FRANK D. TAFF, J.D., Attorney at Law

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Can You Get Rid of Income Taxes by Filing Bankruptcy?

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM
Everyday, we see TV ads saying they can get the IRS to drastically reduce your taxes.  You pay them a bunch of money up front and usually receive nothing in exchange!

But, did you know bankruptcy can eliminate a lot of back taxes without paying money up front?  That can be done through a Chapter 13 wage earner plan, if the taxes are more than three years old.  Call us for more information.

Bankruptcy cannot discharge taxes for which no return was filed, however.  To quote one court:  "The goal of bankruptcy is to give the honest but unfortunate debtor a fresh start, but the law has always provided that certain debts cannot be discharged.  Section 523(a)(1)(B)(i) excepts from discharge any debt for a tax with respect to which a return was not filed."

Also, taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy where the tax payer has filed a fraudulent return or willfully attempted to evade or defeat the tax.

Finally, the income tax must have been assessed by the IRS at least 240 days before you file bankruptcy, or have not yet been assessed at all.  This time may be extended if the IRS suspended collection activity because of a compromise offer or a previous bankruptcy filing.

If you owe back taxes, consider filing Chapter 13 to get protection from the IRS through the Bankruptcy Court, rather than paying a bunch of money to some TV scam artist.

Categories: Bankruptcy

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