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Answers to your questions about tax filing season

IRS will start accepting your 2020 taxes on Friday, Feb. 12

Answers to your questions about tax filing season
Answers to your questions about tax filing season

Mark your calendar. The IRS will start accepting your 2020 taxes on Friday, Feb. 12.

If you didn’t get both stimulus payments that you qualified for, this is how you will get that money. And if you lost your job, you may actually owe money to the government.

This is a tax season unlike any other, with record numbers of people who found themselves unemployed and people working from home more than ever. Because of that, your taxes could look different this year, and many of you are asking us what to expect.

Here are the most common questions News4Jax has been asked:

Will I owe taxes on my stimulus payments?

No, if you received the full amount you qualified for both payments, you don’t need to do a thing, and you won’t owe any money.

If you did not receive all of your stimulus money, on your 2020 tax return, you need to request that money under the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 1040 form.

Do I owe taxes if I received unemployment benefits?

Yes, unless you withheld taxes automatically from each unemployment check. The government will send you Form 1099-G, which will show the amount of money you were paid during 2020, and if you did withhold taxes, that will be listed as well. The IRS is aware of those who received unemployment money and will expect you to include income on your tax return.

Can I deduct my home office expenses?

It depends. If you are an employee forced to work from home because of the pandemic, the short answer is no. The tax cuts and jobs act in 2017 eliminated that deduction.

However, if you are an independent contractor, then yes, you can deduct home office expenses.

What if my business received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program?

If you meet the criteria for getting the loan forgiven, these expenses are tax-deductible. Simply put, your PPP loan will not affect your tax filing process.

If you are expecting a tax refund, the IRS says the fastest way to get it is to sign up for direct deposit and file early.

If you are going to owe money but don’t think you’ll be able to pay it, it’s important to contact the IRS to discuss a payment plan to avoid owing even more in penalties.

About the Author:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.