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How Does Filing Bankruptcy Affect Your Tax Return

File Irs Form 982 After Bankruptcy Discharge

How filing bankruptcy could affect your tax return and refund. Attorney Robert Geller.

The correct way to ensure that you do not have to pay taxes on any debt forgiven in bankruptcy, and properly allocate any tax attributes, is to file IRS Form 982 for the tax year in which you received your bankruptcy discharge.; See IRS Publication 4681 for detailed information explaining all the above.;; Many people and even accountants are unaware of this form and the importance of filing it.;; Be proactive and mention it to your accountant before filing your returns .

Can My Creditors Still Repossess My Assets

Secured creditors retain their rights under their contract, even after Bankruptcy or Proposal completion. If you fail to meet the contractual obligations, the creditor can repossess the collateral . In some provinces, the secured creditors can still collect from you for the deficiency, even after repossession. Ask your Trustee if this applies to you.

File Bankruptcy Tax Free

For the average individual consumer, filing bankruptcy and discharging debts has no tax consequences.

In contrast, if your debts are forgiven or settled outside of bankruptcy, the forgiven amount may be added to your income and subject to tax.

Thats called cancellation of debt income.

Debt forgiven in bankruptcy, however, doesnt trigger cancellation of debt income.

The tax free feature of bankruptcy is one very compelling reason why bankruptcy may be a better choice than debt settlement.

It is also a reason to file; bankruptcy when facing a foreclosure even if you intend to let the house go. A; foreclosure may generate taxable income measured by the difference between the value of the property and the amount owed on the mortgage.

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Warren & Migliaccio Can Help With Bankruptcy Law Matters

If you are concerned about when and how to file for bankruptcy, consult an attorney with expertise in bankruptcy law. The laws and regulations governing bankruptcy are complicated and diverse. Warren & Migliaccio will review your case and can help you through the process. Call 888-584-9614 to schedule a free consultation or use our online contact form to do so.

What Are Some Other Solutions For Tax Debt

How Filing Bankruptcy Affects Your Tax Return

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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Chapter 7 Bankruptcys Effect On Tax Refunds Is All About Timing

If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy around tax time, it is a good idea to talk to both a bankruptcy attorney and an accountant before heading to the courthouse. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can affect your tax refund and even cause you to lose it entirely, but that effect will depend on the timing of when you receive your tax refund and when you file your bankruptcy petition.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy works as a snapshot picture of your financial circumstances on the day the petition is filed. At that moment, everything you have, from homes to bank accounts, becomes part of your bankruptcy estate. You and your bankruptcy attorney can carve out several exemptions, including your home up to a certain value, the family car, and a certain value of personal property items. Then everything else is sold and the proceeds are used to pay off your creditors.

Your tax refund can count as part of your bankruptcy estate depending on when you earn the money that goes into the tax refund and when you receive it compared to the date you file for bankruptcy:

Because your Chapter 7 bankruptcy affects your tax refund you will want to discuss the timing of your filing both the tax return and the bankruptcy petition so you can avoid giving the bankruptcy more of your money to pay off your creditors.

I Intend To File For Bankruptcy Sometime Later This Year

As in the first example, any refund amount would be deemed as part of your estate under this scenario. However, you can avoid losing the money by, instead, adjusting the amount of money deducted from your paycheck for income taxes so that youll only be covering the actual tax youll eventually owe. This way youll increase the amount of money you have to spend each paycheck.

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Filing Taxes After Filing For Bankruptcy


Filing an income tax return after filing for bankruptcy does not have to be a problem, as long as you know what to watch out for, including when and how to file.

For information on the third coronavirus relief package, please visit our American Rescue Plan: What Does it Mean for You and a Third Stimulus Check blog post.

Is there life after bankruptcy? Absolutely, and it includes taxes. Filing an income tax return after filing for bankruptcy does not have to be a problem, as long as you know what to watch out for, including when and how to file.

People that file bankruptcy have to make sure that there are a few things taken care of when it comes to filing their taxes, said Joshua S. Barger, vice president of tax services at Foundation Financial Group in Jacksonville, Florida.

According to IRS Publication 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide, the Bankruptcy Code requires a debtor to file an individual tax return, or request an extension. If this does not happen, the bankruptcy case can be converted or dismissed. In addition, the bankruptcy trustee is required to file a tax return for estates and trust, Form 1041, for the bankruptcy estate.

