Many Unhappy Returns: Another Hanging Paragraph Creates a Trap for Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers
When is a tax return not a tax return? Bankruptcy can be very useful when seeking to discharge personal income tax obligations, but if the return has not been filed on time, dischargeability may be in jeopardy. Many courts have addressed this issue and have issued widely divergent views, including the First Circuit’s strict interpretation of what constitutes a tax return as announced by the majority in In re Fahey. This panel will focus on the development of the case law in the First Circuit, the information you must obtain from the taxing authority to determine when a tax return has been filed, what constitutes a return, and strategies to employ in the event that the tax return your client filed is defective and the taxes reported on that return are nondischargeable.