Important Information About Tax Returns

The Bankruptcy Code now imposes on you various requirements regarding tax returns, and if you fail to comply with those requirements, your case may be dismissed:

  • Not later than 7 days before the date first set for the meeting of creditors you must give the trustee a copy of the Federal income tax return that was required under the tax laws for the most recent tax year ending immediately before the commencement of the case and for which you filed a return. See 11 U.S.C. § 521(e)(2)(A)Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4002(b)(3) and (4). In lieu of a copy of the tax return, you may furnish a transcript of the return. See, for example, Obtaining Tax Records.
  • You are required timely to file with the tax authorities tax returns coming due after the commencement of the case. See 11 U.S.C. § 521(j).
  • At the request of any party in interest in a chapter 7, 11, or 13 case, you are required to file with the court, at the same time you file it with the IRS:
    • a copy of each Federal income tax return (or a transcript of such return) for each tax year ending while the case is pending (see 11 U.S.C. § 521(f)(1));
    • a copy of each Federal income tax return (or a transcript of such return) for each tax year ending in the 3-year period ending on the date you file your bankruptcy petition for which a return had not been filed with the IRS as of the date you filed your bankruptcy petition and for which you subsequently filed a return (see 11 U.S.C. § 521(f)(2));

Be sure to redact (blacken out) any Social Security Number, account numbers, year of birth, and names and initials of minor children. See Protecting Privacy (Personal Data Identifiers).

  • In a chapter 13 case, you must, prior to the first date set for the meeting of creditors, file with the appropriate tax authorities all tax returns required to be filed under non-bankruptcy law for all taxable periods ending during the 4-year period ending on the date of the filing of your petition. See 11 U.S.C. § 1308.
  • In a chapter 13 case, at the request of any party in interest, you must periodically file an annual statement of income and expenditures. See 11 U.S.C. § 521(f)(4) and (g)(1).
  • For cases docketed in 2022, debtor(s) who has/have filed return(s) for 2021 should be providing those 2021 returns for the 341 hearing. If a return for 2021 has not yet been filed (since it is not due until 4/15/2022) then providing a return for 2020 is acceptable. However, after 4/15/2022, the 2021 tax return must be provided.