If you are required to file tax returns, it is very important that you make sure all returns are filed before you file for Bankruptcy, if at all possible. Surely there are times when it is not possible to catch up on prior returns, such as when a foreclosure is coming up soon, but even then it is a risk. There are many reasons to not go into a Bankruptcy case having not filed your tax returns. Most importantly, the failure to file tax returns can lead to significant penalties and interest that may or may not be dischargeable in a Bankruptcy case, and your property may be at risk if a tax lien is filed. Second, many people will get a very big surprise when they realize how big their tax bill is (even before penalties and interest are added)! This could affect decisions made in a Chapter 7 case and will certainly affect a Chapter 13 Plan because priority taxes must be paid in the plan. If disposable income is not sufficient to pay for taxes and other priority debts, the plan is not feasible and will be dismissed. In all cases, you have to provide your last filed return to the Trustee and in Chapter 13 cases the Trustees will normally ask you for several prior returns as well. If you do not have them, it is grounds to request dismissal of the case. Finally, if it turns out that you complete tax returns after you file and you are actually owed a refund, it might be property of the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 estate and the money could go to creditors. If you have overdue tax returns, expect a significant refund, or have other tax issues it is very important you discuss this with a good Bankruptcy lawyer in the initial consultation. Many times the lawyer is able to head off any problems with good planning.