Qualifying For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Minnesota
Older income taxes are dischargeable in bankruptcy, right? So who qualifies for the simpler, faster, and cheaper chapter 7 bankruptcy? In Minnesota, there are income limits for Chapter 7.
If your income is too high for Chapter 7, you may be eligible for a different type of bankruptcy called Chapter 13. Tax debt is handled differently in this type of bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharges the same taxes as chapter 7, but also requires you to set up a 3 to 5-year payment plan for the taxes that were not discharged in the bankruptcy.
Tax Return Filing Requirements
Although youve filed for bankruptcy, you still have to file your tax returns.
- Personal: You are still required to file personal income tax returns after filing for bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy representative may also be required to file estate fiduciary tax returns.
- Business: The business is still required to file tax returns after filing for bankruptcy. If the court appoints a trustee, the trustee will file the required tax returns.
Bankruptcy Can Help Resolve Your Tax Problems
When it comes to tax debt , most of us believe that the only way to get the IRS off our backs is to grit our teeth and pony up the penalties. However, while common wisdom may indicate that the only certainty in life is death and taxes, that isnt always the case especially if you resort to filing for bankruptcy to solve your tax problems. While bankruptcy cannot eliminate some debts owed to the federal government, there are several types of taxes that can be eliminated under a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy .
Therefore, if the IRS is knocking on your door or you believe you wont be able to pay tax debts from previous years, here is what you need to know about solving your tax problems via bankruptcy:
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How To Avoid Future Tax Debt Problems
To avoid debt problems in the future, it is important that you understand how you arrived at your current situation, in which you owe a great deal of money to Canada Revenue Agency.
Do you owe taxes because you cashed in the last of your RRSPs to pay your debts? This cant happen again soon, because any remaining RRSPs will be liquidated in your bankruptcy.
On the other hand, if you are self-employed, you can easily find yourself with a tax debt at the end of the year. It is important to prepare for such an eventuality and to make sure that you make payments throughout the year.
We recommend that at the beginning of each year, self-employed individuals estimate the amount of income taxes they will owe and then remit one twelfth of this amount to the tax authorities even if the tax authorities do not require such frequent payments. Then, at the end of the year, tax time will actually be enjoyable as you will have minimal or no accumulated income tax debt. You might even receive a refund!
Finally, make sure you have realistic expectations concerning your lifestyle and your expenses . When do we accumulate tax debt? When we dont feel we can afford to pay it. Proper budgeting and business management can eliminate the monthly deficit that often contributes to serious tax arrears.
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.
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Tax Debt Not Eligible For Discharge
The following types of tax debt are not dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Tax penalties from tax debt that is ineligible to be discharged
- Tax debts from unfiled tax returns
- Trust fund taxes or withholding taxes withheld from an employee’s paycheck by the employer
A debtor unable to discharge tax debt under Chapter 7 may consider other arrangements, such as entering into an installment agreement with the IRS or making the IRS an offer in compromise which will result in the settlement of the tax debt for less than the amount owed.
The Tax Assessment Was At Least 240 Days Old
Again, this often covers the same ground as the first two rules. The IRS must assess the tax at least 240 days before the taxpayer files for bankruptcy. The IRS assessment can arise from a self-reported balance due , an IRS final determination in an audit, or an IRS proposed assessment that has become final.
In other words, you reported what you owed, or the IRS has officially stated, “This is what you owe.”
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Getting Rid Of Your Tax Liens After Bankruptcy
Also, you may be able to have a tax lien release or removed if the following applies:
- The tax lien was filed too soon or the filing of the tax lien failed to follow IRS procedures.
- You entered into an installment agreement to pay the tax debt once your received the notice of a tax lien.
- If the tax debt was not discharged in bankruptcy and withdrawal of the tax lien will enable you to pay the tax debt quicker.
- A Taxpayer Advocate has determined that the withdrawal of the tax lien would be in your best interest or the IRS has determined that the withdrawal of the tax lien will be in the best interest of the government.
- You had already paid the tax debt owed before the IRS filed the lien.
- The tax lien was filed while you were in bankruptcy and were protected by theautomatic stay .
- The statue of limitations for collecting the tax debt expired at the time the lien was filed.
- You did not have an opportunity to dispute the assessed tax liability.
Its important to remember that after 10 years a tax lien expires unless it is renewed by the IRS, in the case of a tax lien. Also, the IRS may be willing to release a tax lien if you are trying to sell your home.
Bankruptcy And Tax Debt: What You Need To Know
There are various advertisements on television and radio that encourage consumers to utilize special services aimed at getting rid of tax debt through bankruptcy. Keep in mind the process may not be as easy as they make it sound. Some tax debts may not qualify for elimination in bankruptcy , but they may qualify for inclusion of a repayment plan to help you manage them better.
Bankruptcy may be able to help you deal with tax debt, but no matter your financial situation, there are things you should know about tax debt and bankruptcy. To get further details discuss the matter with a qualified bankruptcy attorney or tax specialist.
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What Is A Tax Lien
A tax lien is a lien recorded against your property that secures the government’s right to collect taxes or penalties that you haven’t paid. When you sell the property, the government agency gets paid from the sale proceeds. Or, the government agency can choose to seize your property in order to get reimbursed for the unpaid taxes — this is called a tax levy.
Do Judgments Impact Your Credit
For many years, judgments and liens appeared in the public records section of credit reports, but that is no longer the case. Bankruptcies are now the only public records collected and listed on credit reports maintained by the three national .
Chapter 7 bankruptcies appear on your credit reports for 10 years from the date of the bankruptcy filing, while Chapter 13 bankruptcies remain for seven years from the filing date.
