IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Bankruptcy

If you owe past due federal taxes that you cannot pay, bankruptcy may be an option. Other options include an IRS payment plan or an offer in compromise.

If you are a person that has filed bankruptcy, a debtor’s attorney or a U.S. Trustee with questions about an open bankruptcy you may contact the IRS’ Centralized Insolvency Operations Unit, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., EST, at 1-800-973-0424.

For individuals, the most common type of bankruptcy is a Chapter 13. Before you consider filing a Chapter 13 here are some things you should know:

  • You must file all required tax returns for tax periods ending within four years of your bankruptcy filing.
  • During your bankruptcy you must continue to file, or get an extension of time to file, all required returns.
  • During your bankruptcy case you should pay all current taxes as they come due.
  • Failure to file returns and/or pay current taxes during your bankruptcy may result in your case being dismissed.

Partnerships and corporations file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. Individuals may also file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. For additional tax information on bankruptcy, refer to Publication 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide and Publication 5082, What You Should Know about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Delinquent Returns (PDF).

Other types of bankruptcy include Chapters 9, 12 and 15. Cases under these chapters of the bankruptcy code involve municipalities, family farmers and fisherman, and international cases. For information see Other Types of Bankruptcy – Chapters 9, 12 & 15.


Rate the Small Business and Self-Employed Website

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 02-Sep-2014