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Will your tax refund be taken to pay back your debt if you file for bankruptcy in New York city?

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Though no one "wants" to file bankruptcy, your question is valid. An income tax return is usually looked at as a lump sum of money to help get back on one's feet. A down payment for a better car, a vacation for a family, etc. If you file a chapter 7, then no, you will not have your tax refund kept from you, UNLESS you owe back-taxes. Depending on how many years you may have owed taxes, you can also file bankruptcy on those. If you have to file a chapter 13, bankruptcy, then I am not sure. Ask your attorney, and a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney is usually free. Answer It is a good idea to check with your lawyer on this question because it may depend on what state you life in when you filed. I live in Pennsylvania and did indeed receive my refund. My sister, however, lived in New Orleans when she filed her taxes and moved back to Pennsylvania shortly thereafter. Within two weeks of receiving her refund, she received a letter from her tax office telling her she had to return the check to be applied to her bankruptcy creditors. She was even given a date that the check had to be returned by. Answer A lot of times the Trustee will order you to pay the refund to the courts to be distributed to creditors. I've seen this happen in Chapter 7 cases before.
This Q has been pushed around a lot here...and this is what I've pieced together: It depends...a bit on which circuit court your in and how they feel...and especially how much is involved...(obviously large amounts are wanted for creditors...and it just seems unfair for you to not pay someone your debt, because you didn't have the money, because you had too much withheld or prepaid...when the amount withheld/prepaid is entirely controllable by you! The withheld tax account at the IRS is really nothing more than a savings account to pay for the tax actually determined to be due). The other aspect is when you file for BK compared to when you made your money...If the overpaid tax is for a pre-petition filing period...most trustees want it...but if it really isn't - then you can argue it's post petition and yours. So say it's a refund for the past year and you filed BK in December.....well it was basically all withheld as part of the Jan-Dec period in your tax return...and its part of the BK...but if you filed BK in say March...well not much of it is really from the covered BK period - and much of the overpayment should be given to you. (Of course, things like not making $ or deductions evenly through the year can complicate the calculation).
Sort of makes sense.
Thanks for the feedback!

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