In re Murchek, No. 11-02604, 2012 WL 2920064, at *9–*10 (Bankr. N.D. Iowa July 17, 2012) (Collins)

Future tax refunds are included in projected disposable income except in unusual cases; debtor has burden to prove both that this is unusual case and that future tax refunds are not known or virtually certain once trustee shows that there have been tax refunds in the past. Trustee objected to plan language that would exclude from projected disposable income tax refunds that were not known or virtually certain at confirmation. “An ‘always’ or ‘never’ label about whether tax refunds should be included as projected disposable income is no longer appropriate. . . . [A]fter Trustee . . . shows debtor has previously received tax refunds under similar circumstances—debtor must show unusual circumstances and then (and only then) the question becomes whether a refund or no refund is ‘known or virtually certain to occur.’ . . . Trustee’s initial burden is satisfied by showing that Debtor previously received tax refunds under similar income circumstances . . . . Debtor must satisfy the ultimate burden by showing ‘that despite the receipt of refunds in prior years’ exceptional circumstances that will occur during the Plan make it known or virtually certain that a refund will or will not be received.”

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