Can I Get Rid of IRS Debt in Bankruptcy? – Julia

“Dear Steve,

If I file bankrupcy will any of my IRS debt be forgiven? I owe for every year since 2000.


Dear Julia,

Yes, you can discharge IRS debts in bankruptcy.

  1. The taxes must be more than three years old at the time the Bankruptcy was filed. The three-year period begins to run from the time the returns were due, (often that is April 15th of the following year, but sometimes a different date applies) plus any periods of extension;
  2. If the return was not filed on time, more than two years has expired since the return was filed;
  3. If there was an assessment, more than 240 days have expired from the date of the assessment;
  4. A lien on any assets which you intend to keep will not be automatically removed, even if the tax is discharged!
  5. There has been no fraud, and no intentional evasion of paying the tax.

You’ll really need to discuss your specific situation with a local bankruptcy attorney. You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and come up with a game plan on how to time your bankruptcy.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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