No matter what time of year it is, the filing deadline can seem too close for comfort — especially if you are filing or considering filing for bankruptcy. With a little planning and preparation, you will at least know what to do to minimize your stress.

– Joshua S. Barger, vice president of tax services, Foundation Financial Group

Tax Refunds In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing Bankruptcy and Your Tax Refund

When you initially file for Chapter 13, you’ll need to protect your tax refund with an exemption to keep it, or use it for necessary expenses before filing, as discussed above. If you can’t, you’ll pay it to your creditors.

During your three- to five-year repayment plan, it works a bit differently. You’re required to contribute all disposable income to your Chapter 13 plan. If your plan pays less than 100% to creditors, the trustee can keep your tax refund. It won’t reduce your plan payment, however. Your creditors will receive the percentage of your total disposable income, which will include your tax return, that they’re entitled to under your plan.

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Tax Refunds Are Property Of The Estate

Your bankruptcy estate is the pool of your assets on the date of your bankruptcyfiling. Unless these assets are protected by an exemption, your bankruptcy trustee can distribute them to your in repayment of your debts. Tax refunds are tricky because they are often part of your bankruptcy estate even though you may not receive the refund until months after your bankruptcy filing.

Hereâs the rule: if you earned all or part of a tax refund for work you did before filing for bankruptcy, that portion of your tax refund is part of your bankruptcy estate. So that portion of the refund belongs to your trustee, unless the refund is protected by an exemption.

Example 1: David files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on January 1, 2019. Two months later, David files his tax return for the previous year and he receives a $2,000 tax refund. Because David earned 100% of the tax refund for his work before filing for bankruptcy, the entire tax refund is part of Davidâs bankruptcy estate. Unless David can protect the refund with an exemption, the bankruptcy trustee is entitled to the $2,000 refund.

Can I Keep My Tax Return In Bankruptcy

Under certain circumstances, you can keep your tax return after filing for bankruptcy. However, its not easy. Youll want to get help from a knowledgeable Ohio bankruptcy attorney to figure out the right solution for your specific needs.

The best way to make the most of your tax refund after filing for bankruptcy is to consult with one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers. Our Ohio bankruptcy attorneys have spent many years handling these cases, and we can answer any questions you have. We could also structure your bankruptcy case to help you keep as many of your eligible assets as possible. Visit our bankruptcy FAQs for more information.

Learn more about our bankruptcy services by calling our office or visiting our contact page.

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Income Tax & Consumer Proposals

When you file a consumer proposal in Canada, taxes get treated as unsecured debt that is, as long as you dont have a lien issued against your property by the CRA.

The way consumer proposals and tax debt works is that a proposal can help reduce your tax debt alongside any other debt owed to other creditors. Consider how filing your income tax while in a consumer proposal works in Canada:

Why Is My Spouse Getting Calls From My Creditors

How Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Affect Tax Refunds ...

Your spouse may have signed an agreement or contract either co-signing or jointly signing for liability. For example, you may have a supplemental credit card for your spouse or your spouse may be a guarantor on one of your loans. If so, your spouse is responsible for paying the balance of this debt.

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Debts Discharged In Bankruptcy Are Not Included In The Taxpayers Income

In general, outside of bankruptcy, if a creditor forgives a debt that is owed by you, then that may need to be included in income.;; However,; there is an exception to this rule pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 108 which provides that; debts forgiven in a bankruptcy case do NOT need to be included as income for forgiveness of debt.

However, even though the discharged debts are not part of a debtors gross income, the amount discharged can be required to reduce any tax attributes that the debtor/taxpayer may have, such as net operating losses, capital loss carryforwards, basis reductions and others.; It is important to discuss these issues with your accountant, preferably before filing bankruptcy, but certainly after.

Take Your First Step Towards A Debt Free Life

If you are overwhelmed by debt and live in the Toronto area, call us at 416-498-9200 to book a FREE, confidential appointment. We will review your financial situation in detail and discuss all of your options with you. Alternatively, you can fill out the form below and our team will reach out to you.;

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How Do I Rebuild My Credit

  • Do not rely on someone else to rebuild your credit. You must be the driving force.
  • Clean up your credit report make sure all errors are corrected.
  • Obtain new credit a secured credit card, small secured loan or RRSP loan.
  • Make sure the new credit is reported to the credit bureau .
  • Start by asking your financial institution what products they have available to help you rebuild your credit. Its good to build a relationship with the financial institution you have already been dealing with during your Bankruptcy or Proposal.
  • Never miss a payment. In fact, pay before the due date. Follow the good budgeting and money-management tips you reviewed in your counseling sessions with your LIT firm.
  • Save for a down payment on a car or house.