A bankruptcy negatively affects your credit score as long as it remains on your credit report, but its impact diminishes over time. Since judgments and liens no longer appear on credit reports, they have no effect on credit scores.
Legal judgments and their consequences, including garnished wages and drained bank accounts, can compound the distress of mounting debt. Filing bankruptcy is stressful in its own right, but it can bring instant relief from judgments, in many cases eliminating them permanently.
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Treatment Of Debt Depends On The Type Of Bankruptcy Filed
The type of bankruptcy you file will largely determine which debts get eliminated and which do not. Some types of debt cannot be eliminated in any form of bankruptcy.
If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many types of debt can be completely eliminated:
- Second mortgages
- Virtually any other unsecured debt
If instead you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts then become part of a repayment plan, which lasts between three and five years. All of the debts listed above become part of your plan, as do secured debts such as mortgages and car loans. After the payment period expires, you are considered current on secured debts and any remaining unsecured debts are eliminated.
Does Bankruptcy Clear Property Tax Debt
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Keeping this in consideration, can you discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy?
You can discharge debts for federal income taxes in Chapter 7 bankruptcy only if all of the following conditions are true: The taxes are income taxes. Taxes other than income, such as payroll taxes or fraud penalties, can never be eliminated in bankruptcy. You did not commit fraud or willful evasion.
Also, do tax liens survive bankruptcy? A lien for a dischargeable tax, even if it attaches to some assets owned when the bankruptcy is filed, does not attach to assets acquired after the bankruptcy. If the tax survives the bankruptcy, because it’s non dischargeable or priority (like recent income taxes, the lien survives.
In this manner, how does bankruptcy affect property taxes?
While bankruptcy eliminates liability for a property tax debt, it doesn’t eliminate responsibility for that debt, as reflected in the lien that remains. Property tax liens are secured by the properties owing those taxes, meaning the taxes are also secured debts.
Does bankruptcy stop property tax sale?
Assess how much you owe in property taxes. If you cannot afford to pay the property taxes before you file bankruptcy, you may be able to stop the process of losing your home because of property taxes if you are able to pay the taxes with 30 days of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy .
How To File Bankruptcy In Ontario
You are eligible to declare bankruptcy in Ontario if you live, do business or own property in the province. You must owe more than $1,000 in unsecured debt. If you meet these criteria, then you follow this bankruptcy process:
Bankruptcy And Taxes: What You Should Know
If youre struggling to stay financially afloat with various creditors as well as the government, youre probably starting to wonder: does filing personal bankruptcy eliminate tax debt?
As weve already covered, for the vast majority of filers, Chapter 7 will be the best bet to try and get at least a portion of your tax debt wiped out. However, you should approach your situation with realistic expectations and your eyes wide open: many people are not able to get their tax debts erased in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and for those who do find relief in Chapter 7, it is almost always for a portion of the tax debt not the entire amount.
Ready to see if you might qualify to have some tax debt wiped out in Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Lets take a look at a few of the most important qualifications to get that monetary amount included in your discharges.
#1 What is the nature of the unpaid tax debt?
As weve said, only income tax debt is even eligible for a chance at discharge . If your owed amount is related to payroll taxes or the result of a bad faith or fraudulent action on your part , you will be stuck with that burden even if you file for Chapter 7. Income taxes, and income taxes alone, are the specific type of tax debt with a little bit of wiggle room when you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7.
#2 How old is the unpaid tax debt?
#3 Did you file a fraudulent tax return or commit willful evasion?
#4 Did you file an on-time tax return for the year in question?
Will Bankruptcy Stop An Irs Garnishment
Falling on hard times financially can also lead to falling behind on your taxes. When your tax debt becomes extremely delinquent, the IRS may issue a garnishment on your wages. This garnishment, or levy, allows the IRS to take part of your wages each pay period. A garnishment will continue until you: A. make other arrangements to pay off your tax debt B. your debt has been paid in full or C. the levy has been released. Overwhelmed by the thought of losing your wages, you may wonder if filing for bankruptcy will relieve you from an IRS garnishment.
Filing for bankruptcy can in fact offer some relief from the stress of an IRS garnishment. Once you file bankruptcy, a court ordered automatic stay will immediately go into effect. This stay will stop any type of debt collection, including garnishments and seizures, for the duration of the bankruptcy case. However, since bankruptcy will not get rid of most tax debts, how your garnishment is affected after the case is over will depend on which type of bankruptcy is filed: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
If youre facing significant financial stress due to an IRS garnishment, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney. They can guide you through your options and help find the best solution for your specific case. In Jacksonville, Florida, contact the law offices of Parker & DuFresne at 904-733-7766 to learn more.
What Are Some Other Solutions For Tax Debt
If unpaid tax debt has you considering bankruptcy, you may want to explore other solutions first especially in light of the complex rules for bankruptcy and taxes.
These alternatives could include entering into an installment agreement with the IRS, making a deal with the IRS to delay collection efforts, or entering into an offer in compromise. An offer in compromise is an agreement between you and the IRS that allows you to pay a reduced amount.
There are pros and cons to each of these approaches. For example, youll need to pay a user fee for an installment agreement and will owe fees, interest and possible penalties. And the IRS wont always accept an offer in compromise.
Still, because these solutions address only your tax debt and dont affect other areas of your finances as much as bankruptcy does, they could be worth considering.
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What Assets Are Exempt From Bankruptcy In Ontario
When you file for bankruptcy in Ontario, you dont need to be concerned that you will lose everything. These assets are exempt under federal and provincial law: