IR-2021-151, July 13, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today it will issue another round of refunds this week to nearly 4 million taxpayers who overpaid their taxes on unemployment compensation received last year.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law in March, excluded up to $10,200 in 2020 unemployment compensation from taxable income calculations. The exclusion applied to individuals and married couples whose modified adjusted gross income was less than $150,000.
Refunds by direct deposit will begin July 14 and refunds by paper check will begin July 16. The IRS previously issued refunds related to unemployment compensation exclusion in May and June, and it will continue to issue refunds throughout the summer.
To ease the burden on taxpayers, the IRS has been reviewing the Forms 1040 and 1040SR that were filed prior to the law’s enactment to identify those people who are due an adjustment. For taxpayers who overpaid, the IRS will either refund the overpayment, apply it to other outstanding taxes or other federal or state debts owed.
For this round, the IRS identified approximately 4.6 million taxpayers who may be due an adjustment. Of that number, approximately 4 million taxpayers are expected to receive a refund. The refund average is $1,265, which means some will receive more and some will receive less.
Most taxpayers need not take any action and there is no need to call the IRS. However, if, as a result of the excluded unemployment compensation, taxpayers are now eligible for deductions or credits not claimed on the original return, they should file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
Taxpayers should file an amended return if they:
- did not submit a Schedule 8812 with the original return to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit and are now eligible for the credit after the unemployment compensation exclusion;
- did not submit a Schedule EIC with the original return to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (with qualifying dependents) and are now eligible for the credit after the unemployment compensation exclusion;
- are now eligible for any other credits and/or deductions not mentioned below. Make sure to include any required forms or schedules.
Taxpayers do not need to file an amended return if they:
- already filed a tax return and did not claim the unemployment exclusion; the IRS will determine the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and tax;
- have an adjustment, because of the exclusion, that will result in an increase in any non-refundable or refundable credits reported on the original return;
- did not claim the following credits on their tax return but are now eligible when the unemployment exclusion is applied: Recovery Rebate Credit, Earned Income Credit with no qualifying dependents or the Advance Premium Tax Credit. The IRS will calculate the credit and include it in any overpayment;
- filed a married filing joint return, live in a community property state, and entered a smaller exclusion amount than entitled on Schedule 1, line 8.
Taxpayers will generally receive letters from the IRS within 30 days of the adjustment, informing them of what kind of adjustment was made (such as refund, payment of IRS debt payment or payment offset for other authorized debts) and the amount of the adjustment.
IR-2021-153, July 15, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced today that millions of American families have started receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments as direct deposits begin posting in bank accounts and checks arrive in mailboxes.
This first batch of advance monthly payments worth roughly $15 billion reached about 35 million families today across the country. About 86% were sent by direct deposit.
The payments will continue each month. The IRS urged people who normally aren’t required to file a tax return to explore the tools available on IRS.gov. These tools can help determine eligibility for the advance Child Tax Credit or help people file a simplified tax return to sign up for these payments as well as Economic Impact Payments, and other credits you may be eligible to receive.
Under the American Rescue Plan, each payment is up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 through 17. Normally, anyone who receives a payment this month will also receive a payment each month for the rest of 2021 unless they unenroll. Besides the July 15 payment, payment dates are: Aug. 13, Sept. 15, Oct. 15, Nov. 15 and Dec. 15.
Here are further details on these payments:
- Families will see the direct deposit payments in their accounts starting today, July 15. For those receiving payment by paper check, they should remember to take into consideration the time it takes to receive it by mail.
- Payments went to eligible families who filed 2019 or 2020 income tax returns.
- Tax returns processed by June 28 are reflected in these payments. This includes people who don’t typically file a return, but during 2020 successfully registered for Economic Impact Payments using the IRS Non-Filers tool or in 2021 successfully used the Non-filer Sign-up Tool for Advance CTC, also on IRS.gov.
- Payments are automatic. Aside from filing a tax return, including a simplified return from the Non-Filer Sign-Up tool, families don’t have to do anything if they are eligible to receive monthly payments.
Additional information is available on a special Advance Child Tax Credit 2021 page, designed to provide the most up-to-date information about the credit and the advance payments.
Those experiencing homelessness can get Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits; permanent address not required.
IR-2021-87, April 15, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today continued an ongoing effort to help those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic by reminding people who don’t have a permanent address or a bank account that they may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits.
