When the Duty to Provide Tax Returns Collides with Confidentiality

Bankruptcy Code Section 521(e)(2)(A)(i) and (ii) provides that a debtor must supply tax returns to the trustee in a chapter 7 or 13 case, and to a creditor who timely requests such copy. Must the debtor provide copies that contain personal identifying information such as names, addresses and social security numbers of dependents including minor children? Or a redacted version that only includes financial information?

Bankruptcy Rule 4002(b)(5): Confidentiality of Tax Information. The debtor’s obligation to provide tax returns under Rule 4002(b)(3) and (b)(4) is . . .

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M Joseph Photo 2-1-22
Former Chapter 13 Trustee

Michael B. Joseph was the Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Delaware (appointed in 1987) and has served as a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee (appointed in 1981) and a Chapter 12 Case Trustee. He also is a founding Director of the Wilmington, Delaware law firm of Ferry, Joseph, P.A.  Mr. Joseph received his B.A. from Rutgers University (1972) and his J.D. from Widener University (1975). He is admitted to practice in Delaware (1976), New Jersey (1977), United States District Court for the District of Delaware (1977) and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (1990). Mr. Joseph is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. Mr. Joseph is a Past President of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (2010-2011) He also has served as a member of the Liaison Committee to the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Trustees in Washington, D.C. (2006-2011). He is a member of the Bankruptcy Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

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