The U.S. tax system is complex and affects many aspects of business owners’ and individual consumers’ finances. While intricate and sometimes invasive, taxes are a necessary part of a well-functioning government and economy. Understanding when and where taxes will come into play when you make financial decisions is important to prevent negative consequences such as tax debt. If you are struggling with tax debts along with other severe financial difficulties, bankruptcy might be the right choice. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides the guidance and counsel you need to successfully file for bankruptcy in Waseca, MN.
Tax debts can be accumulated through a wide range of sources from property taxes to income taxes. When you file for bankruptcy, these debts are broken into two primary categories: priority tax debts and non-priority tax debts.
Priority Tax Debts
The majority of tax debt obligations fall under priority tax debt. This means they generally can’t be discharged the Chapter 7 liquidation process and that they must be paid in full during a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Priority tax debts include income taxes that don’t fall under non-priority requirements, property taxes incurred within a year of filing for bankruptcy, taxes you withheld or collected, some employment taxes, some excise taxes, custom duties, and penalties that have been assessed to any priority taxes.
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your priority taxes will not be discharged in the process and you must repay them in full after your bankruptcy has concluded. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your priority taxes must be included in your 3 to 5-year repayment plan and they must be fully repaid.
Non-Priority Tax Debts
Any tax debts that are considered non-priority can be discharged in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy because they will be categorized and handled like all your other non-priority unsecured debts (e.g., credit cards and medical bills). Non-priority tax debts only include income tax debts if they were due at least three years prior to filing, if you filed the return for the tax debt at least two years prior to filing, if the IRS has not assessed your tax liability within 240 days of filing, and if you did not incur the tax debt through fraudulent behavior.
In most cases, filing for bankruptcy with the goal of discharging your tax debts can be a complicated and detail-specific process. The majority of your tax debt might not be able to be discharged in either a Chapter 7 case or a Chapter 13 case. For example, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not result in the discharge of most priority tax debts, but you will be able to bundle those debt obligations into a manageable three to five-year repayment plan, tailored to your income, in which you will be able to pay them in full and be relieved the associated interest and penalties.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Waseca, MN and want to learn more about how your taxes and other debts are handled, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200.