Are Federal Owed Taxes Dischargeable in Your Bankruptcy?

How to Get Rid of Back Federal Taxes in Bankruptcy?
We have been asked this question many times. As a matter of fact, Congress has already provided this important tool in the Bankruptcy Code but the important thing is that one should carefully use it without any collateral impact on the bankruptcy case. Let us visit them one more time. In order for those taxes to be discharged, the following conditions must be met.

1. First of all, the tax at issue must be of the dischargeable kind (income taxes for instance) and the tax must have been due and owing for a period of more than 3 years from the most recent date the tax return was due.

2. The tax return for the tax delinquent debt must have been filed more than 2 years before the current bankruptcy case was filed.

3. The tax debt relief at issue has been assessed by the taxing authority for more than 240 days prior to the filing of the bankruptcy case (federal taxes are usually assessed within 6 weeks of the filing of the return, the States vary).

4. The debtor, in filing the return must not have attempted to evade the paying of the tax nor can the return filed by the debtor be a willfully “fraudulent” return.

Effect of Offer in Compromise
An extension of the time period and offer in compromise stops any action from the IRS. Tax Return Must be Prepared Properly. Again, the “tax return” filed must actually be an acceptable tax return and not just a mere ruse of filing.

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Can you be arrested in a civil action (garnishment) in Nevada?

The Law Office of Malik Ahmad had been asked this question many times if the defendants can be arrested in a civil action. The answer is yes, but only under the following conditions:

NRS 31.470 Arrest in civil cases. No person shall be arrested in a civil action except as prescribed by this chapter.

NRS 31.480 Cases in which defendant may be arrested. The defendant may be arrested, as hereinafter prescribed, in the following cases:

1. Recovery of Money: In an action for the recovery of money or damages on a cause of action arising upon contract, express or implied, when the defendant is about to depart from the State with intent to defraud the defendant’s creditors, or when the action is for libel or slander.

2. For Fine or Penalty: In an action for a fine or penalty, or for money or property embezzled, or fraudulently misapplied or converted to his or her own use by a public officer, or an officer of a corporation, or an attorney, factor, broker, agent or clerk in the course of his or her employment as such or by any other person in a fiduciary capacity, or for misconduct or neglect in office, or in professional employment, or for a willful violation of duty.

3. For Personal Property: In an action to recover the possession of personal property unjustly detained, when the property, or any part thereof, has been concealed, removed, or disposed of so that it cannot be found or taken by the sheriff.

4. Guilty of Fraud: When the defendant has been guilty of a fraud in contracting the debt or incurring the obligation for which the action is brought, or in concealing or disposing of the property, for the taking, detention or conversion of which the action is brought.

5. Conversion: When the defendant has removed or disposed of the defendant’s property, or is about to do so, with intent to defraud the defendant’s creditors.

Who would give order of arrest?

NRS 31.490 Order for arrest. An order for the arrest of the defendant shall be obtained from a judge of the court in which the action is brought.

NRS 31.500 Order for arrest made when plaintiff’s affidavit shows a sufficient cause; requisites and filing of affidavit. The order may be made whenever it shall appear to the judge, by the affidavit of the plaintiff or some other person, that a sufficient cause of action exists, and the case is one of those mentioned in NRS 31.480. The affidavit shall be either positive or upon information and belief; and when upon information and belief it shall state the facts upon which the information and belief are founded. If an order of arrest be made, the affidavit shall be filed with the clerk of the court.

NRS 31.510 Undertaking from plaintiff. Before making the order the judge shall require a written undertaking, payable in lawful money of the United States, on the part of the plaintiff, with sureties, to the effect that if the defendant recover judgment, the plaintiff will pay all costs and charges that may be awarded to the defendant, and all damages which the defendant may sustain by reason of the arrest, not exceeding the sum specified in the undertaking, which shall be at least $500. Each of the sureties shall annex to the undertaking an affidavit that the surety is a resident and householder or freeholder within the State, and worth double the sum specified in the undertaking over and above all the surety’s debts and liabilities, exclusive of property exempt from execution. The undertaking shall be filed with the clerk of the court.

NRS 31.520 Order and arrest; return of order. The order may be made to accompany the summons, or any time afterwards before judgment. It shall require the sheriff of the county where the defendant may be found forthwith to arrest the defendant and hold the defendant to bail in a specified sum, naming the money or currency in which it is payable, and to return the order at a time therein mentioned to the clerk of the court in which the action is pending.

NRS 31.530 Delivery of affidavit and order to sheriff and defendant. The order of arrest, with a copy of the affidavit upon which it is made, shall be delivered to the sheriff, who, upon arresting the defendant, shall deliver to the defendant the copy of the affidavit, and also, if desired, a copy of the order of arrest.

