Bankruptcy Court | Shared Responsibility Payments | Affordable Care Act

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Gregory W. Mitchell

Gregory W. Mitchell



Gregory Mitchell joins Freeman Law to lead its bankruptcy practice. Mr. Mitchell is a native of the Dallas area, graduating from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 1991 and with his J.D. in 1994. In 1995, he obtained an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University. Mr. Mitchell currently directs the SMU Dedman School of Law’s federal taxpayer clinic. Mr. Mitchell’s background in tax makes him a natural fit for Freeman Law.

Prior to joining Freeman Law, Mr. Mitchell was the managing partner of The Mitchell Law Firm, L.P., a small firm he started in 2004, where he ran a diverse practice primarily focused on bankruptcy, tax and related litigation matters.

Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Mitchell served as a Partner and General Counsel with Tax Automation, L.P., a national tax consulting firm. Mr. Mitchell was previously the National Director of Tax Technology at Ryan & Company, a national tax consulting practice, as well as a Senior Manager with KPMG, a “Big Four” accounting firm.

Case: Szczyporski v. Internal Revenue Service (In re Szczyporski), No. 21-01858 (3d Cir., May 11, 2022).

In a recent case out of the 3rd Circuit, the Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling emanating from the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania finding that payments owed by individuals to the IRS for so-called “shared responsibility payments” under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) are taxes entitled to priority in a bankruptcy case.The issue is relevant for Chapter 13 debtors, as was the case here, based on the fact that tax debts get paid before other debts in a Chapter 13 plan.  Such debts are generally required to be paid pursuant to an individual’s Chapter 13 plan, whereas other non-priority debts can often be forgiven or discharged.  The existence of priority debts often affect the required amount of a Chapter 13 debtor’s plan payment, and can even prevent a Chapter 13 debtor from being able to confirm a plan where that debtor has insufficient income to satisfy the required payments – rendering a debtor’s plan infeasible.The individual mandate of the ACA was subsequently eliminated for individuals in late 2018, but the principals remain relevant with respect to other taxes in Chapter 13 cases, as well as cases brought under Chapter 7 or even individual chapter 11 cases.

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Need assistance in managing the bankruptcy process? Freeman Law attorneys offer unique cross-disciplinary expertise in taxation, litigation, and forensic accounting and asset tracing, positioning the Firm to handle complex bankruptcy litigation on behalf of debtors, creditors, and trustees, as well as bankruptcy taxation matters. Our Firm offers value-driven services and provides practical solutions to navigate complex bankruptcy laws. Contact Freeman Law to schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3000 to discuss your tax or bankruptcy concerns.