TAMPA, Fla. - Friday, February 12 was the first day Americans could file 2020 tax returns and there was plenty of confusion.
From stimulus checks to unemployment benefits — it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Financial experts say their offices have been flooded with calls directly related to the pandemic and how it’s affecting the way we do our taxes.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, that money is subject to being taxed.
On the other hand, those pandemic stimulus checks are not considered income by the IRS.
"If you got the recovery rebate credit last year, no matter what your income is, nobody has to pay that back. But if you didn’t get it, there’s a spot on this year’s return for you to indicate that," said Steve Osiason, with tampacpa.com.
Working from home became the new normal for many but you likely won’t be able to write off your Wi-Fi, printer ink, and that new desk chair you bought, thanks to the 2018 tax bill.
"What they did is they increased our standard deduction, but they also removed a lot of the itemized things we would do before," explained Robert Harwood, with Harwood Financial Group.
Even if you’re taking the standard deduction, you can still write off some charitable donations.
"This year, they added something new, right on page one of the 1040, you’re allowed to deduct up to $300 of charitable donations," Osiason said.
There is some good news for teachers, who can count PPE purchases towards their $250 classroom material deduction.
Last year, the pandemic prompted the IRS to push back the filing deadline by three months. However, this tax season things are back to normal, meaning you have until April 15th to do your 2020 taxes.