NRS 31.540 Arrest of defendant. The sheriff shall execute the order by arresting the defendant and keeping the defendant in custody until discharged by law.

NRS 31.550 Defendant to be discharged on bail or deposit. The defendant, at any time before execution, shall be discharged from the arrest either upon giving bail or upon depositing the amount mentioned in the order of arrest in the money or currency therein named, as provided in this chapter.

NRS 31.560 Defendant may give bail. The defendant may give bail by causing a written undertaking, payable in the money of the contract (if any be named), and in other cases as directed by the judge, to be executed by two or more sufficient sureties, stating their places of residence and occupations, to the effect that they are bound in the amount mentioned in the order of arrest; that the defendant shall at all times render himself or herself amenable to the process of the court during the pendency of the action, and to such as may be issued to enforce the judgment therein; or that they will pay to the plaintiff the amount of any judgment which may be recovered in the action.

NRS 31.570 Bail may surrender defendant. At any time before judgment, or within 10 days thereafter, the bail may surrender the defendant in their exoneration; or the defendant may surrender to the sheriff of the county where the defendant was arrested.

NRS 31.580 Arrest, delivery and surrender of defendant by bail; exoneration of bail. For the purpose of surrendering the defendant, the bail at any time or place before they are finally charged may themselves arrest the defendant; or by a written authority, endorsed on a certified copy of the undertaking, may empower the sheriff to do so. Upon the arrest of the defendant by the sheriff, or upon delivery of the defendant to the sheriff by the bail, or upon the defendant’s own surrender, the bail shall be exonerated; provided, such arrest, delivery or surrender shall take place before the expiration of 10 days after judgment; but if such arrest, delivery or surrender be not made within 10 days after judgment, the bail shall be finally charged on their undertaking, and be bound to pay the amount of the judgment within 10 days thereafter.

NRS 31.590 Action against bail. If the bail neglect or refuse to pay the judgment within 10 days after they are finally charged, an action may be commenced against bail for the amount of the original judgment.

NRS 31.600 Bail exonerated by death, imprisonment or discharge of defendant. The bail shall also be exonerated by the death of the defendant, or by the defendant’s imprisonment in a state prison, or by the defendant’s legal discharge from the obligation to render himself or herself amenable to the process.

NRS 31.610 Return of order; plaintiff may except to bail. Within the time limited for that purpose, the sheriff shall file the order of arrest in the office of the clerk of the court in which the action is pending, with the sheriff’s return endorsed thereon, together with a copy of the undertaking of the bail. The sheriff shall retain the original undertaking in the sheriff’s possession until filed, as herein provided. The plaintiff, within 10 days thereafter, may serve upon the sheriff a notice that the plaintiff does not accept the bail, or the plaintiff shall be deemed to have accepted them, and the sheriff shall be exonerated from liability. If no notice be served within 10 days, the original undertaking shall be filed with the clerk of the court.

[1911 CPA § 159; RL § 5101; NCL § 8657]

NRS 31.620 Notice of justification of bail. Within 5 days after the receipt of notice, the sheriff or defendant may give to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney notice of the justification of the same, or other bail (specifying the places of residence and occupations of the latter), before the judge of the court, or clerk, at a specified time and place; the time to be not less than 5 nor more than 10 days thereafter, except by consent of parties. In case other bail be given, there shall be a new undertaking.

NRS 31.630 Qualifications of bail. The qualifications of bail shall be as follows:

1. Each of them shall be a resident and householder, or freeholder, within the county.

2. Each shall be worth the amount specified in the order of arrest, or the amount to which the order is reduced, as provided in this chapter, over and above all debts and liabilities of the bail, exclusive of property exempt from execution; but the judge, or clerk, on justification, may allow more than two sureties to justify severally in amounts less than that expressed in the order, if the whole justification be equivalent to that of two sufficient bail.

NRS 31.640 Examination of bail. For the purpose of justification, each of the bail shall attend before the judge, or clerk, at the time and place mentioned in the notice, and may be examined on oath, on the part of the plaintiff, touching the bail’s sufficiency, in such manner as the judge, or clerk, in the exercise of discretion may think proper. The examination shall be reduced to writing, and subscribed by the bail, if required by the plaintiff.

NRS 31.650 Allowance of bail exonerates sheriff. If the judge, or clerk, find the bail sufficient, the judge or clerk shall annex the examination to the undertaking, endorse the judge’s or clerk’s allowance thereon, and cause them to be filed, and the sheriff shall thereupon be exonerated from liability.

NRS 31.660 Deposit by defendant in lieu of bail. The defendant may, at the time of the defendant’s arrest, instead of giving bail, deposit with the sheriff the amount mentioned in the order. In case the amount of the bail be reduced, as provided in this chapter, the defendant may deposit such amount instead of giving bail. In either case the sheriff shall give the defendant a certificate of the deposit made, and the defendant shall be discharged from custody.

