Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unemployment Benefits, Canceled Debt Trigger Tax Bills

The last thing most of us want to think of in this economy is an unexpected tax bill. However, as Sandra Block of USA Today explains, financial hardships can often result in a tax bill instead of a refund. Block explained a few situations that can lead to owing taxes in this new article. You can find a few of her examples below.

Taxes on unemployment benefits. Millions of Americans who have been out of work for months are relying on unemployment benefits to put food on the table. In November, Congress extended benefits by up to 20 weeks for workers in states with high jobless rates.

But what many people may not realize is that some of those benefits are taxable. The economic stimulus package enacted last year excluded the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits from 2009 gross income. For unemployed married couples, each spouse is eligible to exclude up to $2,400 in benefits.

Taxpayers who receive unemployment benefits should receive Form 1099-G, which shows the amount of benefits you received for the year. You should report unemployment compensation that exceeds $2,400 on line 19 of Form 1040, line 13 of Form 1040A, or line 3 of Form 1040EZ.

Continue reading at USA Today.com…

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