Ive been married for 4 years. My husband and i have TOTALLY separate bills. We own nothing together. When filing taxes i file head of household because we have nothing together. Im currently looking to file a chapter 7 and they need my 2015 and 2016 tax returns. Those returns says "head of household" and we were married at that time. Can those returns have an affect on me filing chapter 7?
You'll need to report all household income on your petition and schedules. You can also deduct some or all of your spouse's separate expenses. Whether you should be filing head of household on your tax returns is a separate issue and while I am not a tax attorney nor a CPA, I suspect you should not be and suggest you consult with both a bankruptcy attorney and a tax professional to make sure you're filing status is correct.
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I agree with Attorney Caldwell but add as follows: we don't know where you lived in last 4 years. If in a community property state then it does not matter whose name the bills are in, it is both of yours. Absent that issue, then I agree. But you should call and discuss with an experienced IL bankruptcy attorney ..its free usually with most attorneys and then you will know for sure, if to file, when to file, who to pay before, etc. Other facts and issues can affect your case so I will point out some of them next so you realize why you want to find an attorney..Look on AVVO!
You need and want to enjoy your fresh start also. But the most important thing is to meet with an attorney as you asking this question means you have not. You care about 2 goals: keeping everything you have equity in and discharging all your debts. If you don't have any of the exceptions to discharge you will obtain that goal; most exceptions are set forth in 11 USC. 523 (Google it) like child support, some income taxes, traffic (in a ch 7) and criminal fines , and presumption of student loans. But some debts are dischargeable in a ch 13 but NOT in a ch 7 so you want to make sure and your attorney will discuss any such types with you also!
Your exemptions depend on what state you have lived in in the last 2 years and thus if in your state, then your states exemptions will apply. Most persons filing keep everything they own but your attorney will confirm that with you when they learn everything you own and the equity thereof!
Some secured debts like homes, vehicles, other secured debts an attorney will discuss your options on also as you must list any debts; but that does not mean you will lose them unless you have too much equity or are in default on paying for them! Discuss those options if they apply with your attorney too.
But other issues can arise that can greatly harm your case. Just one example: If you paid back a relative $3,000 11 months ago and now file bankruptcy next week, the trustee can SUE that relative to retrieve that $3,000 (under what is called a preference) for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. As a result, most attorneys don't charge to meet with them the first meeting so meet with one no matter what.
Many great attorneys can be found right here on AVVO in your state so look, call, and meet one as soon as you can.
You should also want to know when to file: is there an advantage of waiting versus filing now and who should you pay between now and then! Good luck and enjoy your later fresh start.
The manner in which you file your tax returns has nothing to do with the income and expenses that must be used to establish that you qualify to file for relief under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. A couple that have lived together 4 years and have not married would still constitute a household of two for bankruptcy purposes unless they have children living with them, then the number in the household would include the couple and the number of children living with them.
Answers and comments provided are for general discussion only. My comments are not to be considered legal advice and they do not create an attorney-client relationship.
Do you and your spouse live together? If you do, you are going to have to include his income on your petition. That being said, I believe you are ok, but you really haven’t provided enough information for anyone to give you an accurate answer. Make an appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area. Many attorneys do not charge for initial consultations with prospective clients.
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