What is the Limitation on Garnishment of Earnings in Nevada?

NRS 31.295 Garnishment of earnings: Limitations on amount.

1. As used in this section:

(a) “Disposable earnings” means that part of the earnings of any person remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.

(b) “Earnings” means compensation paid or payable for personal services performed by a judgment debtor in the regular course of business, including, without limitation, compensation designated as income, wages, tips, a salary, a commission or a bonus. The term includes compensation received by a judgment debtor that is in the possession of the judgment debtor, compensation held in accounts maintained in a bank or any other financial institution or, in the case of a receivable, compensation that is due the judgment debtor.

2. The maximum amount of the aggregate disposable earnings of a person which are subject to garnishment may not exceed:

(a) Twenty-five (25%) percent of the person’s disposable earnings for the relevant workweek; or

(b) The amount by which the person’s disposable earnings for that week exceed 50 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a)(1) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable,

Ê whichever is less.

3. The restrictions of subsection 2 do not apply in the case of:

(a) Any order of any court for the support of any person.

(b) Any order of any court of bankruptcy.

(c) Any debt due for any state or federal tax.

4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the maximum amount of the aggregate disposable earnings of a person for any workweek which are subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person may not exceed:

(a) Fifty percent of the person’s disposable earnings for that week if the person is supporting a spouse or child other than the spouse or child for whom the order of support was rendered; or

(b) Sixty percent of the person’s disposable earnings for that week if the person is not supporting such a spouse or child,

Ê except that if the garnishment is to enforce a previous order of support with respect to a period occurring at least 12 weeks before the beginning of the workweek, the limits which apply to the situations described in paragraphs (a) and (b) are 55 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

(Added to NRS by 1971, 1499; A 1985, 1430; 2005, 1020)

Bankruptcy Discharge, Its Implications, Duration and What It Encompasses

Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad, Fast Bankruptcy Nevada. A bankruptcy discharge is a milestone in the bankruptcy proceedings as this discharge releases the debtor from personal liability for certain specified types of debts. Again, those debts which are exempted debts and certain dischargeable debts. Again, please refresh your memory by what debts are dischargeable. The Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad, had given a laundry list in many of the articles as to what debts are dischargeable. Alimony debts, student loans, certain liens, child supports and government fines are not dischargeable. They survive the bankruptcy. In other words, the debtor is no longer legally required to pay any debts that are discharged. The discharge is not temporary but it is a permanent order prohibiting the creditors of the debtor from taking any form of collection action on discharged debts, including legal action and communications with the debtor, such as telephone calls, letters, and personal contacts. This means the debts are wiped out for good, and no one should be calling you as you are under the federal bankruptcy protection. Once you have successfully completed the bankruptcy chapter 7 proceeding, you are under the federal bankruptcy umbrella. Although a debtor is not personally liable for discharged debts, a valid lien (i.e., a charge upon specific property to secure payment of a debt) that has not been avoided (i.e., made unenforceable) in the bankruptcy case will remain after the bankruptcy case. Therefore, a secured creditor may enforce the lien to recover the property secured by the lien.

Timings of Discharge? It all varies, depending on the chapter under which the case is filed. In a chapter 7 (liquidation) case, for example, the court usually grants the discharge promptly on expiration of the time fixed for filing a complaint objecting to discharge and the time fixed for filing a motion to dismiss the case for substantial abuse (60 days following the first date set for the 341 meeting). Typically, this occurs about four months after the date the debtor files the petition with the clerk of the bankruptcy court. In individual chapter 11 cases, in cases under chapter 12 (adjustment of debts of a family farmer or fisherman) and 13 (adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income), the court generally grants the discharge as soon as practicable after the debtor completes all payments under the plan. Since a chapter 12 or chapter 13 plan may provide for payments to be made over three to five years, the discharge typically occurs about four years after the date of filing. The court may deny an individual debtor’s discharge in a chapter 7 or 13 case if the debtor fails to complete “an instructional course concerning financial management.” The Bankruptcy Code provides limited exceptions to the “financial management” requirement if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator determines there are inadequate educational programs available, or if the debtor is disabled or incapacitated or on active military duty in a combat zone.

How to get a discharge? It is an automatic process and it works smoothly unless there is litigation involving objections to the discharge. The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure provide for the clerk of the bankruptcy court to mail a copy of the order of discharge to all creditors, the U.S. trustee, the trustee in the case, and the trustee’s attorney, if any. The debtor and the debtor’s attorney also receive copies of the discharge order. The notice, which is simply a copy of the final order of discharge, is not specific as to those debts determined by the court to be non-dischargeable, i.e., not covered by the discharge. The notice informs creditors generally that the debts owed to them have been discharged and that they should not attempt any further collection. They are cautioned in the notice that continuing collection efforts could subject them to punishment for contempt. Any inadvertent failure on the part of the clerk to send the debtor or any creditor a copy of the discharge order promptly within the time required by the rules does not affect the validity of the order granting the discharge.

