When Can You Discharge a Tax Debt?

You can discharge (wipe out) debts for federal income taxes in Chapter 7 bankruptcy only if all of the following conditions are true:

1.  The taxes are income taxes.  In Chapter 7, generally, only taxes based on wages, commissions or other income are eligible for discharge. Taxes other than income, such as payroll/employment taxes cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy.

2.  The debt is at least three years old. To eliminate a tax debt, the tax return must have been originally due at least three years before you filed for bankruptcy.

For example, generally, taxes are due April 15 of every year. if your tax is from 2018, it would be due April 15, 2019.  Three years from April 15, 2019 would be April 15, 2022.  You would need to wait to file bankruptcy until after April 15, 2022 to discharge your personal tax obligation from 2018.  Please keep in mind that filing for extensions would extend the due date for the taxes.

3.  You did not commit fraud or willful evasion. If your return was fraudulent or frivolous, or you intended to evade the tax laws, the taxes due from that return will not be dischargeable.  1 U.S.C. 523(a)(1)(C)

4.  You filed a tax return.  Finally, you must pass the “240-day rule.” The income tax debt must have been assessed by the IRS at least 240 days before you file your bankruptcy petition, or must not have been assessed yet.

You Cannot Discharge a Federal Tax Lien

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy may help you eliminate your personal obligation to pay a tax debt.  However, if the IRS recorded a tax lien on your property before you filed for bankruptcy, the lien will remain on the property. This means that before your property is sold, you will have to address the tax lien.

How to Find Information on the Taxes You Owe

If you need to find out information about your tax returns (e.g., whether you requested extensions for a given tax year, or how much tax, interest and penalties were assessed, and when they were assessed), you can contact the IRS and request a transcript online.
11 U.S.C. 523(a)(1)
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Luh & Associates would like to thank our clients and peers whose trust enabled Jason Ferris and Craig Slater (cover page) to be recognized this year in Nevada Business Magazine’s Legal Elite, 2017.

You can read about their selection here.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find . . .” – Ronald Reagan

Life after bankruptcy can leave some people a little lost. They may be able to sleep at night because they now have control over their finances, but many they worry it can happen again. One of the questions our Las Vegas bankruptcy hears often is can I buy a car after bankruptcy? At Luh and Associates, we’re here to give some bankruptcy advice.

What Happens After Bankruptcy?

Can I buy a car after declaring bankruptcy?

When people ask this, they usually mean something else. The real answer they want is how bankruptcy affects their credit score. It’s no secret that bankruptcy negatively affects your credit. Depending on the situation, some credit scores can drop almost 200 points.

It all depends on how long and out of control your debt was. Your credit score drop can be a figurative kick while you’re down. Despite this, yes, you can take out new lines of credits and loans. However, it will come by a steep price: a higher interest rate.

A higher interest rate can make paying off new loans difficult, but if you need a car, it’s sometimes the only option. The plus side is that financing a car is also a great way to rebuild credit after declaring bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Advice: Ways to improve your credit

If you need other ways to improve your credit after declaring bankruptcy, here are some options:

  • Secured Credit Cards
  • Apply for an FHA Loan when Applicable
  • Pay your existing bill before the due date

Need to Declare Bankruptcy in Las Vegas?

If you’re experiencing the crushing pressure of debt, give it the boot. At Luh and Associates, our Las Vegas bankruptcy attorneys can help get you out of debt. Schedule a free appointment at Luh and Associates today.

Whether you’re doing research or going through financial struggles, you may at some point experience a threat issued by your creditors: if you don’t pay what’s due to them, they’ll put in a court order to garnish your wages.

Many people have heard about wage garnishment, but they don’t know exactly what it is. Today our Las Vegas bankruptcy attorneys will explain wage garnishment and how to avoid wage garnishment risks.

