To be eligible to receive a discharge, a debtor must have filed the last four years of tax returns if returns are required. Your attorney is required to provide copies of the last tax return filed to the trustee 7 days before the 341 hearing. If you have filed a return, but have not received your tax refund, you may be able to exempt the refund or otherwise protect the refund. Your attorney can assist you with details on how to do this. Normally, with planning, you may be able to hold on to your tax refund. Generally, it is not a good idea to overwithhold taxes from your paycheck. The best thing to do is to learn to budget and actually withhold close to what you will be paying in taxes. If you are entitled to an earned income credit, you can adjust your withholding to receive your earned income credit throughout the year as well.
Depending on when the bankruptcy is filed, you may lose your refund for the tax year immediately before the bankruptcy is filed if there is a domestic support obligation intercept, or a federal debt offset. If your tax refund is critical to your budget, discuss your options with your bankruptcy attorney before filing.