Can I Keep My Tax Refund When I File for Bankruptcy?

The short answer is YES! You get to keep your tax refund whether you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Trustee and/or Bankruptcy Court are not going to take your tax refund and use it towards paying your creditors.

In a bankruptcy case, a certain amount of your assets are protected by exemptions. For an anticipated tax refund or tax refund that you have already received, the exemption under United States Bankruptcy Code (U.S.C.) § 522(d)(5) applies. It is known as the “wildcard” exemption. All you need to keep in mind is that a single person can exempt up to $12,725. For a married couple, it’s $25,450. This should be enough in exemptions to protect your tax refund from a bankruptcy trustee!