. do we have to turn over any tax return we receive if we have filed bankruptcy.

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. do we have to turn over any tax return we receive if we have filed bankruptcy.

Asked on June 9, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I think that you mean  tax "refund".

First, tell your bankruptcy attorney if you are expecting a tax refund.  Your attorney should ask but make a point of disclosing.  If the tax refund is small enough, it might be exempt under state law.  In your case, Illinois allows an exemption of up to $4,000 which can be applied to any asset 

You could wait to file your bankruptcy until after you spend your tax refund on family necessities as well.

Note:  If your tax refund includes “earned income credit” or “child care credit,” you may be entitled to additional exemptions in states which consider these to be welfare benefits.

What you don’t want to do is to fail to disclose the tax refund at all.  A bankruptcy trustee can simply write to the Internal Revenue Service and have it send the tax refund directly to the trustee.  You can best protect your tax refund by telling your bankruptcy attorney that you are expecting one.  Then you can decide the best path to take consistent with your legal obligations.


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