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Unemployed workers likely will not have to file amended tax returns to take advantage of a new federal tax exemption for jobless benefits, the head of the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told lawmakers on a House panel, “We believe we will be able to monitor and we will be able to announce that individuals will not have to file amended returns to be able to take the exclusion for the $10,200 per person.”
Mr. Rettig said officials hoped to make a formal announcement “in the near future.”
The $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus package exempts the first $10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits from income for households that made under $150,000. The move, which came roughly a month after the tax filing season began, will affect the returns of approximately 40 million Americans and save them about $25 billion.
This change threatened to complicate an already chaotic filing season, which has been disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the late tax-law changes and modifications.
“We’re sensitive to the situation people are in,” Mr. Rettig said. “We believe that we will be able to automatically issue refunds associated” with this new exemption.
He urged taxpayers not to resubmit their returns if they had already filed them until the agency issues additional guidance on the new legislation. For eligible taxpayers who already received refunds, the IRS will go back and issue a second refund associated with the new tax exemption, he said.
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