While Economic Impact Payments continue to be made automatically to most people, the IRS can’t issue a payment to eligible Americans when information about them isn’t available in the tax agency’s systems.
To help people experiencing homelessness, the rural poor and other historically under-served groups, the IRS urges community groups, employers and others to share information about Economic Impact Payments and help more eligible people file a tax return so they can receive everything they’re entitled to. IRS.gov has a variety of information and tools to help people receive the Economic Impact Payments.
“The IRS has been continuing to work directly with groups inside and outside the tax community to get information directly to people experiencing homelessness and other groups to help them receive Economic Impact Payments,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS is working hard on this effort, enabling millions of people who don’t normally file a tax return to receive these payments. But we need to do more, and we appreciate all the help we’ve been receiving from national and local groups to assist in this effort to reach the people who desperately need this help.”
Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus payments, are different from most other tax benefits; people can get the payments even if they have little or no income and even if they don’t usually file a tax return. This is true as long as they have a Social Security number and are not being supported by someone else who can claim them as a dependent.
The IRS needs information from people who don’t usually file a tax return – even if they did not have any income last year or their income was not large enough to require them to file. The only way for the agency to have that information is for people to file a basic 2020 tax return with the IRS. Once that return is processed, the IRS can quickly send stimulus payments to an address selected by the eligible individual. People do not need a permanent address or a bank account. They don’t need to have a job. For eligible individuals, the IRS will still issue the payment even if they haven’t filed a tax return in years.
People in this group can still qualify for the first two Economic Impact Payments when they file their 2020 return by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit. There’s a special section on IRS.gov that can help: Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a tax return. For the current third round of payments, people who are experiencing homelessness usually qualify to receive $1,400 for themselves. If they are married or have dependents, they can get an additional $1,400 for each of their family members.
Filing a 2020 federal income tax return that provides very basic information about the person is something that can be done electronically using a smartphone or a computer. When the IRS receives the return, it will automatically calculate and issue the Economic Impact Payments to eligible individuals.
Permanent address not required
People can claim an Economic Impact Payment or other credits even if they don’t have a permanent address. For example, someone experiencing homelessness may list the address of a friend, relative or trusted service provider, such as a shelter, drop-in day center or transitional housing program, on the return filed with the IRS. If they are unable to choose direct deposit, a check or debit card for the tax refund and the third Economic Impact Payment can then be mailed to this address.
Individuals experiencing homelessness can receive the EITC
A worker experiencing homelessness can get an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). To get the credit, federal law requires that a worker live in the U.S. for more than half of the year and meet other requirements. This means living in a home in any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Therefore, individuals experiencing homelessness, including those who reside at one or more homeless shelters, can meet that requirement.
No bank account? No problem
Many financial institutions will help a person lacking an account to open a low-cost or no-cost bank account. Individuals who open accounts will then have an account and routing number available when they file and claim a direct deposit of the Economic Impact Payment.
IR-2021-71, March 31, 2021
WASHINGTON — To help taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will take steps to automatically refund money this spring and summer to people who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan.
The legislation, signed on March 11, allows taxpayers who earned less than $150,000 in modified adjusted gross income to exclude unemployment compensation up to $20,400 if married filing jointly and $10,200 for all other eligible taxpayers. The legislation excludes only 2020 unemployment benefits from taxes.
Because the change occurred after some people filed their taxes, the IRS will take steps in the spring and summer to make the appropriate change to their return, which may result in a refund. The first refunds are expected to be made in May and will continue into the summer.
For those taxpayers who already have filed and figured their tax based on the full amount of unemployment compensation, the IRS will determine the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and tax. Any resulting overpayment of tax will be either refunded or applied to other outstanding taxes owed.
For those who have already filed, the IRS will do these recalculations in two phases, starting with those taxpayers eligible for the up to $10,200 exclusion. The IRS will then adjust returns for those married filing jointly taxpayers who are eligible for the up to $20,400 exclusion and others with more complex returns.
There is no need for taxpayers to file an amended return unless the calculations make the taxpayer newly eligible for additional federal credits and deductions not already included on the original tax return.
For example, the IRS can adjust returns for those taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and, because the exclusion changed the income level, may now be eligible for an increase in the EITC amount which may result in a larger refund. However, taxpayers would have to file an amended return if they did not originally claim the EITC or other credits but now are eligible because the exclusion changed their income.
