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Updates for Tax Year 2020 and Tax Filing Season

One of the questions I get frequently is, “What do I have to do about the unemployment I received last year?”



It’s an interesting harbinger of the times we live in that this has been coming up so frequently.



We feel ya. There are probably millions of you that never took a dime of unemployment before 2020.



The answer?



Your state government will provide you a Form 1099-G.  So, if you don’t have it yet, hang in there it’ll happen. 



It is taxable income, sorry.



When you do get it take a look at the federal withholding box. 



If there’s a number there, good.  It’ll help with your tax liability to have payments made to the IRS already.



If it’s blank or zero you may find yourself owing something this year. 



Of course, it’s a function of the math, and all of the other inputs.



Don’t give up hope until you get to the end!



One other interesting development is the charitable contributions write-off making an appearance on Page One of the Form 1040.



First of all, the dry non-opinionated advisory:



Take it. Don’t let it sail by.  It will reduce your gross income by up to $300,



This means for those in the middle, the 24% tax bracket, a tax savings of $72.



Do NOT pay a penny more of tax than you have to. 



That’s the entire core belief of my existence, not only as a tax guy but as a human being!



So…



Now, the fun part.



How I feel about that.



First of all, do you remember the Educator Credit?



It also happened to be $300, and it was an adjustment to gross income above the AGI line.



$300 lousy buck for teachers to offset the materials costs of being there for their students.



The TCJA of 2017, enacted in 2018, took that away.



We don’t talk about that enough.



When I worked for Jackson Hewitt many years ago I had several schoolteachers come in for returns.



They always made it clear that they did it for the kids, and I don’t think any of them even took that credit.



Because they didn’t feel good about claiming it without being able to find the receipts.



Then, our government, in all their infinite wisdom, took that away.



My point is this: I do what I do for a reason.



To look out for the working stiffs of our great land.



Take every small adjustment, credit, and write off you can because they’re your rules, too.



We elected these people.



It goes without saying if you need help you know how to find me, if you’re reading this!



Let’s have an amazing 2021, okay?



Namastè



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