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Can I file bankruptcy on Georgia State Taxes from 13 years ago - I have filed every year that I had sufficient income to file.

Jonesboro, GA |

I still have a tax lien from 1999 taxes (due to early withdrawal of a 401K). How long can Georgia collect, and can I file bankruptcy?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. In either a chapter 7 or 13, the question will be whether or not the debt is dischargeable. If the tax return was filed more than three years ago, it would be dischargeable. However, if the state came back and reassessed your taxes because of the 401k withdrawal (because you did not claim it on your tax return), and you never went back and filed an amended return, it would not be dischargeable. If it is dischargeble, a chapter 7 will not remove the lien, and it would continue to be attached to any property you owned as of the date you filed the case, but not on property acquired thereafter. Were you to file a chapter 13, and regardless of whether or not the actual tax debt is dischargeable, you could value the lien in an amount equal to your equity in any property, which may end up being a lesser amount, and pay the lien off over time.
    As this is a very complicated issue, you need to go in and sit down with a bankruptcy attorney to go over all of the circumstances. As the taxes are old, the state has probably given up on collecting, but the lien will stay until you do something with it, and could eventually give you problems financially in terms of purchasing property or borrowing money.

    The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation

  2. Attorney Gardner has given an excellent answer. The answer is maybe it's dichargeable and maybe it isn't (and they can still collect on it now). To be dischargeable, you needed to have accurately reported the tax due and not paid it, as opposed to having them audit or reassess you for taxes you did not report.

    The lien adds complications, as Mr. Gardner noted.

    Additionally, your other debts and assets (and income) all affect not just waht happens but what you can or should file. That involves sitting down with all the paperwork with a lawyer.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.

  3. If you have property that the tax lien is attached to then you would want to talk to a tax attorney prior to filing bankruptcy. While your personal tax debt will be discharged , if you own any property the lien will stay attached to the property. Office number: (860) 255-7423 Website: Our reply to your question has not created an attorney-client relationship. It should not be considered legal advice. You should contact an Attorney who can give you legal advice after acquainting themselves with the specifics of your case.

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