Modifying Your Payment Plan To Pay For Unexpected Expense

What do you do with your tax refund before filing bankruptcy and what can you spend it on?

If you have a Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan, sometimes things come up that you do not expect. Your household budget should include a certain amount for regular maintenance and discretionary expenses, but that may not be enough to handle emergency repairs. In these cases, you may be able to file a plan modification that will allow you to keep your tax refund and use it to pay for:

  • House repairs caused by natural disasters
  • Repairing or replacing household appliances
  • Car repairs following an accident
  • Unexpected medical costs for you or your spouse or children
  • Funeral costs

In these cases, you should expect to disclose the amount of the tax refund, the specific reason you need it, and the receipts showing you spent the refund the way you said you would.

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Does A Consumer Proposal Affect My Tax Return

Getting to keep your tax refund is a significant pro to consider when weighing a consumer proposals pros and cons.

A significant advantage of a consumer proposal is that, unlike a bankruptcy, because it does not require you to give up your assets, it will not affect your consumer proposal tax return. As a result, you will still need to file your yearly income tax returns.;

The CRA will continue to send you any tax refunds you were eligible for before your proposal unless you have outstanding tax debts. Any previous tax debt will get treated as a creditor in the consumer proposal process and any tax refund related to the period prior to your consumer proposal will be offset against any tax debt you owe in your consumer proposal.;

Will My Trustee Still Receive My Gst And Income Tax Refunds This Year

  • The tax refund relating to the year of your bankruptcy will be sent to the Trustee for the benefit of your creditors. Subsequent tax refunds should be sent to you.
  • The Trustee has a right to apply your GST credits towards the costs of administering your bankruptcy . Once the Trustees costs are covered, the GST credits will again revert to you.

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How To Avoid Giving Your Tax Refund To The Bankruptcy Trustee

For anyone filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and many going through a Chapter 13 payment plan, giving your tax refund to the bankruptcy trustee may simply mean you have less money available to support yourself and your family. The good news is that through careful planning and use of the bankruptcy code, you can often avoid putting your tax refund into your bankruptcy estate, and use it for yourself instead. Depending on your circumstances, this could include plans to:

Some Good News About Bankruptcy

Will I Get a Tax Return if I File 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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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Uses Tax Refunds To Finish Payment Plans Faster

If a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a snapshot, then a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a 3- to 5-year movie. In preparing to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you and your bankruptcy attorney will create a payment plan that includes a budget for your regular living expenses and makes all the rest of your income available to pay down your debts.

That includes your tax refund. Because your tax refund is unpredictable , your bankruptcy attorney will usually not include your tax refund as part of your budget. Instead, it becomes a source of additional income your bankruptcy trustee can use to pay your debts ahead of schedule and finish your payment plans faster. Because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process, it will inevitably include at least a few years tax returns. You should talk to your bankruptcy attorney to create a strategy that works best for you and your family: minimize your tax refunds and keep more of your money, or use larger tax refunds to help finish your payment plan ahead of schedule.

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Tax Return

No one wants to go bankrupt. Yet, each year, thousands of people in the U.S. file for federal bankruptcy protection. In the 12-month period between June 30, 2013 and June 30, 2014, U.S. bankruptcy courts processed more than 1 million cases. The majority of these — 970,000 — were nonbusiness filings — in other words, individuals .

When a person files for bankruptcy, what they hope to do is eliminate, or repay, some or all of their debits under the protection of a court. There are generally two types of bankruptcy filings: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you file for Chapter 7, a bankruptcy trustee will sell, or liquidate, your property to pay back some of the money you owe. However, under Chapter 7, you are allowed to protect some of your property. Also under Chapter 7, most of your unsecured debt, such as what you owe on credit cards, can be eliminated. However, you can continue to pay your car loans, mortgages and other secured debt or have the creditor take possession of your property. However, some types of secured debt can be erased .

Under Chapter 13, you can keep your property, but you must make monthly payments to repay a part or all of your debt. That will stave off any repossession or foreclosure. Past due amounts can be made up over time .

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