How To Call The Irs If You’re Waiting On A Refund
It’s best to locate your tax transcript or try to track your refund using the Where’s My Refund tool . The IRS says that you can expect a delay if you mailed a paper tax return or had to respond to the IRS about your electronically filed tax return. The IRS makes it clear not to file a second return.
The IRS says not to call the agency because it has limited live assistance. The agency is juggling the tax return backlog, delayed stimulus checks and child tax credit payments. Even though the chances of speaking with someone are slim, you can still try. Here’s the best number to call: 1-800-829-1040.
When To Expect A Refund For Your $10200 Unemployment Tax Break
If you claimed unemployment last year but filed your taxes before the new $10,200 unemployment tax break was announced, the IRS says you can expect an automatic refund starting in May, if you qualify. The tax waiver led to some confusion, given it was announced in the middle of tax season, prompting the IRS to offer additional guidance on how to claim iteven if filed your 2020 tax return before the provision passed into law.
Heres How The $10200 Unemployment Tax Break Works
- President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on Thursday.
- The $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill gives a tax break on unemployment benefits received last year. The measure allows each person to exclude up to $10,200 in aid from federal tax.
- The IRS issued instructions Friday for workers who haven’t yet filed their taxes. Americans who got jobless benefits in 2020 and already filed their taxes shouldn’t yet file an amended return.
In this article
Millions of Americans who collected unemployment benefits last year got a new tax break from the American Rescue Plan.
Here’s how it works.
What If I Already Filed My Taxes For 2020 And Paid Taxes On Unemployment
The IRS have now issued guidance around this. Basically they are saying that for folks who have filed their 2020 return they do not need to file an amended return . The IRS will automatically make the adjustment once they update their systems to review eligibility and process this tax break. If you are eligible you will get an additional refund via direct deposit or in the mail. Tax packages like Turbo Tax and Tax act have updated their software to account for this tax break as well.
The one exception for filing an amended return is if you are able to claim other modified tax credits which would affect your overall AGI and potentially make you eligible for this credit.
How To Claim The Benefit
According to CNBC, those who havent filed yet, or who filed after the new law went into effect, should have the tax waiver automatically factored into their returns . The IRS says that any overpayment of tax will be either refunded or applied to other outstanding taxes owed.
Therefore, the IRS says that people who filed early dont need to file an amended return unless new taxable income exclusions make the taxpayer newly eligible for additional federal credits and deductions not already included on the original tax return .
Note that this tax break only applies to federal taxes, and that some states will still tax your unemployment incomealthough some dont .
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Future Changes To The Unemployment Tax Break
When the Internal Revenue Service introduced the unemployment compensation exclusion, it passed the tax seasons start. This can be an indication to some that the IRS may enable taxpayers to do the same when the 2022 tax season starts.
Needless to say, considering the number of taxpayers that received unemployment compensation during 2021 is significantly lower than the last year, it wont happen.
Although about 7 million people are unemployed and looking for work, and a good portion of these people qualify for unemployment, its considerably less than what it was before. About 20 million people were unemployed at the peak of the pandemic. Its understandable that weve had an unemployment tax break, but a similar change in the tax law is improbable to happen.
What About My 1099
The IRS receives form 1099-G electronically from the individual states unemployment agencies. If a tax return or amended tax return is filed reflecting a different amount from form 1099 G, the IRS matching engine will generate a letter to the tax holder showing the discrepancies along with an tax bill for monies due.
The IRS guidance has confirmed that this unemployment tax exclusion should be reported separately from your unemployment compensation.
Earned Income Tax Credit Adjustments
Taxpayers who qualify for the unemployment income exclusion tax break and who have qualifying children may also be eligible for EITC after the unemployment exclusion is calculated based on the lower adjusted gross income . These tax payers will have to file an amended return to claim any new benefits. The exception to this are those who are single with no children and who become eligible for EITC or where EITC was claimed and qualifying children identified. In these situations the IRS will automatically adjust tax returns and make extra refund payments.
Already Filed A Tax Return
In most cases, if you already filed a tax return that includes the full amount of your unemployment compensation, the IRS will automatically determine the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and the correct tax. If you paid more than the correct tax amount, the IRS will either refund the overpayment or apply it to other outstanding taxes owed. The first refunds are expected to be made in May and will continue throughout the summer. There is no need to call the IRS or file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. See IRS to recalculate taxes on unemployment benefits refunds to start in May for guidance. However, if as a result of the excluded unemployment compensation you now qualify for deductions or credits not claimed on your original return, you should file an amended return. For example, if you did not claim the Earned Income Tax Credit on your originally filed return because your AGI was too high, but the exclusion allowed for unemployment compensation now reduces your AGI, you should file an amended return to claim the credit if now eligible.
