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IRS announces changes for 2020 tax filings



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — There are some new announcements coming from the Internal Revenue Service about your 2020 taxes.

If you received unemployment benefits in 2020 then a new provision may make some of those benefits nontaxable. This announcement was made Thursday (March 18) on the heels of the announcement that tax filing day was going to be delayed by a month.

The 2020 tax filing deadline was supposed to be April 15, but the IRS has now moved that back to May 17, giving people another month to file their taxes.

Governor Asa Hutchinson, after consultation with the legislative leadership, has extended the deadline for filing state individual income tax until May 17, 2021, to coincide with the extended federal deadline.

“Pushing back the due date for state income tax is a simple way to help Arkansans in light of the extension of the federal tax deadline,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “The number of our COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continues to decline, and Arkansas is quickly rebounding. As the economy and our unemployment rate continue to improve, we will do all we can to help Arkansans to recover during the public health crisis.”

“It’s amazing the people who will wait until the next to last day no matter what month that occurs in to get their taxes done. It’s also going to give people a little longer to pay any taxes that are due which will be somewhat of an advantage for some people,” said Susan Reehl, executive program director at WestArk RSVP.

Reehl says for her and the other volunteers who prepare taxes for free, they will continue their work. So far, they have filed returns that equal $2.2 million in refunds.

She says there have been several significant changes that have happened since they started preparing taxes this year.

“The Arkansas Governor decided they would not have a state tax on unemployment, that was a big change and had effected a lot of the returns we have already done and then this newest change where they are going to allow the first 10 thousand dollars of federal unemployment,” Reehl said.

If you already filed your 2020 taxes and you did receive unemployment benefits last year, you should wait before filing an amended return.

The IRS is expected to issue more guidance soon.

Members of the senate and house are urging the IRS to automatically issue refunds to people affected. If you haven’t filed your 2020 taxes, the IRS says to hold off until they give more guidance.