Spring is in the air (along with all the pollen that it brings!), but that also means that Tax Day is fast approaching! Tax Day, the day your income tax returns are due, is April 15th of each year. This year, however, everyone will have 3 more days because of how the date lines up with the weekend and a federal holiday.
This year April 15th falls on a Saturday. Normally that would mean that tax day would shift to Monday, April 17th. However, Sunday the 16th is Emancipation Day, a federal holiday. Since the holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on Monday the 17th and the IRS will have the day off. So Tuesday, April 18th will be this year’s Tax Day.
Why am I, a bankruptcy lawyer, concerned with tax day? Tax day is very important in bankruptcy. Many of the bankruptcy cases filed for consumers by our firm are chapter 13 reorganization cases. One of the requirements for filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is to have your last 4 years of tax returns filed. If you try to start a bankruptcy case without those returns filed, then your case can be dismissed almost immediately. Further, either the Court or your bankruptcy trustee is likely to want copies of your tax returns, and if you file after Tax Day then they’ll require the most recent return. It is also vitally important to file your taxes while you’re in a bankruptcy case. Failing to file a tax return is grounds for the IRS to petition the Court to dismiss your chapter 13 case. Finally, back taxes are one of the most common debts that we deal with in bankruptcy cases. If you’re afraid to file your returns because you know you’ll end up owing the IRS, don’t worry. A chapter 13 case can handle just about any kind of back taxes.
Tax debts can, however, be very complicated. If you have a significant amount of tax debt, then you should speak with a qualified attorney about your options. At Bond & Botes, our attorneys have years of experience handling debts of all kinds in bankruptcy. We offer free initial consultations at all of our convenient locations in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.