Does the state have an exemption where I can protect my refund or would it be best if I file in April after receiving and spending my return? 24 Answers as of January 20, 2015

I have no assets except furniture which is worth about $2000.00 at the most. I am expecting an $8600.00 tax refund and I want to file bankruptcy.

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit are exempt. I would file after receiving the refund and spending the money (for example, your legal fees to file BK, food, rent or mortgage payments, day care expense, new tires for your car, tune up for your car, and if you are buying your home, any fix up work the house needs). I would pay an experienced BK lawyer where you live for one hour of his or her time so you don't make any mistakes. You may have to account to the Trustee for how you spent the money. But an experienced BK lawyer will cover all of this with you.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 1/20/2015
The Orantes Law Firm
The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
The California exemptions can protect about $25,000 (assuming you don't own a home with equity) so, you are safe filing asap.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/19/2015
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
Yes, there are exemptions you can take to protect refunds, assuming you properly schedule the refund and take the proper exemption. Be sure you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to represent you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/14/2015
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
In California there is an exemption referred to as the "wildcard" exemption that would allow you to protect your refund. It is C.C.P. Section 703.140(5).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/9/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Nevada exemptions all you to keep the entire portion of your refund from EIC and you can apply your $1,000 wildcard to your pending tax refund.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/9/2015
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can use your wildcard exemption if you have no other assets which should cover your entire tax refund.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Nevada has a wild card exemption of $1,000.00 per debtor, and if the refund includes earned income credit that portion is exempt too. Those are all of the exemptions in Nevada dealing with tax refunds.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    Yes, you have available the wildcard exemption but it is not enough to cover your entire 2014 tax refund. I would wait until you receive the refund and spend it on necessities, no luxury items and then file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    You may be able to use the wildcard exemption to protect at least a portion of it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    If your total Assets are as you say, 100% can be exempted in CA and there is no need to delay your filing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Michael J. Duggar, P.A.
    Michael J. Duggar, P.A. | Michael J. Duggar
    Earned income tax credit is protected from the Bankruptcy Court but the remainder that can not be exempted by your personal property and wildcard exemption would become property of the bankruptcy estate. It is quite normal to file a bankruptcy after the income tax refund has been received and spent. You also need to be careful how it is spent because many trustees will expect an accounting and you are not to use the monies to pay back loans from relatives for instance. Best wishes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
    The federal exemptions provide for approximately $12,500 to protect such assets as the tax refunds. You should be OK to file now.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Barnes Law Firm, LLC | Aunna Peoples
    Missouri has exemptions available but the amount depends on the number of dependents you have, if any. It is best to discuss this with an attorney because there a number of other factors to consider such as length of residency, any pending issues such as garnishments, lawsuits, foreclosure, possible repo's, etc. that would have an impact on when you file. Also, there are issues to consider in how the refund is spent if you wait to file.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    In Idaho you are best to file after you have properly spent your tax refunds. Only cite is exempt in Idaho. Of course, you would want to spend it in appropriate ways, visit with your attorney on how you plan to spend the refund.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/9/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    If you are an Oregon resident with the ability to use either state or federal exemptions, you should be able to protect your $8600 tax refund using the federal exemptions. There is probably no reason to wait, but only a lawyer who understands all the facts of your case can give you reliable advice on this question. There are many factors to consider and $8600 is a lot of money to gamble with uninformed guesses.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    I do not know what state you live in. In California that would not be a problem. You could file now. If you don't live in California, check with local counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    D.J. Rausa, Attorney at Law | D.J. Rausa
    If done properly, the refund can be claimed as exempt protected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Ohio has partial exemptions for earned income credit and child care credit which might cover the majority of your refund but generally to be safe you should file bankruptcy after you have spent your refund.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    If you have a claim to an income tax refund, then that is property of your bankruptcy estate, and unless you can exempt it it will ultimately go to the trustee. Sue do you mean filing your income tax return will not do you any good.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    The wildcard exemption can protect anything and is more than enough to cover your prospective tax refund.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    John W. Lee, P.C.
    John W. Lee, P.C. | John W. Lee
    There an exemption which if properly filed can protect a tax refund up to a certain amount. Unfortunately, the procedures for filing the exemption is very complicated and many Pro Se debtors miss deadlines or don't properly file it and the Trustee still takes the tax refund. Also, the Trustee has a substantial look back period where he can demand that the person or persons you gave the tax refund money to return it to him. If the trustee determines that you used/spent the tax refund money in an inappropriate manner he can still demand turn over.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    Marc S. Stern
    Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
    In Washington you can probably use the federal exemptions and keep it all.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    Westgate Law
    Westgate Law | Justin Harelik
    You may be able to protect the refund and still file now. Although, you might need that money to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2015
    Steven Meyer | Steven Meyer
    What state are you in? If you happen to be in Florida, we'd be happy to speak with you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/8/2015
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