These taxpayers may want to review their state tax returns as well.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 23 million U.S. workers nationwide filed for unemployment last year. For the first time, some self-employed workers qualified for unemployed benefits as well. The IRS is working to determine how many workers affected by the tax change already have filed their tax returns.
The new IRS guidance also includes details for those eligible taxpayers who have not yet filed.
The IRS has worked with the tax return preparation software industry to reflect these updates so people who choose to file electronically simply need to respond to the related questions when electronically preparing their tax returns. See New Exclusion of up to $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation for information and examples. For others, instructions and an updated worksheet about the exclusion were available in March and posted to IRS.gov/form1040. These instructions can assist taxpayers who have not yet filed to prepare returns correctly.
If your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $150,000, the American Rescue Plan enacted on March 11, 2021, excludes from income up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation paid in 2020, which means you don’t have to pay tax on unemployment compensation of up to $10,200. If you are married, each spouse receiving unemployment compensation doesn’t have to pay tax on unemployment compensation of up to $10,200. Amounts over $10,200 for each individual are still taxable. If your modified AGI is $150,000 or more, you can’t exclude any unemployment compensation. If you file Form 1040-NR, you can’t exclude any unemployment compensation for your spouse.
The exclusion should be reported separately from your unemployment compensation. See the updated instructions and the Unemployment Compensation Exclusion Worksheet to figure your exclusion and the amount to enter on Schedule 1, line 8.
When figuring the following deductions or exclusions from income, if you are asked to enter an amount from Schedule 1, line 7 enter the total amount of unemployment compensation reported on line 7 (unreduced by any exclusion amount) and if you are asked to enter an amount from Schedule 1, line 8, enter the amount from line 3 of the Unemployment Compensation Exclusion Worksheet. See the specific form or instructions for more information. If you file Form 1040-NR, you aren’t eligible for all of these deductions. See the Instructions for Form 1040-NR for details.
- Taxable social security benefits (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, Social Security Benefits Worksheet)
- IRA deduction (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, IRA Deduction Worksheet)
- Student loan interest deduction (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet)
- Nontaxable amount of Olympic or Paralympic medals and USOC prize money (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, Schedule 1, line 8)
- The exclusion of interest from Series EE and I U.S. Savings Bonds issued after 1989 (Form 8815)
- The exclusion of employer-provided adoption benefits (Form 8839)
- Tuition and fees deduction (Form 8917)
- The deduction of up to $25,000 for active participation in a passive rental real estate activity (Form 8582)
If you have already filed your 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR, there is no need to file an amended return (Form 1040-X) to figure the amount of unemployment compensation to exclude. The IRS will refigure your taxes using the excluded unemployment compensation amount and adjust your account accordingly. The IRS will send any refund amount directly to you.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 85 of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘‘(c) SPECIAL RULE FOR 2020.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of any taxable year beginning
in 2020, if the adjusted gross income of the taxpayer for such
taxable year is less than $150,000, the gross income of such
taxpayer shall not include so much of the unemployment compensation
received by such taxpayer (or, in the case of a joint
return, received by each spouse) as does not exceed $10,200.
‘‘(2) APPLICATION.—For purposes of paragraph (1), the
adjusted gross income of the taxpayer shall be determined—
‘‘(A) after application of sections 86, 135, 137, 219,
221, 222, and 469, and
‘‘(B) without regard to this section.’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—
(1) Section 74(d)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986 is amended by inserting ‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘86’’.
(2) Section 86(b)(2)(A) of such Code is amended by inserting
‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘135’’.
(3) Section 135(c)(4)(A) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘137’’.
(4) Section 137(b)(3)(A) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c)’’ before ‘‘221’’.
(5) Section 219(g)(3)(A)(ii) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘135’’.
(6) Section 221(b)(2)(C)(i) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c)’’ before ‘‘911’’.
(7) Section 222(b)(2)(C)(i) of such Code, as in effect before
date of enactment of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster
Tax Relief Act of 2020, is amended by inserting ‘‘85(c)’’ before
(8) Section 469(i)(3)(E)(ii) of such Code is amended by
striking ‘‘135 and 137’’ and inserting ‘‘85(c), 135, and 137’’.
(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section
shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2019.