In the case In Re: Renee Marie Martin #08-46189-DML, the court determined that the income tax refund belonged to the spouse who was working. Since the non-working spouse is the one who filed a Bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy court was not entitled to the refund, which belonged to the working, non-filing spouse.
If a working spouse does file a Bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy court is entitled to the refund, per Bankruptcy Stat. 541(a)(2)(A). It does not matter that the non-working spouse will also be filing.
In other words, if you and your spouse file a Bankruptcy, the court will be entitled to have the entire refund.
A better way to keep an income tax refund is to file a Bankruptcy after the refund is received and spent.
I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).