Tax returns for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a gamechanger if you are in debt. This way, you can pay back your creditors in installments over several years without having to worry about interest accruing.

However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can only help you if you follow the right steps, and one of the most important steps will be getting your tax returns together.

Filing tax returns

To know what you owe, your trustee must look at your tax returns from the past four years. It is important to file these returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before the initial meeting of creditors. If you think you will not have your tax returns ready by the deadline, you can ask your trustee for a 120-day extension. The bankruptcy court may also give you 30 more days if you give notice ahead of time.

Ordering tax returns

If your trustee only needs transcripts of your tax returns, you can request free transcripts by filling out Form 4506-T and sending it to the IRS. Transcripts should come within 15 days after you request them. If your trustee needs exact copies of your returns, you will need to pay $43 for each copy. You may have to wait up to 75 days for the copies to come, so you should ask your trustee for an extension if you think it will be necessary.

You may not feel comfortable sharing your tax information, but you should keep the bigger picture in mind. Due diligence can help you avoid dismissal and get the discharge you are looking for.