Filing a St. Louis Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you have to disclose certain financial to the Court and bankruptcy trustee, including relevant tax information. If you are required to file tax returns, the Bankruptcy Trustee will want to see your most recently filed Federal and State tax returns. Tax returns are the forms that you complete and file with the Internal Revenue Service and the state department of revenue which report your income, expenses, and other relevant information, and which ultimately state whether you owe additional taxes or can get a refund of taxes you overpaid.
If you haven't yet prepared your tax returns for the last tax year, you will probably want to do so before filing bankruptcy. If you have filed your returns, make sure you can get get copies of that paperwork. Your tax preparer sometimes keeps copies of your tax returns, but a lot of them charge a fee to get copies. The IRS keeps transcripts of your returns which you can get for free from their website at IRS.gov. Depending on the state where you filed, you should be able to contact their department of revenue to get copies of your returns.
While it's a really good idea to have filed all your required tax returns, Chapter 13 cases require you to have filed returns for tax periods ending within 4 years of your bankruptcy filing. Also, throughout your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you must file all your required returns.
In any case, failure to provide copies of your tax returns to the trustee as requested could result in your case being dismissed. You want to avoid dismissal because your creditors can pursue you for your debts once again.
For more information about filing taxes, call our office, or visit the IRS's website at https://www.irs.gov/filing.