San Juan Capistrano, CA asked in Bankruptcy for California

Q: In a Chapter 11 BK of a married couple, do both of them (as trustees of their bk estate) need to get their own EIN?

This is an initial return filing of a joint bk petition. I know that each has to file their own tax return, as stated in Publication 908 page 3. It states that the estates are treated as two separate entities for tax purposes. But I am unsure of whether they each need their own EIN number to use on form 1041.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Justin M. Gillman
Justin M. Gillman
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Edison, NJ

A: No individual (or married couple) needs to get a "new" EIN when you file Chapter 11. Also, there is no requirement that married couples file individual tax returns.

Individuals (or married couples) who file for Chapter 11 must be current in their tax filings but the Bankruptcy Code does not mandate "how" you file.

I think you are confusing the phrase "Individual" which in bankruptcy-speak means a person or married persons as opposed to a business entity that files bankruptcy.

Frankly, Chapter 11 is a highly complicated and detail-oriented proceeding. Sounds like you would benefit from consulting and retaining an experienced attorney.

Harlene Miller agrees with this answer

Harlene Miller
Harlene Miller
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: My colleague provided you with an excellent answer to your question. I also urge you to seek assistance from an experienced bankruptcy attorney that has chapter 11 experience as well as a CPA regarding the tax issues. Chapter 11 is not a do-it-yourself type of bankruptcy. Seek legal assistance.

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