FAQs - Taxes and Bankruptcy
© by Robert G. Nath, Esq.
- How does a Chapter 7 bankruptcy work with respect to taxes?
If your taxes are dischargeable, and you file for Chapter 7, then the bankruptcy court will normally issue a general “discharge.” This is the piece of paper that officially wipes out your “dischargeable” debts, including taxes if they are in fact dischargeable. The IRS as a creditor gets a copy of this discharge. It then assigns an agent to determine if it agrees that the taxes are eligible for that discharge. In most cases, the agency will agree. The agent then goes into its master computer, adjusts your account down to zero for the tax periods at issue, and that ends the story. The IRS does NOT send you any notice, though you can ask the agency for a “record of account” that will show the zero balance.
Back to FAQ List
- When is the new “means testing” law applicable with respect to taxes?
The major bankruptcy revisions that went into effect October 17, 2005, enacted a “means testing” provision. As a result, people who can pay something toward their back debts (including taxes if these are owed) will now be required to do so. Before the new law, this was not generally the rule. Means testing applies only in cases of “primarily consumer debt.” The term “consumer debt” generally means credit card debt and includes other categories of debt as well, but NOT taxes. So the new laws will apply where you have mostly credit card debt but you also owe taxes.
Back to FAQ List
- Does the bankruptcy law stop the IRS from collecting taxes?
Generally, yes. If you file for bankruptcy protection, the IRS cannot seize assets or take a number of other enforcement actions. But it can file a notice of tax lien, issue a “statutory notice of deficiency,” or audit your tax return.
Articles by Robert G. Nath On-Line:
FAQs on IRS Procedures
Tips on IRS Procedures - 2006
Robert G. Nath has focused on IRS matters for over 30 years. He holds degrees from Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Georgetown University.
After clerking for a federal judge, Mr. Nath litigated tax cases for 8 years with the Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice. Since 1984, he has
been in private practice, representing individuals, entities, accountants and attorneys before the IRS and in court in tax collection, audit and tax
litigation matters. Mr. Nath's book, "The Unofficial Guide to Dealing with the IRS" (Macmillan), was first published in 1997. He has been quoted in
national media on tax procedure matters and has also appeared on radio and television programs. He has been an editor of professional journals and his
articles have appeared in law reviews and other legal periodicals. Mr. Nath is a former U.S. Army Reserve Green Beret officer.
Note: Mr. Nath’s cases normally involved total tax liabilities of $100,000 or more.
Click here to contact Robert G. Nath.
Copyright 2007, by Robert G. Nath
You can search for information in the entire Authors Row section,
or in the entire site. For a more focused search, put your search word(s) in quotes.
Authors Row Main | Home