TAXES AND BANKRUPTCY
Bankruptcy debtors are required to produce evidence that both Federal and State Income Taxes have been filed (for the last four years in Chapter 13 cases and for the last three years in Chapter 7 cases). Satisfactory evidence would include a signed copy of your tax returns. (Most people have unsigned copies that their accountant gave them so please remember to sign your own copies too!) If you do not have them, you can also obtain a Tax Transcript by calling 1 (800) 829-1040. You will need your Social Security Number (SSN) for this. You can also request a Federal Tax Transcript by mail. Form 4506T allows tax returns to be mailed to a third party, for example their bankruptcy lawyer. One reason that tax returns are needed is that if the returns have not been filed, the trustee and Judge will have no way to determine what tax liabilities the debtor has. In addition, the returns are used by the trustees to determine historical income and whether a Chapter 13 plan may be feasible. When a debtor does not file a return, the IRS will frequently make up its own amount for what the debtor supposedly owes. That figure is usually very inflated.