Can filing a bankruptcy petition write off your back taxes? If you are asking that question, you’ve come to the right place. The short answer is “yes”. But there’s obviously more to it than that, otherwise every Tom, Dick and Harry would file for bankruptcy just to avoid paying back taxes. The fact is, personal income taxes are the only tax debts that may be discharged in bankruptcy. Tax debt from unpaid payroll taxes and federal excise taxes or "trust" taxes that are collected by employers on behalf of the IRS cannot be discharged.