National Standards for bankrutpcy: Food, Clothing and Other Items
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National Standards used in Bankrutpcy Petitions:
Food, Clothing and Other Items

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The Means Test in determining the monthly expenses for the person filing bankruptcy applies the, monthly expense amounts specified under the National Standards and Local Standards.  The bankruptcy filer's actual monthly expenses for the categories specified as Other Necessary Expenses  are determined  by the Internal Revenue Service for the area where they live. 

The expenses include reasonably necessary health insurance, disability insurance, and health savings account expenses.  These monthly expenses do not include any payments for or toward debt.  These monthly expenses include the debtor's reasonably necessary expenses incurred to maintain the safety of the debtor and the family of the debtor from family violence. 

The debtor's monthly expenses may also include an additional allowance for food and clothing of up to 5 percent of the food and clothing categories as defined by the National Standards issued by the IRS if it is reasonable and necessary.

Included are continuation of actual expenses paid by the debtor that are reasonable and necessary for the care and support of an elderly, chronically ill, or disabled household member or member of the debtor's immediate family (including parents, grandparents, siblings, children, grandchildren, the dependents of the debtor.  In a joint case the spouse of the debtor, who is unable to pay for such reasonable and necessary expenses.

In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, your monthly expenses may include the actual administrative expenses of administering a chapter 13 plan for the district in which you live, up to an amount of 10 percent of the projected plan payments.

Your monthly expenses may also include the actual expenses for each dependent child less than 18 years of age, not to exceed $1,500 per year per child, to attend a private or public elementary or secondary school if the debtor provides documentation of the expenses.  You would have to provide a detailed explanation of why these expenses are reasonable and necessary, and why the expenses are not already accounted for in the National Standards, Local Standards, or Other Necessary Expenses listed earlier.

Your expenses may also include an allowance for housing and utilities, in excess of the allowance specified by the Local Standards for housing and utilities issued by the IRS, based on the actual expenses for home energy costs.  In such a case, documentation of such actual expenses and demonstrates that such actual expenses are reasonable and necessary.

The amounts you see listed here are the permissable expenses used in filing bankrutpcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Disclaimer: IRS Collection Financial Standards are intended for use in calculating repayment of delinquent taxes. These Standards are effective on March 1, 2010 for purposes of federal tax administration only. Expense information for use in bankruptcy calculations can be found on the website for the U.S. Trustee Program.

National Standards have been established for five necessary expenses: food, housekeeping supplies, apparel and services, personal care products and services, and miscellaneous.

The standards are derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES).

Taxpayers are allowed the total National Standards amount monthly for their family size, without questioning the amounts they actually spend. If the amount claimed is more than the total allowed by the National Standards, the taxpayer must provide documentation to substantiate those expenses are necessary living expenses. Generally, the total number of persons allowed for National Standards should be the same as those allowed as exemptions on the taxpayer’s most recent year income tax return.

Expense One Person Two Persons Three Persons Four Persons
Food $293 $537 $626 $752
Housekeeping supplies $28 $66 $61 $74
Apparel & services $86 $162 $209 $244
Personal care products & services $32 $55 $59 $66
Miscellaneous $87 $165 $197 $235
Total $526 $985 $1,152 $1,371


More than four persons Additional Persons Amount
For each additional person, add to four-person total allowance: $262

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