GREENSBORO, N.C. — This is a confusing time. Tax Day has changed. The American Rescue Plan Act makes up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits untaxable. If you already filed taxes, what happens with the taxes you paid in? The first stimulus payments went out this week. More payments are coming, but when? We talk all about it and answer your questions during a live Q&A today with Mark Hensley, AARP NC, Triad Region, and Kevin Robinson of Robinson Tax & Accounting Services.
Tax Day has been moved from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. This includes both federal and NC state taxes.
The American Rescue Plan Act, which is the latest COVID relief bill, has a provision that makes the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits nontaxable. That means you won't pay taxes on unemployment income if you make under $150,000.
What if you already filed your taxes and you paid tax on your unemployment benefits?
The IRS confirms:
For those who received unemployment benefits last year and have already filed their 2020 tax return, the IRS emphasizes they should not file an amended return at this time until the IRS issues additional guidance.
STATE UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES
As for the unemployment taxes, the NC DOR confirms the state is NOT waiving unemployment taxes. To do that, the General Assembly would have to change the laws and at this point, that doesn't seem to be happening.
If you haven't already filed your taxes, the state requires you to use a D-400 form to calculate your correct AGI and taxes since the federal return will be different from the waived taxes.
It's free to download.
As soon as you open it up, it's on Check Your Refund Status.
You'll need your Social Security number, your filing status, and the refund amount you're supposed to get back.
A couple of key points to this, you want to do this on secured and locked WiFi. I mean, you are putting in your Social Security number.
The information is only changed overnight. So, if you checked at 9 AM it's not going to be any different at 5 PM the same day.
There are three status options:
Received: The IRS has your tax return and is working to process it.
Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirms the amount you're owed.
Sent: Your refund is now on its way to you, whether that's direct deposit or mail.
GET MY PAYMENT STATUS
The easiest way to see when your stimulus is coming to you and how is by checking the ‘Get My Payment’ portal. It is updated overnight so don't waste your time checking it several times a day.
When you check the “Get My Payment” button you'll get a status:
Payment Status (1): your payment is processed & you're told how and when you'll get it
Payment Status (2): you are eligible, but the IRS hasn't processed all the info yet.
Payment Not Available: it may mean you're not eligible for a payment or they haven't processed your payment yet.
Needs More Information: not everyone is going to get this message, but if you do, the IRS will give you a way to update your bank account info and address info.
WHEN YOUR PAYMENT GOES TO AN OLD BANK ACCOUNT
If the IRS direct deposits your payment into an old bank account chances are the payment will bounce back to the IRS and it will eventually come to you by mail, either a check or debit card.
HOW YOU CAN GIVE THE IRS YOUR NEW ADDRESS
If you have physically moved, one of the easiest ways to get the new address to the IRS is to do your 2020 tax return.
Here's what isn't easy: calling the IRS. Really, it's not an option at this point. Just like last time, it seems we learned more each week, remember this is the first week of stimulus payments.
ARE YOU GETTING ALL THE MONEY YOU SHOULD?
This third stimulus payment comes at a weird time. Some folks have filed their 2020 taxes, some haven't. The IRS could have used your 2019 income instead of 2020 because your return was in transition. If that’s the case, you might not receive any or all of the stimulus money due you right away.
Will qualifying Social security recipients get a third stimulus check? When can they expect a check?
Yes. Qualifying individuals will still receive the money in the same way that they receive other benefits. The timeline might look a little different depending on how you get your funds.
According to the latest update from the agency dated March 12, federal beneficiaries like those on Social Security should still get the third stimulus check in the same way that they receive their other benefits.
And just because you didn't automatically get the first batch of payments doesn't mean you won't get any.
"Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card," the March 12 IRS update reads. "The vast majority of these payments will be by direct deposit."
"The IRS will automatically send EIP3 (the third stimulus check) to people who didn't file a return but receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs benefits," the post continues. "This is similar to the first and second rounds of Economic Impact Payments, often referred to as EIP1 and EIP2."