Income Tax Debt

Tax debt can be very scary and dealing with the IRS is challenging.

Attorney Angell can help. She will respond to IRS correspondence for you, and work with you to:

  • To make an Offer in compromise (including Forms 433-A and 433-B Preparation). An offer in compromise is a program where taxpayers pay what they can, and the IRS forgives the rest.
  • Help with IRS levy assistance
  • Help with IRS payment plans and installment agreements. This is generally the easiest method for dealing with the IRS. After all, the IRS really just wants the money. The nice thing about setting up a payment plan is that the IRS will immediately back off on garnishing your wages and levying your bank accounts.

You have likely seen many offers to eliminate your tax debts. BE CAUTIOUS! If it seems too good to be true it probably is. Tax debt is not simple.

What to know

Income Tax Debt and Bankruptcy

Just like Student Loan Debt, Tax Debt is one of the exceptions to discharge in bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, tax debt is classified as priority, secured and unsecured. The classifications are very important in knowing what is and is not dischargable and how it will be treated in your bankruptcy.

Priority tax debts – get priority. In other words they are paid first. If money is available to pay creditors in a Chapter 7 case or a Chapter 13 case, priority debts get paid before most other debts. Secured debt comes next. And finally if you are paying your unsecured creditors any funds, the unsecured debt will be paid last.

Secured tax debts.  If the IRS has filed a tax lien on your property the debt is secured by your property. You can wipe out your liability for the debt, but your assets are still on the line. The IRS can wait until you sell the property.

Filing for bankruptcy protection will also allow you more time to negotiate with the IRS. This is because the automatic stay in bankruptcy acts like a pause button on the IRS’s collection of your money. They can’t contact you but you can contact them to negotiate. Now you are in control.

Your liability for tax debt can be wiped out in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if:

  • The tax return for the debt you wish to discharge was due at least three years before your bankruptcy filing date.
  • You filed a tax return for the debt at least two years before your bankruptcy filing date.
  • The tax debt has not yet been assessed (determined) by the IRS or was assessed at least 240 days before you filed for bankruptcy.
  • You didn’t file a fraudulent tax return or otherwise engage in willful tax fraud or evasion.
  • the taxing authority hasn’t put a lien on your property.

Your liability for tax debt can be MANAGED in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

  • Depending on the amount of disposable income you have after your reasonable and necessary expenses are deducted from your pay you may not have to pay any of the debt at all in a payment plan.
  • Dischargeable taxes won’t incur additional interest or penalties (but you’ll pay interest on nondischargeable tax).
  • You can satisfy an IRS tax lien through the Chapter 13 plan.
  • The IRS is obligated to abide by the plan as long as you include all your outstanding income tax and keep your tax returns and post-petition tax obligations current during your Chapter 13 plan.

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