We’ve completed our discussion of Schedules A-H, which cover the debtor’s property (Schedules A and B); the debtor’s exempt property (Schedule C); and the debts the debtor owes (Schedules D, E and F). We also covered executory contracts and unexpired leases (Schedule G) and co-debtors (Schedule H). The two remaining schedules are I and J, income and expenses. We’ll treat those separately, addressing Schedule I in this post.
What is Income?
Income means different things in different parts of the bankruptcy schedules and statements. At its core, income means money the debtor receives from any source. The way income is calculated varies depending on the purpose for which the Bankruptcy Code is using the term.
In the Means Test, a debtor must calculate her Current Monthly Income, or CMI. As we showed, CMI has little to do with what the debtor is earning at the time she files bankruptcy. CMI is based on the prior six months’ income leading up to filing, excluding the month of filing. The debtor could have changed jobs or even be out of work at the time she files, but CMI is based on those previous six months.
For Schedule I, income truly is a snapshot of what the debtor is earning at the instant she files bankruptcy. If the debtor lost her job last week, her income on Schedule I might be zero, while her calculated CMI could be several thousand dollars a month. At its simplest, Schedule I calls for what the debtor’s most recent pay stub shows.
However, if the debtor has other sources of income besides a paycheck at the time she files, that income must also be included on Schedule I. Other income includes any income from any source, such as:
• Wages or salary from any source
• Income from operating a business, including gig or side hustle income
• Rental income
• Interest and dividends
• Support payments, whether required by court order or voluntarily made by family or friends
• Government assistance such as Social Security, disability, or unemployment compensation
• Pension or retirement income
How to Complete Schedule I
Part 1 of Schedule I asks for information about the debtor’s employer. If the debtor has more than one employer, she must complete a separate schedule for each job.
Part 2 of Schedule I itemizes monthly income from all sources. Lines 2-4 show the debtor’s gross pay as shown on the most recent pay stub for each job she has. Lines 5a-5h list the various payroll deductions that are subtracted from gross pay. Line 6 is a total of all payroll deductions. Line 7 is the net take home pay, which is the difference between Line 4, total gross pay, and Line 6, total deductions.
Lines 8a-8f are all the other types of income that a debtor might have. List any monthly income on the appropriate line.
If a debtor receives income other than monthly, such as annual dividends or distributions from a retirement account, she should calculate how much she would receive monthly. For example, suppose she receives $5,000 per year as dividends. She would show that as $416.67 per month ($5,000/12).
Line 9 is the total of all other income on Lines 8a-8f.
Line 10 is the total monthly income, Line 7 plus Line 9.
Line 11 asks for any contributions to monthly expenses that the debtor receives. If the debtor has a roommate who pays $250/month rent to the debtor, that money is considered available to offset the expenses that will be shown on Schedule J, and that $250 would be listed on Line 11.
Line 12 is the total of Line 10 and Line 11 and is the total money available to the debtor each month.
Line 13 asks for the debtor to explain any increase or decrease in income that she anticipates in the year after she files. If the debtor is a student and expects to be working full time within the next 12 months, for example, she would explain that on Line 13. Or if she is about to retire and will no longer have employment income, she would explain that on Line 13.
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