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I just filed for chp7 bankrupcty. Can i file taxes before decision is made?. If i do what happens to my refund?

Cambridge, MA |

also, do i need to use different form than regular 1040? if i get refund is there restriction what i can use it for?

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Attorney answers 3


Sounds like you filed a bankrutpcy without FIRST talking with an attorney. Depending upon the exemptions in MA, the trustee may be able to take your tax retund, both state and federal. In OR the entire refund (excluding EIC) is taken by the bankruptcy trustee. I NEVER file bankruptcies this time of year IF my clients are getting refunds.


What "decision" do you believe needs to be made? If you did everything appropriately, you should anticipate no "decision" or problems. That is something you should have discussed with your lawyer. Your tax refund is an asset and should have been listed on Schedule B, and you may have had exemptions available. Again, your lawyer would have told you it could be taken. The Trustee will ask. If you have not done your taxes, the Trustee will wait on the check or will do your return for you. If you did not have a lawyer before considering this, it could potentially be an expensive mistake. Bankruptcy does not change what tax forms you file. Be prepared to provide a copy to the Trustee.


Sounds like you filed bankruptcy without benefit of counsel. The refund is part of the bankruptcy estate and you will only be able to keep it if there is an available exemption for you to devote to its protection on Schedule C. If you have lived in the state for over two years, you will most likely get to keep it because the federal exemptions are ordinarily ample enough to protect a refund. Do not spend the refund until you have clearance from either your attorney or your Chapter 7 Trustee.

Please consult an attorney who is licensed in your state to evaluate your case if you have any questions at all. This communication does not in any way create an attorney client relationship.

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