Hello, I’m Darrell Castle. I’m a bankruptcy attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. I’ve been doing this for a long time, folks, 38 or 39 years, and in my practice, oftentimes people will ask me a question: “If I’m past due on my taxes, if I owe taxes I can’t pay, can you help me? What should I do?”
And my answer to that is that there are some things I can do, there are options that you have available to you. Let’s say, for example, that you have taxes that are due for the tax year 2014 and earlier. And that you filed your return on time. You filed your returns for those tax years on time. It doesn’t matter how many of those years there are, if it’s 2014 or earlier, as of April 15th of this year, all those taxes are dischargeable. That’s enough time to get your case file. So you could get your discharge or wipe out those taxes in a Chapter 7, along with other unsecured debt like credit card bills, or medical bills, or things of that nature. So that is a big, big plus for what bankruptcy can do for you.
Another thing it can do for you is the concept of Chapter 13; that is for taxes that are not dischargeable that say you did not file you return on time, but you still owe that money. Or let’s say it’s for tax year 2015, 16, or 17. Last year was 2017, so let’s say you owe taxes on 2017, and they say, “Well, you owe us $5,000,” and you can’t pay that. Well you could put that into a Chapter 13, and that would give you a payment that you could afford, you could spread it out over five years instead of having them come in and take the money from you right now by force, by going to your employer saying, “Send us 25% of what this person makes.” You could have a payment you can afford and make it all back that way. That is the power of Chapter 13, folks. And it also stops the interest and penalties, you know, sometimes owing to the IRS is similar to owing to a loan-shark. They attach penalties and interest to what you owe so that the amount goes up and up and up no matter what you pay. Well, that’s not true in Chapter 13. It stops all of that. So those are some things that you can do.
Now there’s one other thing I’ll mention to you. Let’s say that you’re not a person who’s past due in his taxes, but in fact, you get a tax refund. You could use that tax refund that’s coming in just about now, or perhaps a few weeks from now… Use that tax refund to consider filing for Chapter 7 and clearing all of your dischargeable debt. You could be free. That tax refund could buy a freedom from your debts for you. That’s a very good option, folks. You think about that and call me about it. You’ll be glad you did.