Hello, my name is Wayne Mortensen and I am a bankruptcy attorney in Tucson, Arizona.

You know, every year the trustees will go after tax returns.  Recently, about a couple of years ago, Arizona exemptions changed.  What that did when those exemptions changed, it actually took and takes money away from creditors and therefore takes money away from the trustee. If the trustee can’t take an asset in bankruptcy he can’t get paid as much, and so trustees have had to be a little more creative  or maybe work a little bit harder at getting certain assets.  

One of the assets you see and is still not protected by an exemption is tax returns.  It used to be that if you filed anywhere in September or October, they were not interested in the previous year’s tax returns. 

Now, however, we find that if you are getting a tax refund and it is a substantial refund, the trustee will start looking at those cases as early as March, April or May and they may very well hold your case opened until the following  year in order to take a portion of that tax refund.

Now, in whatever year you file, for that particular year, the trustee is only entitled to a prorated distribution on the tax refund.  So, to make it simple, if you file in the month of June,  June 2015,  thetrustee is only entitled to  1/2, because you are only 1/2 way through the year, of next year’s refund, your 2015 tax refund.    So that is the way that works.

What we have found though is that trustees are starting to look at tax refunds all the way back into March and April, and even May and so it is real important to talk to a bankruptcy attorney  that can advise you on No. 1,  did you wait to file, and No. 2,  what should you do with regards to your withholdings you are doing at work so that you can understand how you can maximize your tax refund down the road.

My name is Wayne Mortensen  and I am a bankruptcy attorney in Tucson, Arizona and I thank you for watching my video.