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What If I Already Filed My 2020 Tax Return
If you already filed your 2020 tax return and paid tax on unemployment compensation that qualifies for the tax break, in most cases, there is no need to file an amended return. Taxpayers should only file an amended return if the calculations make the taxpayer newly eligible for additional federal credits and deductions not already included on the original tax return. Taxpayers may want to review their state tax returns as well.
The IRS can adjust returns for those taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit and because the exclusion changed the income level, may now be eligible for an increase in the EITC amount, which may result in a larger refund. However, taxpayers would have to file an amended return if they did not initially claim the EITC or other credits but now are eligible because the exclusion changed their income.
The IRS will determine the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and tax. If there is any overpayment of tax, it will be either refunded or applied to other outstanding taxes owed. The recalculations will take place in two phases single filers and other taxpayers eligible for the up to $10,200 exclusion, followed by married filing jointly taxpayers eligible for the up to $20,400 exclusion and others with more complex returns.
What Else To Know About Unemployment Tax Refunds
The IRS has provided some information on its website about taxes and unemployment compensation. But we’re still unclear on the exact timeline for payments, which banks get direct deposits first or who to contact at the IRS if there’s a problem with your refund.
Some states, but not all, are adopting the unemployment exemption for 2020 state income tax returns. Because some get full tax unemployment benefits and others don’t, you might have to do some digging to see if the unemployment tax break will apply to your state income taxes. This chart by the tax preparation service H& R Block could give some clues, along with this state-by-state guide by Kiplinger.
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Reporting Unemployment Benefits At The State And Local Level
If your state, county, or city collects income tax on your unemployment benefits, keep your Form 1099-G for reference. You may have to attach it to your state, county, or local income tax return. If so, keep a copy for yourself.
Check with your states Department of Revenue and relevant county and local government tax agency for instructions on how to report your unemployment benefits at the state and local level.
Reporting Unemployment Income For Taxes
Your states unemployment agency will report the amount of your benefits on Form 1099-G. The IRS gets a copy, and so do you. The form will also show any taxes you had withheld.
The economic impact payment or stimulus checks that you might have received are not considered to be unemployment compensation. You do not have to pay taxes on this money.
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With The Latest Batch Uncle Sam Has Now Sent Tax Refunds To Over 11 Million Americans For The $10200 Unemployment Compensation Tax Exemption
If you received unemployment benefits last year and filed your 2020 tax return relatively early, you may find a check in your mailbox soon . Since May, the IRS has been sending tax refunds to Americans who filed their 2020 return and reported unemployment compensation before tax law changes were made by the American Rescue Plan.
The tax agency recently issued about 430,000 more refunds averaging about $1,189 each. That brings the total count to over 11.7 million refunds totaling $14.4 billion for the 2020 unemployment compensation exclusion.
How The $10200 Tax Break Works
As were in the middle of tax season, the rollout of this tax break is unfortunately a little complicated, and will be challenging for the IRS to administerand for ordinary Americans to take advantage of. But if you qualify, persist: You could potentially save thousands of dollars.
If you received unemployment benefits in 2020, you should have received a mailed statement or an online version of the Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments from your state unemployment insurance agency, which shows how much in unemployment payments you received in 2020. It also shows how much you paid in federal taxes .
The IRS requires your state unemployment insurance agency to provide this form before Jan. 31. If you did not receive a form before this due date, check with your state agencyyou may have to log in your states unemployment portal to obtain it.
While the total benefits are reported in Box 1 of the Form 1099-G, you will only need to report a partial amount on your Schedule 1 of the Form 1040 tax return if you qualify for the new tax break.
First, you report the full amount of unemployment benefits on Line 7 of Schedule 1. Next, you would include the amount of benefits you qualify to exclude on Line 8 of Schedule 1.
- Where you enter your unemployment compensation on your Schedule 1. This image is for informational purposes only.
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Ira And Hsa Contributions
Even though tax season in under way, there are, in fact, a few steps people on the cusp of the $150,000 threshold like the Taubs can take to reduce their 2020 income and claim the unemployment tax break.
