Can I file bankruptcy even though I did not file a tax return for 2007? 32 Answers as of December 11, 2013

Will my debts be wiped out if I file a bankruptcy even though I did not file taxes for 2007? I need to file soon to end a garnishment and I'd rather not try and get taxes taken care of for that year first.

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Weinberg & Ziegler | Morgan Ziegler
The unfiled tax return may complicate a bankruptcy filing, but it may still be possible to file a bankruptcy case to stop the garnishment.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/11/2013
Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs.
Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs. | Michael O'Leary
A Chapter 7 filing will stop the garnishment, as long as it is not for child support or alimony, but the resulting Discharge will not eliminate your liability for the taxes due for the unfiled year of 2007. If you file a Chapter 13, your case will not be confirmed unless the 2007 tax returns are filed.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/11/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You can file the bankruptcy without filing the 2007 income tax return. However, you may need to file that return in order to get a discharge.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/5/2013
Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
You can probably file, but will still have to do your 2007 taxes before you can complete the bankruptcy. If you have a refund coming, that will probably go to the trustee and if you owe money, it will probably still be owing after the bankruptcy. Unless it's extremely complicated, you should try to get your returns filed before the bankruptcy even if you don't send any payment just to help the bankruptcy go more smoothly.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 12/5/2013
Timothy Casey Theisen, P.A. | Tim Theisen
The failure to file 2007 taxes does not preclude bankruptcy relief. However, you are required to be law-abiding, and the law requires you to file tax returns with certain limited exceptions for very low-income people, and even then the IRS sometimes wants you to prove you were low income. If it subsequently turns out you are entitled to a refund for 2007, well, first, you might be beyond the statute of limitation to get one, and second, it may become property of your bankruptcy estate. And if turns out you owe, well, that wouldn't have been discharged anyway. While there is a very slight chance that this fact could disrupt your bankruptcy or that the filing of the bankruptcy could cause other unforeseen problems due to this, my guess is that it's probably such an ancient misgiving, that it's water under the dam at this time.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 12/5/2013
    David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
    David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
    You can file now without filing the tax return. However, if there is a refund, the trustee may get some or all of it. (in addition to 2013) The trustee will insist you file so he can find out. If you owe taxes, they will not be discharged. The return must be filed at least 3 years prior to bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/5/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You will have to have 2012 tax returns to file.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/5/2013
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC | Mark O. Grater
    You can file the bankruptcy. As to taxes, the general rule is they cannot be discharged unless they are over three years old and you have been filing your tax returns on time every year with no extensions. If you filed 2007 and waited about a year (actual time cannot be estimated at this time since there are various extensions the IRS could claim) you might even be able to discharge 2007.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 12/5/2013
    DeMars, Gordon, Olson, Zalewski & Wynner
    DeMars, Gordon, Olson, Zalewski & Wynner | Matt Jenkins
    It is always better to file your taxes prior to filing the bankruptcy, but so long as the unfiled taxes are not for the preceding two years, this should not interfere with your discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/5/2013
    Rhymer Law Firm
    Rhymer Law Firm | William Rhymer
    The short answer is usually yes. You just would not be able to discharge the taxes for that year.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    Yes but tax liability for '07 will not be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    You can file, but any taxes that you owe for that year will not be discharged. Your trustee may require that you prepare and file the missing tax return within a fixed period of time. Any refund that you might be entitled to receive for that year will be taken by your trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    OlsenDaines | Rex Daines
    Yes, having that return filed will not prohibit you from filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy and stopping the garnishment.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Steven Meyer | Steven Meyer
    You should file your tax returns for 2007 and every other year too, if you have not already done so. You can file for bankruptcy, but the bankruptcy trustee may require you to complete your tax returns before ending your bankruptcy case. You should definitely contact an attorney who is experienced in handling bankruptcy matters.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    You can file a bankruptcy without having filed a 2007 tax return, but don't expect to be eligible to eliminate any of your tax debt for this year.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Marc S. Stern
    Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
    You can file but there will be questions as to the dischargeability of the taxes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Couch Law, PLLC
    Couch Law, PLLC | SPENCER M COUCH
    Yes, you can file a bankruptcy even though you have not filed your 2007 tax returns, and the filing will stop any garnishments. However, as part of the bankruptcy, the trustee will likely require you to complete your unfiled taxes. In the event that a refund is due to the debtor, the bankruptcy estate would be entitled to the entire refund, but in your case, any refund would have already been forfeit due to the lateness of your filing. However, although you can stop garnishments and discharge your debts, your tax liability for the year you did not file your taxes will not be discharged in the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    In NJ, the tax return must be filed, even if not paid.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    Yes you can. However, if you owed money to the IRS for that year, you won't be able to eliminate it in bankruptcy. Even if you file that year's return now, you won't be able to eliminate that debt. But, if you need to stop a garnishment, call a bankruptcy lawyer now to get the case filed. This is not something that is easy to do yourself. There are many requirements to file a bankruptcy case. The sooner you set up an appointment the better. Many attorneys, such as myself, offer free first consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You can file bankruptcy now, but you will need to file your 2007 return shortly after filing bankruptcy. You may want to review your return before filing you determine the tax liability as it may make a difference when you file and what type bankruptcy you elect to file.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    You can file but if you owe taxes for 2007, those taxes would not be dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    You can definitely file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Yes, you can definitely file bankruptcy before filing your 2007 tax return, but any taxes you might owe from that year would not be discharged. You should list IRS and the state(s) where you worked in 2007 (if the state had an income tax that year) as potential creditors so they will get notice of your bankruptcy. Then you should make a point of filing any required tax returns within 3 months of filing your bankruptcy, to avoid any chance that the taxing authorities might object to your bankruptcy. You do not have to pay any taxes owed before your case is closed, but you do have to file the returns.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    The rule in Bankruptcy Court is that you have to have filed all of your income tax returns in order for your case to be approved. Generally, the Bankruptcy Court or Trustee in your case though will give you approximately 60 days following the case filing date in order to file any unfiled returns. But you will eventually have to file that 2007 return, or your case will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    You can file and file the return early during the chapter 7 case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If you owe tax for 2007 it will not be discharged. You can file if you want to knowing that.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    A copy of your 2007 tax return is not necessary in order to file bankruptcy. I would, however, suggest that you file your taxes for year 2007 in case you owe the IRS anything.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Stittleburg Law Office
    Stittleburg Law Office | Bernd Stittleburg
    If you have not filed your tax return for 2007, then any taxes owed will not be discharged in any bankruptcy filing. There is a two year window from the time you file late tax returns and then the IRS must access the taxes for them to be dischargeable. If none of this has yet been done, it makes not sense to file bankruptcy on any tax liability you may have.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    You can file. You are required to provide to the trustee your most recently filed tax return (2012). The trustee as part of your case may compel you to file, although it is unlikely.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group | Christopher J. Kane
    If you don't file the 2007 tax returns you will still be able to file a bankruptcy and discharge debts. However, if you owe money for the 2007 tax year that debt will not be discharged. And be aware the the bankruptcy trustee might require you to file those taxes and will give you a deadline.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    Generally, I require my clients to see a tax attorney to determine the extent of their tax liabilities and, in virtually every case, file their returns prior to filing a petition. You don't want to file a bankruptcy petition before you know the extent of your liabilities.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/4/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See a bankruptcy attorney, your unfiled taxes will have to be filed and addressed in the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/4/2013
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