Will I Lose My Tax Refund if I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Denver and are owed a large tax refund at the time of filing bankruptcy, you MAY have to turn the refund over to the Trustee to help pay your debts. However, any portion of your refund that is EARNED INCOME CREDIT or ADDITIONAL CHILD CREDIT is exempt (protected) property which you can keep. The law is basically set up to protect benefits for children. Also, most Trustees have a threshold for collecting unprotected assets of slightly less than $1000, below which they will not collect anything.

So, for example, if you are getting a $3500 refund, and $3000 of it is for EIC or Additional Child Tax Credit, the unprotected amount would be $500, and if you have no other non-exempt assets, the Trustee would most likely collect nothing.

So, what do you do if you have a large refund that comes from wage withholding and is not exempt? For this, you need a bankruptcy lawyer’s advice so you can plan your filing after the refund has been received and spent. It is VERY important to be properly advised on this point because you must spend the refund completely before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy on necessary expenses for your family and NOT pay any debts to family members, or unsecured creditors over $600.

In short, talk to your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Denver to help plan your filing date to best preserve the benefit of your refund.

Peter’s Blog