What does the Discharge Includes? As we stated earlier, not all debts are discharged. The debts discharged vary under each chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 523(a) of the Code specifically excepts various categories of debts from the discharge granted to individual debtors. Therefore, the debtor must still repay those debts after bankruptcy. Congress has determined that these types of debts are not dischargeable for public policy reasons (based either on the nature of the debt or the fact that the debts were incurred due to improper behavior of the debtor, such as the debtor’s drunken driving).

Exceptions to Discharge: Generally speaking, the exceptions to discharge apply automatically if the language prescribed by section 523(a) applies. The most common types of non-dischargeable debts are: – certain types of tax claims, – debts not set forth by the debtor on the lists and schedules the debtor must file with the court, – debts for spousal or child support or alimony, – debts for willful and malicious injuries to person or property, – debts to governmental units for fines and penalties, – debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit over payments, – debts for personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, – debts owed to certain tax-advantaged retirement plans, – and debts for certain condominium or cooperative housing fees. The types of debts described in sections 523(a)(2), (4), and (6) (obligations affected by fraud or maliciousness) are not automatically excepted from discharge. Creditors must ask the court to determine that these debts are excepted from discharge. In the absence of an affirmative request by the creditor and the granting of the request by the court, the types of debts set out in sections 523(a)(2), (4), and (6) will be discharged. A slightly broader discharge of debts is available to a debtor in a chapter 13 case than in a chapter 7 case. Debts dischargeable in a chapter 13, but not in chapter 7, include debts for willful and malicious injury to property, debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable tax obligations, and debts arising from property settlements in divorce or separation proceedings.

Right to Discharge? In chapter 7 cases, the debtor does not have an absolute right to a discharge. An objection to the debtor’s discharge may be filed by a creditor, by the trustee in the case, or by the U.S. trustee. Creditors receive a notice shortly after the case is filed that sets forth much important information, including the deadline for objecting to the discharge. To object to the debtor’s discharge, a creditor must file a complaint in the bankruptcy court before the deadline set out in the notice. Filing a complaint starts a lawsuit referred to in bankruptcy as an “adversary proceeding.” The court may deny a chapter 7 discharge for any of the reasons described in section 727(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, including: – failure to provide requested tax documents; – failure to complete a course on personal financial management; – transfer or concealment of property with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors; – destruction or concealment of books or records; perjury and other fraudulent acts; – failure to account for the loss of assets; – violation of a court order or an earlier discharge in an earlier case commenced within certain time frames (discussed below) before the date the petition was filed. – If the issue of the debtor’s right to a discharge goes to trial, the objecting party has the burden of proving all the facts essential to the objection. In chapter 13 cases, the debtor is usually entitled to a discharge upon completion of all payments under the plan. As in chapter 7, however, discharge may not occur in chapter 13 if the debtor fails to complete a required course on personal financial management.

Can the discharge be revoked? The court may revoke a discharge under certain circumstances. For example, a trustee, creditor, or the U.S. trustee may request that the court revoke the debtor’s discharge in a chapter 7 case based on allegations that the debtor: obtained the discharge fraudulently; failed to disclose the fact that he or she acquired or became entitled to acquire property that would constitute property of the bankruptcy estate; committed one of several acts of impropriety described in section 727(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code; or failed to explain any misstatements discovered in an audit of the case or fails to provide documents or information requested in an audit of the case. Typically, a request to revoke the debtor’s discharge must be filed within one year of the discharge or, in some cases, before the date that the case is closed. The court will decide whether such allegations are true and, if so, whether to revoke the discharge. May the debtor pay a discharged debt after the bankruptcy case has been concluded? A debtor who has received a discharge may voluntarily repay any discharged debt. A debtor may repay a discharged debt even though it can no longer be legally enforced. Sometimes a debtor agrees to repay a debt because it is owed to a family member or because it represents an obligation to an individual for whom the debtor’s reputation is important, such as a family doctor.

What can the debtor do if a creditor attempts to collect a discharged debt after the case is concluded? If a creditor attempts collection efforts on a discharged debt, the debtor can file a motion with the court, reporting the action and asking that the case be reopened to address the matter. The bankruptcy court will often do so to ensure that the discharge is not violated. The discharge constitutes a permanent statutory injunction prohibiting creditors from taking any action, including the filing of a lawsuit, designed to collect a discharged debt. A creditor can be sanctioned by the court for violating the discharge injunction. The normal sanction for violating the discharge injunction is civil contempt, which is often punishable by a fine.