Will I lose my tax refunds if I file a bankruptcy? 20 Answers as of November 27, 2013

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Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs.
Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs. | Michael O'Leary
Not necessarily. In many instances tax refunds are exempt, either partially or fully. Discuss this issue with experienced bankruptcy counsel before filing.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/22/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Probably for 2013's refund.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/27/2013
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
Not if they are exempted properly.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 11/25/2013
Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
If you file a chapter 7 case you will most likely lose any refunds you are entitled to for the 2013 tax year.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 11/20/2013
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
Yes if you have no available exemption to protect it (e.g. federal wildcard).
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/20/2013
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A.
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A. | John A. Moffa
    Possibly. Get a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/22/2013
    Underwood & Riemer, P.C.
    Underwood & Riemer, P.C. | James D. Patterson
    Not necessarily. It depends on when you file the bankruptcy during the year, how much your refund is and what the refund is used for if you do receive it prior to filing. You really need to discuss this with a bankruptcy lawyer because every jurisdiction can be different. Some Bankruptcy Trustees go hard after refunds and some don't.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    It depends on the size of the tax refund, when you file bankruptcy and why you received a tax refund. Another factor that affects whether you will lose your refund include the total debt you have and the type of debt. For example, if you file bankruptcy on 12/1/13, 11/12th of your refund could belong to the trustee on behalf of your estate. If you file on 12/31/13, 12/12ths or all of your refund could belong to your trustee on behalf of your estate. But any portion of the refund obtained from EIC belongs to you, if you claim this exemption. You also may apply any remaining portion of your wildcard claim to your tax refund. Further, if the amount of debt you have is substantial, say over $50K, it becomes less likely that the trustee will be able to use your refund to pay any significant portion of your debt. In addition, if you have debt for child support or alimony, delinquent student loans, or claims by the state government, the trustee will have to pay off these debts first and may be less interested in doing so.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    214bankruptcy.com
    214bankruptcy.com | Rustin Polk
    It's possible but not likely. However, the answer to whether or not you'd lose yours depends on a whether a whole bunch of other factors are present in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    No, not if you exempt them. Yes, if you do not exempt them. If you want to know how to exempt them, please feel free to call me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    The Salas Firm
    The Salas Firm | Ron Salas
    This is not a simple yes or no answer. It depends on what the origin of the refund is.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
    The right to receive a tax refund is an asset that can be claimed by a bankruptcy chapter 7 trustee. For example, if you file bankruptcy in January 2014. and even though you have not filed the return yet, the trustee will take the refund if it is large enough and not within your exemptions. If you file bankruptcy on December 1, 2013, the trustee could still obtain 11/12ths of your 2013 refund. Note I am discussing chapter 7 and there are different issues in chapter 13 which could involve being in bankruptcy for five years.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Not if you exempt it out This depends on whether your state follows the State or Federal Exemptions and if there is a wild card. New Jersey follows the Federal Exemptions and has a wildcard.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    Tokarska Law Center
    Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
    The answer to this depends whether you will be filing chapter 7 and have enough exemption to cover it or whether you will be filing a chapter 13 and are talking about ongoing tax refunds.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You may. If it is over the wild card exemption of $1,000 and not an unearned income tax credit then the trustee will likely take it if over his/her threshold amount.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    The answer is that it depends. You are allowed a certain number of exemptions based on where you live and to a certain extent whether you have been there for a certain period of time. Those exemptions may or may not cover all your property ? including your tax refund. In Wisconsin, most filers are able to protect their tax refunds.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 11/20/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, they will generally be considered assets of the estate and available to your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/20/2013
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