Taxes can be hard to figure out in normal times, but this year it’s going to be even more of a scratch.
There are many questions about what people owe tax on and what they don’t. Are taxes paid to the state where offices are located or to the states where people live? And when can people file their taxes? When could refunds come?
Patrick Thomas, founding director of Notre Dame Law School’s Tax Clinic, said this year is going to be particularly difficult.
“There are so many factors that go into determining government tax residence,” he said. “But this year it will be even more complicated.”
Thomas said because so many people were working from home this year, taxpayers may have to do more research and paperwork. Some states argue about who is allowed to collect tax revenues for people who live and work across national borders.
There are a couple of things that we know. Stimulus checks are not taxed. However, unemployment benefits are taxed both at the federal level and by some federal states.
“When you get your jobless check, you want to make sure that taxes are set aside or taxes withheld to pay federal taxes,” said Ariel Jurow Kleiman, associate professor of law at the University of San Diego.
She said that with 10.7 million unemployed people there are many people who have never accumulated unemployment before, so they need to be aware of this.
Another difference this year is that the IRS won’t accept federal tax returns until February 12th. Andrew Hayashi, director of the Virginia Center for Tax Law, said people will have to wait longer for this check from the IRS.
“Low-income households that claim the earned income tax credit rely on it to update some of their vacation bills,” he said.
Ordinarily, many of these families would file their taxes in the first week of January, Hayashi said, but now they can’t. However, the April 15th deadline remains unchanged for now.
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