The Trustee's "request" was a courtesy reminder. Most of your refund is an asset of the estate and immediately when you filed, you were ordered by the Bankruptcy Court to turn over a copy of your returns and any refunds. Failure to do so could result in revocation of your discharge.
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If you properly exempted your tax refund you could do with it what you want. However, since the Trustee has asked for you to turn it over (at least that is what I assume you meant), I would guess that you have not properly exempted it. If you have an attorney, you should ask him if it is too late to amend your schedules and claim an exemption in your tax refund.
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You can do that as long as you have properly exempted the return from liquidation in your bankruptcy schedules.
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The year is divided fractionally by month or day (it varies by district). The fraction from before you filed belongs to the estate, and the rest to you.
You may be able to exempt part of the estate's share, depending upon state law.