Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bankruptcy and IRS Tax Debt

It is not uncommon that the people who come to me for back tax help have already deeply considered filing for bankruptcy. It is common to wonder if bankruptcy will solve all debt issues, including an IRS bill. The answer is: Well, sometimes bankruptcy will, but it all depends. (How’s that for a lawyer’s answer?) In any case, you must be careful because while bankruptcy might stop the IRS from filing a tax lien or pursuing collection activities, in most cases, penalties and interest are still accruing! Also, bankruptcy extends the amount of time the IRS has to collect on your debt—tax law normally limits the IRS to 10 years to collect against you. So all in all, after bankruptcy, your IRS tax debt may still be lurking around—and may even have more zeros tacked on.

The type of bankruptcy you file is a factor in whether or not your tax debt will be “discharged”. There are so many rules and exceptions when it comes to bankruptcy and unpaid tax debts. I recommend that if this is something you are considering that you talk to a professional—do not attempt to do this on your own.

For more information, check out this article I recently read on the topic of bankruptcy and taxes:

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