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Taxes in bankruptcy

Couples and individuals in Minnesota who are struggling with debt may decide to look into bankruptcy as a form of debt relief. While bankruptcy can be a good option for those who need to better manage their financial obligations, the process is not capable of eliminating every type of debt.

Whether someone opts for a Chapter 7 fresh-start bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 repayment plan, there are some types of debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, including child support, alimony or judgments resulting from accidents caused by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, there are other debts that are not easily discharged, such as student loans and taxes.

Individuals with substantial tax debt may be dismayed to find that it can be a challenge to discharge these balances through the bankruptcy courts. This is because the tax debts must be at least three years old and cannot be calculated on the basis of fraudulent tax returns. If the return was filed late, at least two years must have passed before the debt can be considered for a bankruptcy discharge.

This does not mean that bankruptcy may not benefit a debtor, however. For example, filing for bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, which protects debtors from being harassed by creditors. Bankruptcy plans can also help consumers discharge many other types of debt, reducing their overall financial obligations. Finally, non-dischargeable tax debt can be incorporated into a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Debtors who are considering filing for bankruptcy may want to speak with an experienced attorney. Lawyers can review their clients' situations and make recommendations about bankruptcy and other debt relief options.

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