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Discharging old back federal taxes in chapter 7?

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  • Discharging old back federal taxes in chapter 7?

    Hello. I am about to file a skeleton Pro Se chapter 7 BK in Florida (will do the schedules in the next week). I did this before about 20 years ago in another state so I have some experience with it but some things are new both with the laws and my situation (my situation was a bit simpler 20 years ago). I'm being sued for a debt and want to initiate the BK before even the pre-trial so there is zero chance of a judgment.

    One thing is I have about $25,000 in federal tax debt going back to about 1999. About $20,000 of that should be dischargeable in the Chapter 7 according to what I have read. My question is which particular forms and motions might I need to file to get this tax debt discharged? I doubt it is as simple as just putting it in the schedules where it is automatic? Also does anyone have any in depth information I can read about this? For instance I am curious if I will need to file a special motion and appear before a judge to do this.

    Thank you very much for any advice, assistance, or experiences you can share with me.

  • #2
    You don't need to do anything to get tax debt discharged, unless the IRS disagrees with your rationale or you have a federal tax lien. The IRS is pretty good about following the law and many people found them to be pretty good at following the 3/2/240 rule. The IRS should file a claim and you will be able to tell by the claim just what the IRS considers to be non-dischargeable. Until that time, any dischargeable IRS debt should be put on Schedule F as general dischargeable debt (not priority debt). Take note that simply putting it on Schedule F does not make it go away. The tax debt must be dischargeable to begin with and I'm sure the IRS will file a claim which sufficiently lets the court, the Trustee, other creditors, and you, know where they stand.

    If, and only if, the IRS seeks to have the taxes non-dischargeable, by filing a "secured" claim (for a tax lien), or lumps these taxes as non-dischargeable priority debt in their claim, you would have some reason to consider fighting the claim. You would file a complaint to determine dischargeability of that claim. You are not at that point yet and I would sincerely not even think about that at the present time. Again, the IRS is pretty good about the 3/2/240 rule.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Justbroke thanks for your help. I do have a federal tax lien or at least I remember one but it is over 10 years old. To wit it was circa-2004/2005. In searching records for it again though I cannot even find it. I will have to search further. It might be possible that they did not renew the lien? I believe in Florida it lasts 10 years but must be renewed after then for up to another 10 years. From what I understand if they did not renew it then it is gone thus my not being able to find a record?

      In my case it is tricky since some recent tax debt I know is not dischargeable due to it being so recent. But the large majority of it is very old and seems dischargeable. So I guess I list some in the dischargeable section and others not in that section, correct? And just make a good faith effort to determine that and let the IRS object if it disagrees?

      You are right. I am not there yet. Just starting to plan things out. It has been a long time since I looked even at the schedules. I see from the initial filing form that things have changed a lot. It seems a bit more pro se friendly. I'll have lots of research to do!

      I will add that if the FTL ruins the discharge of that tax debt then that is not critical to me. I don't have lots of assets to protect and the IRS has mostly left me alone and has not caused me any problems in the last decade. I suspect that is due to seeing my low income. I just figure it would be nice to officially free myself of that debt, if possible.

      Comment


      • #4
        A federal tax lien must be renewed after the 10 years and can only be renewed once (making the maximum collectible period 20 years). I wouldn't "tickle" the sleeping giant (the IRS) by asking, at this time, whether there is an active FTL in place. You'll figure out where you stand when the IRS files their claim. Otherwise you can speculate, but it usually is not a good use of time. The IRS has been pretty good at the 3/2/240 rule and I suspect that you may find that they even gave up on trying to collect the other debt from you (that had the FTL).

        The IRS is unlikely to object to anything you put on your schedules. Your schedules don't drive anything, really. It's the IRS claim that will be dispositive. Think of the schedules (A-G) as solely a way for you to tell the court what debt you have, the value of those debts, whether they are at issue (disputed), and how you believe they are classified. The claim is the tool with which a creditor tells the court what you owe, and the claim is considered prima facie evidence of the amount, type, and entity that you owe. I could be entirely wrong, but, other than the Trustee, I don't know of any creditor that complains about that you listed them on Schedule F when it should have been on Schedule D. Creditors file a claim and the claim drives the process. (Otherwise, all those people who put their student loans on Schedule F would have actually had them discharged, solely because they were on Schedule F.)
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks justbroke for the information. It makes things a little bit easier to know this.

          One other question for you (instead of just starting a new topic for a small thing -- hope that is okay):

          When are you typically given a case number after filing a C7 BK petition in person? Is it immediately or does it tend to take a while? I ask because I have a civil pretrial with a junk debt buyer scheduled for June 19 and ideally I'd like to have a case number by that date or even have a "Suggestion of Bankruptcy" filed with the county court with the case number. I'm planning on filing the skeleton C7 in person probably this Thursday or Friday and wasn't sure if it will be enough time or not.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dlm777 View Post
            When are you typically given a case number after filing a C7 BK petition in person? Is it immediately or does it tend to take a while? I ask because I have a civil pretrial with a junk debt buyer scheduled for June 19 and ideally I'd like to have a case number by that date or even have a "Suggestion of Bankruptcy" filed with the county court with the case number. I'm planning on filing the skeleton C7 in person probably this Thursday or Friday and wasn't sure if it will be enough time or not.
            If you file in person, you will receive your case number. Your petition, however, will likely not be in CM/ECF until the "intake" group goes through the petition and scans it into the system; that could take 1-3 business days. You can bring a second copy of the petition and ask that the "stamp" the second copy (they'll stamp the first page of the petition with their "filed" stamp, with the date).

            Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
            Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
            Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


            I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Awesome! Thank you. I believe for my purposes just having the case number will be enough for the Suggestion/Notification of Bankruptcy and/or presenting it in person at pretrial in the civil case. It should be enough to show that I am serious and not just pretending as a stall tactic or to get them to dismiss.

              Comment

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