And it seems they have a little extra time to do so. The IRS has just pushed the tax deadline back a month to May 17.
Technically, the $150,000 income threshold applies to a measure known as “modified adjusted gross income.”
MAGI is a number the government uses to determine eligibility for some other tax breaks, like a deduction for student loan interest.
Taxpayers will have to do a calculation to determine their MAGI in 2020.
Unfortunately, MAGI is a difficult thing to reduce retroactively, according to accountants.
“You really are kind of limited,” said Henry Grzes, the lead manager for tax practice and ethics for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Making retroactive contributions to an HSA or traditional IRA are two potential routes. The contributions come with a tax deduction that would reduce modified adjusted gross income for 2020.
How Is The Unemployment Waiver Calculated For Married Couples
The American Rescue Plan waived federal tax on up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation received in 2020 per person for those that earned less than $150,000, that rule also applies for married couples filing jointly. Although the couple could receive up to $20,400 if both collected jobless aid in 2020, only half that amount could be applied to each.
The IRS gives the example of one spouse having received $5,000 of benefits and the other getting $20,000. The total amount is $25,000 but the couple would not be entitled to the full $20,400 waiver but only $15,200. The spouse that got $5,000 in compensation gets the whole amount waived, but the second spouse only gets $10,200 of the $20,000.
In order for the IRS to make the adjustments it’s likely that the agency will need to cross-reference the 1099 tax forms for unemployment income sent by state labor bureaus to verify how much each spouse received in jobless aid according to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center talking with CNBC. But she added that the exact method the IRS will use is unclear.
The IRS says that when it has finished the first phase it will begin work on the more complex corrections but the agency gives no expected date when that will be.
Looking for the status of your tax refund? Use Where’s My Refund? to start checking the status of your refund 24 hours after #IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed tax return:
IRSnews May 12, 2021
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When Will I Get The Refund
Unemployment tax refunds started landing in bank accounts in May and will run through the summer, as the IRS processes the returns.
The first phase included the simplest returns, made by single taxpayers who didnt claim for children or any refundable tax credits.
More complicated ones may take longer to process.
In mid-July, the IRS issued 4million refunds, of which those by direct deposit landed in bank accounts from July 14.
Meanwhile, households who receive the cash refund by paper check could expect this from July 16.
Another batch of payments were then sent out at the end of July, with direct deposits on July 28 and paper checks on July 30.
The IRS didnt announce any payouts for August and is yet to reveal the upcoming refund schedule too.
Irs Will Recalculate Taxes On 2020 Unemployment Benefits And Start Issuing Refunds In May
COVID Tax Tip 2021-46, April 8, 2021
Normally, any unemployment compensation someone receives is taxable. However, a recent law change allows some recipients to not pay tax on some 2020 unemployment compensation.
The IRS will automatically refund money to eligible people who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan. These refunds are expected to begin in May and continue into the summer.
Under the new law, taxpayers who earned less than $150,000 in modified adjusted gross income can exclude some unemployment compensation from their income. This means they don’t have to pay tax on some of it. People who are married filing jointly can exclude up to $20,400 up to $10,200 for each spouse who received unemployment compensation. All other eligible taxpayers can exclude up to $10,200 from their income.
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What To Do If You Filed An Amended Return By Mistake
If you filed an amended federal tax return in order to claim the unemployment tax break even though it wasn’t necessary to do so, don’t worry. “Filing a Form 1040-X won’t increase the time it takes the IRS to make the automatic correction or reduce the time it takes to process your automatic correction,”the IRS said.
The tax agency says it will be able to identify a duplicate claim or mixed adjustment scenarios.
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Some May Qualify For Tax Credits Now
The IRS has stressed that taxpayers shouldnt file an amended return unless the calculations make the taxpayer newly eligible for additional federal credits and deductions not already included on the original tax return.
The IRS, for instance, can adjust returns for taxpayers who claimed the EITC. Because the exclusion changed the income level, those people may now be eligible for an increase in the EITC amount which may result in a larger refund.
Taxpayers, however, would have to file an amended return if they didn’t originally claim the EITC or other credits but now are eligible because the exclusion changed their income. These taxpayers should review their state returns as well, tax experts say.
Others may qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which is a credit for qualified education expenses paid for an eligible student for the first four years of higher education.
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