Are Federal Taxes Discharged in bankruptcy? 24 Answers as of August 25, 2011

I have been swamped by the IRS for back taxes dating back to 1998 to 2003. I have been informed that these taxes are dischargeable in Bankruptcy by a local Attorney but, I have read online that they cannot be discharged. All 1040's are at least 3 years old and filed over 3 years. Any response will help, Thank you. p.s. I am going to be going through a divorce soon also, Will this hurt my bankruptcy or divorce?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
taxes are dischargeable if they are over 3yrs old. in a 13, you need to pay the amt into the plan to pay all your tax liability. ch 13 discharges marital debt but NOT support or maintenance
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/25/2011
Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
You need a competent attorney to review all the facts before this question can be answered. Too many nuances.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/22/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Some income taxes are dischargeable in bankruptcy. There are several rules that apply. The taxes must have first become due more than three years ago. The returns must have been filed more than two years ago. There must not have been an assessment for the previous 240 days.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/18/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Most income taxes that are that old and have been assessed are dischargable through bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/18/2011
Colorado Legal Solutions
Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
Priority tax debts are not dischargable. Non-priority taxes are dischargable. Income taxes that are timely filed will generally be non-priority (and this dischargeable) after 3 years. There are some details and exceptions, so you will want to examine your situation with an experienced attorney to ensure you will be entitled to discharge your tax debts.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/18/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    The basic rule is that income taxes more than 3 years old are dischargeable if you filed a tax return more than 2 years ago and it was not a fraudulent tax return. You should rely on the advice of the local attorney who told you that or see another attorney personally for a second opinion. You should not rely on sites like this for advice since I do not know all the necessary facts to give you a definite opinion. This is only general information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    In order for tax debt to be discharged in bankruptcy the following criterion must be met: 1-you filed a tax return for the tax years in question - substitutions for returns don't count 2- the liability or debt that you wish to discharge is for a return that you actually filed at least two years before your bankruptcy filing 3-the tax return for the debt you wish to discharge was first due at least 3 years before you filed for bankruptcy 4-the IRS has not assessed your liability for the taxes within 240 days before you file for bankruptcy. Assuming the 4th element is applicable here, I would agree that the tax debts appear to be dischargeable. Having the tax debt should not impact your bankruptcy as this debt appears to be dischargeable in bankruptcy. You should consult your divorce attorney as to how this would impact your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
    Older federal taxes (more than 3 years old) can sometimes be discharged in bankruptcy but it can be a difficult process because there are a lot of hoops that have to be jumped through. For examle, you had to have filed an actual return - an IRS substitute for return will not do. The taxes owed and non-filing must not be connected to fraud. There are events that stop the clock on aging out the debt - such as asking for an Offer in Compromise from the IRS. To see if someone's taxes are dischargeable, the attorney needs to see an Account Transcript and do a lot of analysis. As for divorce, the answer also varies. If there are not many assets, filing a joint bankruptcy prior to the divorce action can work as a way to eliminate joint debts, and split ownership of assets to make it easier to file an uncontested divorce post-discharge of the bankruptcy. It might make it easier to pass the means test in some cases. If the couples are fighting, they will not cooperate in the bankruptcy; therefore the lawyer will face a conflict and won't be able to represent either spouse. Then it might be easier to divorce first, let the court divide assets, and then each spouse can file an individual bankruptcy with separate lawyers. Child support orders will remain valid despite the bankruptcy, but property divisions might be affected by a bankruptcy. Sometimes an ex-spouse shows up at the meeting of creditors to start trouble or claim the filing spouse is lying. You have to make a judgment call on a case by case basis. Disclaimer: Federal debt relief agent; I file bankruptcies, when appropriate. Legal information only - this is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is intended.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    They can be discharged if the debt is over three years old, it has been filed for 2 years, and has been assessed over 240 days prior to filing.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Sounds like yours are based upon your description.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Based on the information given, if they are income taxes for a tax year 2006 or earlier, the returns were filed no less than 2 years ago, and there has been no new assessment made in the past 8 months, those taxes would be dischargeable. However, if you own property and a tax lien was filed, the lien is not removed due to a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The issue of back taxes is complex and that is why you see conflicting answers. Taxes under 3 years old are never dischargeable. Some taxes older than that may be, depending on when they came due and were assessed. There are also differences between Chapter 7 and 13 as how taxes are addressed. Your attorney is best equipped to answer dischargeability. With the taxes being that old, there is a good chance his analysis may prove correct.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Ray Fisher Law Offices
    Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
    On the facts you give they are dischargeable in bankruptcy. As a rule you should trust what an actual bankruptcy lawyer tells you over stuff you read online.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    It depends. Generally income taxes that last became due over 3 years ago are dischargeable, however it depends on whether returns were filed, when and if assessments were made or the period was tolled for some reason. Please call to schedule a free consultation. T
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Those old taxes are dischargeable. Your lawyer is right. The bankruptcy is a good thing, try to get your spouse to file with you so debts are not an issue in the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    From the information provided it appears that your tax liability may be dischargeable. Discharging Federal and state income taxes is tricky business and should only be attempted the experienced bankruptcy practitioner.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    You have to decide whether to believe a lawyer you consult or the internet articles written by unknown persons. Taxes filed on time that are over 3 years old and for which no liens have been filed are dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    These taxes may be dischargeable. So far, you have met the first two prongs of the exception.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    The three general rules re INCOME taxes: Must be over three years from the time they became due. Return must have been filed over two years ago Cannot have been assessed within the last 240 days. This one is a bit more murky, and often you will have to get a tax transcript from the IRS to check this. IF you meet all these requirements, yes, the tax is discharged. Re the divorce, better to go through bankruptcy now, before the divorce, for both you and possibly your spouse as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    Yes, you can discharge taxes in bankruptcy. The ones you mentioned would qualify. The returns must have been timely filed.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/16/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney