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Do I have to file all my back taxes before I file bankruptcy?

Yes. You cannot discharge your taxes if you have not filed them and waited the appropriate amount of time. Also, it is a crime not to file your taxes. Most importantly, if you have not filed your taxes, your bankruptcy case can be dismissed.

Also, in 2010 the Internal Revenue Service has a new policy it is enforcing where, if you do not file all of your tax returns before you file chapter 13 bankruptcy, then it will immediately file a motion to dismiss the case. Also, if you do not file tax returns due for the years you are in the chapter 13 bankruptcy plan or if you do not pay your taxes for each year you are in the chapter 13 bankruptcy plan then it will file a motion to dismiss immediately. It has always had this power, but NOW it is strictly enforcing these rules.

The bankruptcy trustee in a chapter 7 bankruptcy may be able to take any refund you are owed. This could be prevented in many cases by having done your taxes before you file. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy there is no way to figure your payment plan until we know what you owe in back taxes.

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  • Can I go to Jail for not Paying my Bills?

    No, not unless you committed a crime in the creation of the debt (for example, fraud). Simply borrowing money and not being able to pay it back is not a crime. Many creditors representatives will tell you lies on the telephone and say that they will have you put in jail. Perhaps they are too ignorant to know they are wrong or that it is illegal for them even to say that. See More Bankruptcy Q&A