If you received unemployment benefits, you could owe taxes

Your Money

EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — Tax season is just around the corner and for those that received unemployment benefits, you could be in for a big surprise.

Those checks are taxable, so how much could you owe?

In a recent survey by Jackson Hewitt, 39% responded saying that they didn’t know unemployment checks were taxable income. If you were on unemployment this year, you will need to file a 1099-G.

“The form 1099-G will have that breakdown, how much you received in unemployment benefits, and if any federal withheld occurred,” said Feliz Garcia, a tax professional at Happy RGV.

Unemployment benefits are taxable income and if you did not ask them to withhold money from each check, then you’ll owe about 10% when you file.

“For an individual that maybe received $25,000 in unemployment benefits, what do those taxes look like based on those benefits? I’m going to say a minimum of $2,500,” Garcia said.

Garcia said when you’re signing up for benefits, it’s easy to overlook the federal withholdings question.

If you can’t pay all at once, the IRS has flexible installment agreements, Garcia said.

“I would recommend that the tax preparer even set up an installment agreement, because if you don’t set up an installment agreement then that’s when the IRS gets a little nervous. They don’t know that your committed to paying off the balance, so then that’s when you start receiving some of those nasty letters.” Garcia said.

The IRS has begun accepting tax returns for businesses, but has not announced when they will begin accepting tax returns for individuals. 

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