I’m filing bankruptcy and I have a tax debt from three years of unfiled taxes. I finally filed the taxes. Can I still include them in my bankruptcy?

No you can’t. Part of the requirements for including an IRS tax debt in bankruptcy is that none of the years you’re trying to include can be late filings. Therefore you won’t be able to include that tax debt in your bankruptcy.

I’m in the middle of my bankruptcy and the IRS just sent me a notification of the amount I owe them. Isn’t that against the stay of collections?

The IRS can send you a notification of what your current debt amount is. They can’t collect on it or take any collection actions, but they like to send you a friendly reminder that they’re thinking of you every once in a while.

My bankruptcy attorney told me that I’d get my tax refund this year. But the IRS went ahead and applied it to my tax debt. Was my bankruptcy attorney wrong?

Unfortunately your attorney was wrong on this occasion. Even if you’re in bankruptcy the IRS can still apply your tax refund to your debt.

If you’re filing chapter 13 bankruptcy the refund would go to the trustee to be distributed to your creditors including the IRS.

Should I try to include my IRS tax debt in bankruptcy or should I not include it and get a tax attorney to help me with my IRS debt?

It depends. If your tax debt meets the criteria for being included in bankruptcy go ahead and include it. If it doesn’t meet the criteria, put off your bankruptcy and hammer out a deal with the IRS to payoff your debt.

By the way the criteria for getting your tax debt included in a bankruptcy are: 1. the debt must be 3 years or older. 2. None of the years in question can have been filed late. 3. None of the tax debt can come from fraudulent returns.

Now you have the smoking gun…Use it!