Unemployment Tax Refund: IRS Payment Schedule, Transcripts and More

The IRS has so far sent 8.7 million unemployment benefit refunds.

Angela Lang / CNET

The IRS has not finished sending refunds for taxes overpaid on 2020 unemployment benefits. It has been a month since the last batch of 1.5 million refunds was paid, and refunds are expected. be issued until the end of summer. But while some have reported on social media that they have dates pending on their IRS transcripts, many other taxpayers say they haven’t received any money or updates. If this is your case, we will explain how to access your transcripts to find out the status of your reimbursement.

How do these refunds work? The first $ 10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits, or $ 20,400 for married couples applying jointly, became tax-free income through the American Rescue Plan. Taxpayers who filed their returns before the bill passed in March are eligible for a possible refund, which the IRS is supposed to issue automatically after making an adjustment. The average reimbursement amount is $ 1,686, although it can be higher or lower, depending on income and other factors.

Look for a IRS VERY 310 transaction code on your bank statement or a 846 code on your transcript. This could mean that your refund has been deposited or is in progress. Or it can be for your stimulus or monthly check payment of the child tax credit. For more unemployment news, check out the latest news at $ 300 weekly bonus ends in early September. And this is how the child tax credit could affect your taxes in 2022. This story is updated frequently.

10 things to know about unemployment tax refunds from the IRS

With the latest batch of payments, the IRS has now issued over 8.7 million unemployment benefit refunds totaling over $ 10 billion. In late May, the IRS began reimbursing taxpayers who collected unemployment benefits in 2020 and paid taxes on that money before the US bailout went into effect. This law removed taxes up to $ 10,200 in unemployment insurance benefits for people earning less than $ 150,000 a year.

The first batch of these additional refunds went to those with the least complicated returns (single taxpayers with no dependents), and the batches are expected to continue throughout the summer for more complicated returns. On July 13, the IRS said it sent an additional 4 million payments by direct deposit and paper check, and an additional $ 1.5 million as of July 28. According to an igotmyrefund.com forum and another discussion on TwitterSome taxpayers who reported being head of household or married with dependents started receiving their money from the IRS in July or getting updates on their transcripts with dates in August and September.

Here’s a quick recap of what we know:

  • The tax break only applies to those who earned less than $ 150,000 in adjusted gross income and for unemployment insurance collected during the pandemic in 2020.
  • The amount of $ 10,200 is the income exclusion amount for single tax filers, not the amount of the reimbursement. The amount of reimbursement will vary per person depending on overall income, tax bracket and amount of income from unemployment benefits.
  • Most taxpayers do not need to file an amended return to claim the exemption. But if you think you are now eligible for deductions or credits based on an adjustment, check out the recent IRS publication for the list of people who must file an amended return.
  • If the IRS determines that you are entitled to a refund on unemployment tax relief, it will automatically correct your return and send a refund without any further action on your part.
  • Not everyone will be reimbursed. The IRS can seize the refund to cover past due debt, such as unpaid federal or state taxes and child support.
  • Refunds began to flow in May and will be made in batches throughout the summer as the agency assesses the tax returns. More complicated returns may take longer to process.
  • The IRS performs the recalculations in stages, starting with single filers who are eligible for tax relief of up to $ 10,200. It will then adjust returns for married and jointly filing taxpayers, who are eligible for tax relief of up to $ 20,400.
  • Refunds will be made as a direct deposit if you provided bank account information on your 2020 tax return. A direct deposit amount will likely appear as IRS TREAS 310 TAX REF. Otherwise, the refund will be mailed as a paper check to the address the IRS has on hand.
  • The IRS will send you a notice explaining the corrections within 30 days of the correction.
  • Some states, but not all, are adopting the unemployment exemption for 2020 state income tax returns.

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How to check your tax slip for answers about your refund

The IRS says eligible people should have received Form 1099-G from their state unemployment agency showing in Box 1 the total unemployment benefits paid in 2020. (If you didn’t, you must apply for one online.) Some states may issue separate forms. depending on unemployment benefits – for example, if you have received Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA.

One way to know if a refund has been made is to wait for the letter the IRS sends to taxpayers whose returns are corrected. These letters, issued within 30 days of the adjustment, will tell you if it resulted in a repayment or if it was used to offset a debt. IRS says not call the agency.

You can try the IRS’s online tracking apps, aka the Where’s My Refund Tool and the Amended Return Status Tool, but they may not provide information on the status of your tax refund on the. unemployment.

One immediate way to see if the IRS has processed your refund (and for how much) is to view your tax records online. You can also request a copy of your transcript by mail or through the automated IRS telephone service by calling 1-800-908-9946.

Here’s how to check your tax slip online:

1. Visit IRS.gov and sign in to your account. If you haven’t opened an account with the IRS, it will take some time as you will need to take several steps to confirm your identity.

2. Once logged into your account, you will see the Account Home page. Click on View tax records.

3. On the next page, click on the Get the transcript button.

4. Here you will see a drop-down menu asking why you need a transcript. To select Federal tax and leave it Client file number empty field. Click it Go button.

5. The next page will display a Restore the transcription, Account statement statements, Account transcription and Salary and income Transcription since four years. You will want it 2020 account transcription.

6. This will open a PDF of your transcript: Focus on the Transactions section. What you are looking for is an entry listed as Refund issued, and it should have a date at the end of May or June.

If you don’t have it, it probably means the IRS hasn’t obtained your return yet.


The average IRS refund for those who paid too much tax on unemployment benefits is $ 1,686.

Sarah Tew / CNET

What do codes 971, 846 and 776 mean on a tax slip?

Some taxpayers who have viewed their transcripts report having seen different tax codes, including 971 (when a notice has been issued), 846 (the date and amount of a refund) and 776 (the amount of additional interest owed by the IRS). Others see the code 290 as well as “Additional assessed tax” and an amount of $ 0.00. Since these codes can be issued in a variety of cases, including stimulus checks and other tax refunds or adjustments, it is best to consult with the IRS or a tax professional about your personalized transcript.

What to do if you are still waiting for your refund

It’s best to locate your tax slip or try to track your refund using the Where’s My Refund tool (mentioned above). The IRS says you can expect a delay if you filed a paper tax return or had to respond to the IRS about your electronically filed tax return. IRS specifies not to file a second return: You should call if more than three weeks have passed since your last update.

Keep in mind that the IRS has limited live assistance as the agency juggles the backlog of tax returns, delayed stimulus checks, and child tax credit payments. Even if the chances of speaking with someone are slim, you can still call. Here is the best number to call: 1-800-829-1040.

What We Don’t Know About IRS Unemployment Tax Refunds

The IRS has provided only limited information on taxes and unemployment benefits on its website. We’re still not sure exactly about the future payment schedule over the next few months (they’re a bit sporadic), which banks get direct deposits first, or who to contact the IRS with if there’s a problem with your relief refund. tax.

Also, since some states fully tax unemployment benefits and others do not, you may need to dig to see if the unemployment tax relief will apply to your state income taxes. This chart from the H&R Block Tax Preparation Service might give some clues, as well as this state-by-state guide from Kiplinger.

here’s how track the status of your tax return and reimburse online and what we know about contacting the IRS to dunning control issues. To learn more about stimulus payments and emergency aid, here is information on child tax credit up to $ 3,600 per child and details on who qualifies.

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