The new bankruptcy reform was signed into law by the president in April, 2005. It willbecome effective on October 17, 2005. . Generally families earning more than the state median, about $45,000 in Illinois, will be will face huge roadblocks to filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on consumer debts and only be allowed to file Chapter 13. Prior to seeking the protection of bankruptcy debtors will be required to pay for debt counseling as a first step. The following is brief summary of the major tax related provisions of the act.
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For bankruptcy cases filed after October 16, 2005, the Bankruptcy Code requires Chapter 13 debtors to file all required tax returns for tax periods ending within 4 years of the debtor’s bankruptcy filing. All such federal tax returns must be filed with the IRS before the date first set for the first meeting of creditors. The debtor may request the trustee to hold the meeting open for an additional 120 days to enable the debtor to file the returns (or until the day the returns are due under an automatic IRS extension, if later). After notice and hearing, the bankruptcy court may extend the period for another 30 days. Failure to timely file the returns can prevent confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan and result in either dismissal of the Chapter 13 case or conversion of the case to a Chapter 7 case.