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Can I discharge tax debts in Chapter 7?

One of the chief advantages of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that it allows you to discharge certain debts. For example, it is often possible to extricate yourself from debts owed on a credit card. Also, there are circumstances in which you can even get some tax debts discharged.

First, though, understand that your ability to have tax debts discharged will ultimately be determined by your specific circumstances. For example, you may be able to have unpaid income taxes taken off the books. However, there are some general rules, one of which is referred to as the three-year rule.

The three-year rule covers taxes that were due no less than three years prior to your bankruptcy filing. The key date to keep in mind is April 15th, which is the deadline for sending your tax returns to the IRS.

Thus, if you filed a return on April 15, 2014, then you could not file for bankruptcy sooner than April 16, 2017, to have your tax debt discharged. However, if you filed for an extension, the three-year rule extends three years beyond the date granted by the IRS.

The three-year rule is just one of the possible instruments that can be used to help you discharge debts when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And an experienced bankruptcy attorney can fully apprise you of all your available options and explain in detail their requirements. Further, the attorney can help you with your filing to make sure that it is done correctly in an effort to provide you with the best terms possible to help you with your fresh financial start.

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