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IRS Tax Debts

California Firm Helps Clients Tackle IRS Tax Debts

Fresno bankruptcy attorney assists people who owe federal and state authorities

Any significant debt is a concern, but when your creditor is the IRS or the State of California, it can seem even more intimidating. Special rules apply to the treatment of past due taxes in bankruptcy, and at Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation, attorney Glen Gates can advise you whether relief is available in your case. Our firm has offices in Fresno, Paso Robles and Visalia to serve clients throughout the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding areas. Regardless of the particular challenges you’re facing, we can find the best way to modify or eliminate your tax obligation.

Discharge of income tax debt under Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Most people associate Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the elimination of unsecured debts, such as credit card balances and payments owed for medical treatment. People often presume that tax obligations are like student loan debt and cannot be cleared through this process. However, under certain circumstances, you can discharge what you owe to tax authorities if the following conditions apply:

  • The obligation stems from unpaid income taxes
  • The return for the tax at issue was due more than three years before you filed for bankruptcy
  • You filed a return for that tax year
  • Your return was filed at least two years before filing for bankruptcy
  • The tax authority entered the liability on their tax records at least 240 days before you filed for bankruptcy
  • No fraud or intentional evasion of the tax laws is present

In sum, bankruptcy is not a means to avoid a current or recent tax bill. The IRS and California Franchise Tax Board have numerous methods by which they can collect past due obligations. However, if the requisite timeframes have passed, our firm can explain if you can discharge back taxes as part of the Chapter 7 process. Bankruptcy will not release tax liens that have previously been attached to your property due to failure to make a required payment.

Addressing past due taxes in Chapter 13 repayment plans

Should you choose to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, any money you owe in taxes will be classified as either a priority or nonpriority debt. Priority taxes have to be paid in full under the Chapter 13 plan, though creating a court-approved schedule can spread those payments over three to five years to ease your burden. Previous income taxes that would be dischargeable under Chapter 7 are classified as nonpriority debts. Depending on your circumstances, some of your nonpriority taxes might be paid back from your disposable income, but the balance would be eliminated if you abide by the repayment schedule. Attorney Glen Gates can evaluate your situation and guide you through the Chapter 13 process, if that is the best option.

Contact a dedicated California bankruptcy attorney for a consultation about your tax debt

Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation represents California clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy matters. If you are having difficulty paying what you owe to tax authorities or are facing problems with another type of debt, we can help. Please call 559-432-9944 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We serve clients at our main office in Fresno and locations in Paso Robles and Visalia.

COVID-19 Notice

These are unquestionably difficult times. We understand the word "crisis". Usually, people do not come to us just to say hello. They come with their problems and we have to respond quickly. We understand they need help.

The problems do not stop because of the presence of the COVID-19. Assistance from our office will continue. We have the technology available to provide our clients with continued quality legal services in order to protect their interests. We can meet our clients virtually whether by telephone or video. We can meet our clients in person but with special arrangements and implemented safeguards.

In spite of the pandemic, life does not stop. You may continue to have legal needs. Some people will have greater needs than others. We stand ready to help whatever the circumstances.

Your continued faith in us never goes unnoticed.

Allowing us to help you is a privilege we take very seriously. Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation Tough. Competent. Understanding.

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  • Fresno Office
    2445 Capitol St
    Ste 150A
    Fresno, California 93721
    Phone: 559-432-9944
    Fax: 866-740-6678
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