The bankruptcy code and rules require a California Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor to send a copy of his or her most recent federal income tax return (or transcript) within the last seven years to their bankruptcy trustee. This must be done at least 7 days before the 341a meeting of the creditors. However, the tax return should be sent over to the trustee as soon as the case is filed. Why? The bankruptcy code also allows a bankruptcy filer to provide a copy of his or her tax return to a creditor, upon request. But, the creditor’s request only needs to be honored if it is made before the bankruptcy filer provides a copy of the tax return to the trustee. In other words, once you provide a copy of your tax return to the bankruptcy trustee the creditor has no right under the law to require you to turn over your tax return. If you wait to provide your tax return until the deadline of seven days before the 341a meeting you run the risk that a creditor will make a request for a copy of your tax return. Tax returns contain a lot of private and personal information and frankly, the fewer persons who have a copy the better.
If you fail to give your bankruptcy trustee a copy of your most recent tax return at least 7 days prior to your meeting, then your case can be dismissed. If you don’t have a copy of your return you or your attorney can request a tax transcript.
California bankruptcy attorney Chirnese L. Liverpool can represent you in your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and make sure your tax information is handled properly. Fill out our online form or call 818-714-2200 to schedule your free initial consultation. We help people all over California and Nevada get a fresh start through bankruptcy. Consultations are available in office or by phone.