggling with back taxes, you may not know all the options available to help you get out from under unmanageable debt. At The Sader Law Firm, we offer free telephone consultations to determine your options. A qualified Kansas City bankruptcy lawyer from our firm will answer your questions. If filing bankruptcy or negotiating with the IRS is in your best interest, we can discuss providing those services.
Having legal counsel on your side will give you the best chance of successful debt relief and alleviate the stress of facing the IRS alone. Contact us online or to start working on a debt relief plan today.
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What If Im Not Required To File Tax Returns Can I File Bankruptcy
If you are not required to file tax returns by law, then you do not need to supply tax returns to the trustee. Some trustees will ask for an affidavit stating that you are not required to file tax returns. You may not need to file returns if your only income is from social security, for example.
You should be certain that this is the case, however. Sometimes clients tell us that theyre not required to file tax returns when, in reality, they are required to file returns. This could be a problem.
If you work with a tax professional, you should consult that professional to determine whether you are required to file. If you do not work with a tax professional, good news. Attorney Best is also a tax attorney. We can work with our clients to determine whether you are required to file tax returns. Moreover, if you are required to file, but havent done so, we can file them for you!
One of the reasons people hire our office to file their bankruptcy is that its one stop shopping for bankruptcy and tax. We are even able to perform a tax dischargeability analysis!
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Taxes Owed To The Irs Could Be Discharged In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Nobody wants to file for bankruptcy. However, circumstances can spiral out of control and you can find yourself without any choice. You were laid off from work or had unexpected medical bills. You had to make a choice between paying the monthly credit card bills or putting food on the table. The choice is easy. When you realize that you cant keep up with your credit card payments, you consult with your bankruptcy attorney.
Tax Attributes In Bankruptcy
Note that the debtors tax attributes, such as loss carry forwards and exclusion of gain on sale of a primary residence, as they exist before bankruptcy, pass to the bankruptcy estate and may be used or even exhausted by the trustee in the administration of the estate.
Get good tax advice before venturing into bankruptcy if your tax situation is complex. Theres good stuff on the subject in IRS publication on bankruptcy and tax.
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Below Are The Criteria You Must Meet For Irs Tax Debt Forgiveness Through A Bankruptcy Filing:
- The debt you owe to the IRS is for income taxes.
- You did not willfully evade paying taxes or commit tax fraud.
- The due date for the taxes you owe must be at least three years before the filing of your bankruptcy petition to qualify for IRS debt relief in bankruptcy.
- The tax returns that resulted in the tax debt were filed at least two years before filing your bankruptcy petition.
- For IRS debt forgiveness through a bankruptcy filing, the IRS must have assessed the tax debt at least 240 days before you filed your bankruptcy petition.
The above set of criteria is often referred to as the 3-2-240 Rule. If all the elements of the 3-2-240 Rule are met, you may be eligible for tax relief help by filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
What If I Havent Filed My Tax Returns For Multiple Years Can I File Bankruptcy
Yes! We can help you file bankruptcy even if your taxes arent done.
Sometimes, when someone owes money to the IRS, they decide not to file the tax return. The next year, they dont file because they didnt file the last year. This can repeat year after year until it becomes overwhelming. Where do I start? How do I fix this? What about the penalties?
We prepare delinquent tax returns for our clients all the time. Because we are also tax lawyers, we are able to obtain a tax account transcript as well as a wage & income transcript from the IRS. This tax transcript analysis allows us to determine everything we need to know about your tax situation. We can prepare your returns and advise you on what to do next. Sometimes were able to reduce or eliminate tax penalties.
Finally, were able to perform a tax dischargeability analysis to let you know what taxes are dischargeable in bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy will not discharge your taxes, we would advise you as to other options such as an Offer in Compromise or Installment Agreement.
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Fremont Bankruptcy Attorney Blog
By Ryan C. Wood
I run across this scenario far too often: finances are strained at home so you decrease your tax withholding on your paycheck. This choice is really just a temporary Band-Aid though. You have a little more money to spend on your expenses but you will end up owing the taxing authorities money when it comes time to file your taxes at the end of the year. If you dont pay your taxes that are due by April 15 you will end up having to pay penalties and interest on top of the taxes owed. So what happens if you encounter this scenario after you have filed for bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The taxes you owe after you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is your own responsibility. One thing to point out is that since your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case eliminated all of your eligible dischargeable unsecured debts you should now have some breathing room to change your withholding back to the correct amount. If you are still struggling to pay your expenses after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed you need to take a close look at your budget. That may mean cutting down on a lot of expenses you spend your money on.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you need to modify your chapter 13 plan to include additional tax debt you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your jurisdiction.
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Some Good News About Bankruptcy
The IRS considers many types of canceled debt to be taxable income. For example, if you get a credit card issuer to agree to cancel $5,000 of your credit card debt, you might have to count that amount as taxable income when you file your federal income tax return.
However, debt canceled in Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not considered taxable income.
That means if you owed taxes and got them canceled as part of a bankruptcy proceeding, you will not have to report that amount or any of your other debt forgiven by the bankruptcy as taxable income on a future tax return. But you may have to file a form with the IRS to verify that the debt was discharged through bankruptcy and therefore isnt taxable income.
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Five Tips For Bankruptcy Filers
Carl G. Archer, a bankruptcy lawyer with Maselli Warren, P.C., in Hamilton, New Jersey, offers the following tips for individuals filing bankruptcy and an income tax return.
Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions about your life and help you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done right, from simple to complex tax returns, no matter what your situation.
When To Expect Your Refund And How To Get It Fast
If you submit your tax return electronically and without errors, taxpayers should expect to see their refund within 21 days of when they file, so long as they choose direct deposit. The exact timeline, however, depends on how you file and how you want your refund paid out. Heres an estimate of what you can expect:
- One to three weeks, for those who e-file with direct deposit
- Three weeks, for those who paper file with direct deposit and
- Six to eight weeks, for those who e-file or paper file with a refund check in the mail.
Important to note, the IRS cannot legally issue any child tax credit or earned income tax credit refunds before mid-February a legal requirement designed to prevent the agency from paying out any fraudulent refunds.
Last year, the average tax refund topped $2,800, the agency said.
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