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WebCPA, Tax Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 111
Experience:  Licensed CPA. 10+ years experience.
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Can back taxes (for someone who cant get out of debt anytime

Customer Question

Can back taxes (for someone who can't get out of debt anytime soon, perhaps ever due to disabilities) be discharged in a bankruptcy?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  WebCPA replied 5 years ago.

Welcome and thank you for your question. I'll do my best to provide an informative answer. Please let me know if you need any clarification.

Yes, it is possible, however not all tax debts are dischargable. Here are the general rules:

1. The tax return generating the liability must have been due more than three years ago, including extensions. For example, a 2007 tax return, due October 15, 2008 would qualify because it was due more than three years ago.

2. The tax return must have been filed more than two years prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.

3. At least 240 days must have passed since the date of an IRS assessment (for example, due to an audit or amended return). An Offer in Compromise would extend this time frame.

4. The tax returns must not have been filed fraudulently or with willful intent to evade income tax.

Note that certain taxes, including but not limited to payroll withholding tax and state sales tax are not dischargable.

There are also other options to help reduce tax debts. For example, an Offer in Compromise is a means of negotiating down a tax debt that you are not able to pay. There is also the option of an installment agreement, where you could pay monthly over time. It is advisable to explore all options before bankruptcy, and to discuss with a tax adviser and/or attorney before making any decisions to proceed.

If you need further assistance please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,