It doesn't matter if you file your taxes before or after your 341 Meeting. If you're entitled to receive a tax refund, you may have to turn all or some of it over to the trustee even if you file your taxes after the creditors' meeting.
Written by Attorney Jonathan Petts.
Updated November 18, 2021
It doesn't matter if you file your taxes before or after your 341 Meeting.
When you file bankruptcy, the trustee can take any non-exempt funds that you were entitled to receive before you filed your bankruptcy case. For tax refunds, you will have been entitled to receive the refund (or at least a portion of it) based on what you paid in taxes for the whole year prior to filing.
No matter when you file, it's important to report an expected tax refund on your bankruptcy forms. That's the only way you can protect it with an exemption.
You can find a detailed overview of how this works in our Learning Center article titled What Happens to Your Tax Refund in Bankruptcy?