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For many people, the thought of declaring bankruptcy is emotionally devastating. Everything they worked for is now at the risk of being taken away. On top of that, you may have stress and anxiety about what’s going to happen to you and your family. It can seem like a massive weight on your mind. Despite your justified concerns, it’s important to remember what bankruptcy actually is. Here are some tips on how to handle bankruptcy.

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disgruntled person who declared bankruptcyYou’ve heard it all before. If you just file for bankruptcy in Las Vegas, you can remove all types of debts. If you’ve followed our past articles, however, you realize bankruptcy law is not this simple. Bankruptcy law has sections where only through certain circumstances can particular debts be discharged. One of these debts are students loans.

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las vegas bankruptcy judge gavelYou have your bankruptcy lawyer in Las Vegas and you coordinated with your bankruptcy trustee. You’re ready to have your meeting of creditors. You’re on your way to a debt-free life. However, there is one person who stands in the way. During your bankruptcy petition, you may face the ultimate decision maker in your case: your bankruptcy judge.

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You filed your petition. You spoke with your bankruptcy lawyer and bankruptcy trustee. Now, the time has come for the meeting of creditors, also known as the bankruptcy hearing. The meeting of creditors is the most important part of your bankruptcy process, so make sure to take it seriously.

You’ll have your bankruptcy lawyer in Las Vegas to guide you, but you should also be mindful of these five tips to make your creditors meeting run perfectly.

5 Tips for Your Meeting of Creditors

Don’t Lie

We already mentioned how lying or committing bankruptcy fraud can cause issues. However, during your meeting of creditors, your bankruptcy trustee will ask you to swear under oath. So, if you do lie during the meeting, you are committing perjury. Being caught in a lie during your bankruptcy hearing can cease your bankruptcy petition and incur fines. Don’t do it.

Besides, during your meeting, your creditors cannot harass or threaten you. They will speak to you cordially through your bankruptcy trustee.

Have Your Documents Ready

You’ll need your social security card and a government-issued photo ID. Your bankruptcy trustee cannot hold the meeting of creditors without these documents. Bankruptcy fraud and identity theft are a concern.

Other documents you need will include deeds of your assets, proof of income sheet and your most recent tax returns. On the night before your meeting of creditors, gather all your documents, so you won’t have to run around looking for them the day of.

Do Not Get Combative

A meeting of creditors should only lasts about 10 minutes. Don’t feel the need to unleash any anger or resentment against your creditors. Under the law, they cannot respond back to you if you speak in such a manner.

The point of the meeting is to never see or hear from them again. Relax and stay calm. Any argument will only prolong the meeting, and the trustee could potentially stop the meeting if it gets out of hand.

Speak to Your Lawyer

If you feel emotional or stressed out, discuss it privately with your Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer. You hired them to guide you through the process. If you’re unsure how to answer a bankruptcy trustee’s question, ask your lawyer how you should respond.

Leave with a New Life

When the meeting of creditors is over, you will leave. During the time after the meeting, continue creating money-saving plans and find financial counseling. The time spent waiting after the meeting is reserved for any adversary hearings against your petition. They will also check for fraud on your part.

If you answered truthfully and did everything you were told, you will receive a Notice of Discharge from the court. Then, you can begin a new life debt free.

Need a Las Vegas Bankruptcy Attorney?

At Luh and Associates Attorneys at Law, our expert bankruptcy lawyers in Las Vegas will help with any debt relief and debt consolidation. Clear your bankruptcy today with Luh and Associates.

credit-squeeze-522549_1280One of the questions we hear in our Las Vegas bankruptcy office is how am I going to pay for my bankruptcy? It seems like a catch-22. I need money to get out of debt, but I don’t have any money because it is going towards my debt. What can one do?

There is one relatively cheap way to declare bankruptcy in Las Vegas.

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With Halloween coming up, we find everyone getting in the scary spirit. However, at our Las Vegas bankruptcy law firm, we do not have an interest in scaring people. Instead, our bankruptcy attorneys enjoy making people happy and getting them out of stressful situations.

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