Tax Relief for 2020 Unemployment Benefits

IRS UPDATE – 2020 Tax returns filed with unemployment benefits prior to the $10,200 exclusion will not be amended. The IRS has indicated it will refigure taxes on these returns and adjust the taxpayer’s account accordingly. The IRS will then send any refund amount directly to the taxpayer. IF you have a federal balance due and have not made payment yet, please contact us to get a revised balance due so that you won’t overpay and have to wait for a refund on that overpayment.
The IRS has stated that they will begin sending payments starting in May.

MA UPDATE – On April 1, 2021, Governor Baker signed legislation which allows taxpayers with household income up to 200% of the federal poverty level to deduct up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation from taxable income on their Massachusetts tax return. The deduction may be claimed by each eligible individual for tax years 2020 and 2021. Federal law allows a deduction of up to $10,200 if your federal adjusted gross income is less than $150,000. Since the MA income threshold is different from the federal income threshold, you may be eligible for a deduction on your federal tax return, but not on your MA tax return. If you have already filed your 2020 Massachusetts income tax return and you believe you are eligible for this deduction, there is no need to file an amended return. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) will recalculate all tax returns that included unemployment income and will adjust your return if you are eligible. If your return is adjusted, your reported tax for 2020 will be reduced and you may be entitled to a refund.  If you have no outstanding liabilities, DOR will mail the refund directly to you.  DOR expects to begin issuing these refunds in mid-May and will provide updates about when you can expect to receive them in the FAQs on their website.

If you have not filed your 2020 Massachusetts income tax return yet, you should report the full amount of your unemployment income on your Massachusetts return using line 8a on resident tax returns (Form 1) or line 10a on nonresident/part-year resident tax returns (Form NR/PY).   If you are eligible for a deduction, you should report the amount of the allowable deduction on Schedule Y, line 9.    

You can find more information about the new deduction in the FAQs on DOR’s website.  If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact DOR at (617) 887-6367 or online through your MassTaxConnect account.

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