Can I file bankruptcy on the IRS if I go ahead and file? 17 Answers as of August 05, 2013

I owe back taxes I am paying on and I still have not filed my 2010, 2011, or 2012 I lost my business in 2010. Can I file bankruptcy on the IRS if I go ahead and file? If so, do I need to get my back taxes filed before I file bankruptcy? And if yes then is there a time limit I have been told taxes have to be at least 3 yrs old to file so I thought I need to ask an attorney and get that straight not take a friends word for it. Thanks.

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Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
If the taxes have not been assessed for three years, they can be discharged. However, if you have not filed returns, the three year period does not start. You have le a return before the IRS can assess any taxes.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/5/2013
Colorado Legal Solutions
Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
Taxes are not discharged in bankruptcy unless enough time has passed since they were assessed. The returns you haven't filed have not been assessed so you will not be able to discharge those in bankruptcy. You also cannot get a discharge in bankruptcy until you are up to date with filing taxes (even if you haven't actually paid them). If you want your bankruptcy to protect you from the taxes on the returns you are about to file, you will need to wait several years after you file the returns before you file bankruptcy. Basically, the IRS has to have a fair shot at collecting before you can bankrupt the debt.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/1/2013
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
I don't give tax advice, but the bankruptcy law states that for taxes to be dischargeable, the returns had to be filed 2 years prior (as well as other tests), which you say you did not do.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 7/30/2013
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
You can file bankruptcy & list the IRS as a creditor, but it seems that your real question is whether you can eliminate the tax debt. The initial threshold for eliminating tax debt requires that the returns be filed or that the IRS assess the taxes. Under the scenario you describe, it is very unlikely that any the tax debt can be eliminated in bankruptcy. I would urge you to consult a local experienced bankruptcy attorney for precise advice.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/30/2013
DeMars, Gordon, Olson, Zalewski & Wynner
DeMars, Gordon, Olson, Zalewski & Wynner | Matt Jenkins
This is a very difficult question to answer, but generally tax debts are dischargeable if they are three years old and have been assessed more than two years ago. It gets difficult because there are enough exceptions to this rule to fill a small book. So you definitely need to file those taxes as soon as possible. And you absolutely should file your taxes before filing bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/30/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    You can file a bankruptcy to delay collections, but the discharge will only apply to taxes which were due more than 3 years before you filed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Salberg Murdock
    Salberg Murdock | Jeffrey D. Salberg
    Your tax return has to have been filed and it has to be three years or longer before you can discharge monies due. If you have worked at W-2 jobs where there was withholding taxes paid you may not owe any taxes. Consult with a CPA about your tax situation.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
    Income taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy under certain specific situations. The issues are complex and you should consult an attorney. However, if you did not file tax returns, you cannot discharge the taxes. If you now file the tax returns and then wait two years, then the answer is "imaybe". Issues include whether IRS had filed a substitute return for you. Finally, as of today's date, July, 2013, even if you had filed all of your returns timely, you could not discharge your 2010 or any more recent taxes. At a minimum, you would have to wait until April 16, 2014 to eliminate timely filed 2010 taxes(that were not on extension)
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Stittleburg Law Office
    Stittleburg Law Office | Bernd Stittleburg
    Regarding the dischargeability of taxes - they are dischargeable only if they are more than three years old from the time they must be filed or if not filed on time, two years prior to filing the case, the taxes must have been assessed by the IRS more than 240 days prior to filing the case, the tax return must not have been fraudulent, the debtor must not have willfully attempted to evade or defeat the tax and the tax must not have arisen from a duty to withhold.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Taxes are generally not dischargeable, and there is no time limit to stop them from going back if you have not filed. If you are in Michigan call to engage my office, make and appointment and provide details.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Until you file the tax returns, the three years doesn't even start to run. Further, even if the returns for 2010, 2011 and 2012 had been filed on time, they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy as they are not for years more than three years ago. The date the three years runs is October 15 of the next year, since the return is not due until the next year. For example, the three years on the 2010 return would start (provided you had timely filed the return - which you have not) October 15, 2011 and would end on October 16, 2014. But you haven't even started the clock ticking without filing the returns.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
    Taxes that were filed on time and over 3 years old from when they were DUE, provided the due date was not tolled are dischargeable in a Chapter 7. There are many other rules that may or may not apply to you. The DUE date can be affected by many things like natural disasters or a filing of extensions etc. I know an experienced bk attorney with 30+ years of experience and a certified specialist that miscalculated the date and cost his client 600k+ in taxes. You think you can figure it out yourself? Maybe you'll get lucky, but I think whatever you have to pay for an attorney, you need to.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC | Mark Cherry
    In order to file you need the taxes filed. Taxes are generally not dischargeable unless they are old, self-reported and timely filed. Yours do not sound dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    You need to file the missing years if you want a bankruptcy to run smoothly. Regarding the discharge of tax debt, you will be able to discharge any tax liability for returns filed and not paid on if said liability was assessed by the IRS more than three years ago. The key word here is Assessed, not filed.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Yes you can for the taxes prior to 2010.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    I assume this is the same person who asked a similar question a little while ago. If not, the answer is "yes" you can and must list all debts, including taxes. Where the debts are discharged depends on many factors.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/30/2013
    Law Offices of Patrick Edaburn | Patrick Edaburn
    There are several rules regarding the discharge of taxes in a bankruptcy. One of those rules is the taxes must be at least 3 years old. You could do a Chapter 13 to create a payment plan on taxes but you could not get rid of them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2013
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