Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Should I file my taxes?

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  • Should I file my taxes?

    My wife and I filed Chapter 7 pro se in late August and had our 341 meeting at the end of September. I assumed we'd be discharged before Christmas but we've had some paperwork hangups with our auto reaffirmations so and it seems like things are dragging on.

    I just got my W2 from work. Should I file my taxes? I'm expecting a sizable refund but don't want to lose it. Should I wait until we're eventually discharged? If I get a refund before the discharge do I need to notify the trustee?

    From what I've read (see attached link) the refund is for the tax year I filed in so that portion before my filing date would go to the trustee... but I'm not sure, does that article only apply to a tax refund received before you file and thus is part of your assets when you filed? or does it mean that any refund you get at any time for excess taxes paid before filing are subject to the trustee's seizure?
    Learn how some simple planning can allow you to keep your tax refund if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

  • #2
    You do not mention your State. . .

    If you cannot claim an exemption in the refund, it goes to your Trustee. It does not matter when you file the returns. The longer you wait the longer it will take to "close" your case. Your Trustee will calculate the pro rated portion and return funds to you if applicable.



    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. I'm in Connecticut. I'm confused about the process. Do I need to amend the schedules that show my assets and exemptions to in include this refund? Isn't it kinda late for that, I'm 3-1/2 months past my 341 meeting?

      This refund wasnt on my radar when I filed in August and if the discharge would have just happened in 60 days this would be a non issue, wouldn't it?


      • #4
        You are allowed to amend schedules at any time prior to the closing of the case. Is your case still "open"? Has the Trustee issued his/her final report? I assume that it is open and you are now getting word from the Trustee that he/she wants a copy of the 2015 returns so that he/she can determine how much of the refund he/she could get but, as I am not in your State I do not know for sure.

        It appears that your State allows you to claim either State or Federal Exemptions. I believe neither has a specific exemption for tax refunds however, both have "wildcards". You cannot mix and match so, if you took State exemptions you must continue to use State exemptions. Likewise, if you used Federal, you continue to use Federal. Either wildcard, if you have not already used it, may partially or fully protect the refund, depending upon amount.

        Please consult with a local attny for the purpose of Amending Schedule B and C to claim the exemption as the amendment alone may not work. The amendment probably has to be notice out to all creditors and interested parties with a Notice of Time to Object. This may depend upon local procedure.

        Please also note that your discharge has nothing to do with this. The Trustee has a job to do and that can take time. If you are required to turnover the refund and you fail to do so, you could face the revocation of that discharge - not something you want to mess with. Talk to an attny.



        • #5
          Thanks again for your reply. To clarify, the trustee has not asked about my potential refund; I've had zero contact from him since the 341 meeting in September, which seemed to go smoothly.


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