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What to know before filing your 2020 taxes

Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 05, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A record number of people found themselves unemployed in 2020, forcing the IRS to change some rules when it comes to filing taxes. Here’s what you need to know.

For the first time ever, you can use your 2019 earned income taxes numbers on your 2020 earned income tax report. This is a good thing for single parents on unemployment.

“So you take that single parent who, again, usually makes $20,000. This year because of 2020, they make $3000 in wages and $25,000 in unemployment. Their refund would be next to nothing," Vice President of Tax Operations at EG Tax Christopher Fabian said. "But now, with the new law, they can go back to their 2020 return, and now they’re back to their refund of 8 to 12 thousand dollars.”

But if you were single or married with no children, “the odds are, depending on how you long you were on employment, you’re going to end up paying New York State this year,” Fabian said.

New York State does offer payment plans for taxes, but you must pay interest.

Here’s something else you need to know:

“If you did not get the stimulus last year or in the beginning of this year, you can file the return to get your stimulus now.”

That means $1800 goes right back to you!

“Big change to help a lot of people,” Fabian said.

If you were on unemployment at any point in 2020, you must file a 1099-G Form. New York state does not mail these out, so you will need to download it from online.

“If you don’t do it and say, 'I never got it, whoops.' Well in about a year, year and a half, you’re going to get a nasty grant from the IRS saying you owe money,” Fabian said.

The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax returns next Friday. To get your refund faster during the pandemic, the agency urges you to file electronically with direct deposit.