Bankruptcy Law, Timothy Kingcade Posts

How Do Bankruptcy Courts Handle Income Tax Debt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

We have all seen or heard the advertisements promising to significantly reduce or even eliminate tax debt. Many of these companies are offering just that – empty promises, while charging clients unethical fees. Of all the types of debts handled in a bankruptcy case, income tax debt tends to be one of the non-dischargeable categories, along with student loan debt and child support obligations.

However, there are certain tax obligations that can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case depending on the following factors:

When You Can Have Your Tax Debt Discharged in Bankruptcy:

  • You must have filed a tax return. This must have occurred at least two years prior to the bankruptcy filing;
  • The taxes must be income taxes. Taxes other than income tax, including payroll taxes and fraud penalties are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy;
  • You must not have committed fraud or willful evasion. If you filed a fraudulent tax return or attempted to evade paying taxes (i.e. – using a false social security number on your tax return) your tax debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy;
  • The debt must be at least three years old. For the tax debt to be eliminated in bankruptcy, the debt must have been originally due at least three years before filing for bankruptcy;
  • The tax debt must have been assessed by the IRS at least 240 days before you file for bankruptcy.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe out your personal obligation to pay the debt and prevent the IRS from garnishing your wages. Whether you should file for bankruptcy may be a matter of timing, depending on the age of the income tax debt.  An experienced bankruptcy attorney who specializes in this area of law can best advise you on the next steps to take.

If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at

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