In regards to bankruptcy and taxes, the Trustee prepares two tax returns in the year of bankruptcy. A pre-bankruptcy income tax return must be filed for the period from January 1 to the date of bankruptcy. A post-bankruptcy income tax return must be filed for the period from the date of bankruptcy to December 31. Income tax refunds from prior years are an asset of the bankrupt estate and must be sent to the Trustee.
The Trustee usually is assigned refunds from the post-bankruptcy return be paid to the creditors. Income taxes owing prior to the bankruptcy are discharged. Any amount owing on the post-bankruptcy tax return must be paid by the bankrupt.