Which Gets Filed First?: Tax Return or Bankruptcy

As we enter a new year and people begin receiving their W-2 forms, I also begin to receive a number of questions concerning the best way to handle filing taxes in conjunction with a bankruptcy filing. While many bankruptcy filings share certain commonalities, it is still important to speak to a Washington DC or Maryland bankruptcy attorney to get specific advice concerning your own individual situation.

I will try to address some of the more common issues concerning bankruptcy and tax returns over the course of this week, but we will start with one that might be the most frequently asked between now and April: “Which one should I file first?”

Again, you should consult with your Maryland or Washington DC bankruptcy lawyer first, but in a majority of cases it is generally recommended that you prepare your tax return first and wait until you have received your refund before filing bankruptcy. Filing your taxes and getting a refund first will allow you to have money for other necessities before entering a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, and will protect your refund from the trustee.

You can always prepare your return and have your bankruptcy lawyer determine whether you will keep the refund should you file bankruptcy before receiving it. If you have additional questions about the best way to handle a situation such as this, my firm offers free initial consultations.

Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd – Washington DC bankruptcy attorney



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