Summer is almost over. Where is your unemployment tax refund?

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

Angela Lang / CNET

Since May, the IRS has made adjustments on 2020 tax returns and has granted refunds of about $ 1,600 on average to those who can claim unemployment tax relief. However, the last batch of refunds, which went to some 1.5 million taxpayers, was almost two months old, and the remaining payment dates are unclear. The IRS hasn’t released a schedule for this month except to say “summer,” which officially ends next week on September 22.

What do the refunds correspond to? Since the first $ 10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits ($ 20,400 for married couples filing jointly) became tax-free income by the American Rescue Plan in March, taxpayers who filed their returns ahead of the legislation and paid taxes on these benefits are entitled to a refund. And while some have reported online that their transcripts show pending filing dates, others have received no clue. Some wonder if they should file an amended return or how to contact the tax agency with questions.

We will explain below how to access your IRS transcript to see when a refund can be issued and why you should look for a TREAS IRS 310 transaction on your bank statement. For other news, unemployment aid in the era of the pandemic – including weekly premiums of $ 300 and coverage for freelancers – finished on labor day. If you are a parent receiving the Child Tax Credit this year, find out how it could affect your taxes in 2022. This story is regularly updated.

Who is entitled to the 2020 unemployment tax relief?

The first thing to know is that refunds would only go to taxpayers who received unemployment benefits last year and paid taxes on that money. before provision of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The tax break is for those who earned less than $ 150,000 in adjusted gross income and for unemployment insurance collected during the year 2020. At this stage, the unemployment benefits received this calendar year will be fully taxable on the 2021 income tax returns.

The $ 10,200 tax break is the income exclusion amount for single tax filers, not the amount of the refund (married and jointly filing taxpayers may be eligible for tax relief of $ 20,400). The amount of reimbursement will vary per person depending on overall income, tax bracket and amount of income from unemployment benefits. Repayments to date have averaged over $ 1,600.

However, 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. One way to find out 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.

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 in the form of a paper check to the address the IRS has on hand.

The IRS has set up an FAQ page if you have questions about eligibility. 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 from this agency.) Some states may issue separate forms based on unemployment benefits – for example, if you have received Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA.

What is the payment schedule for unemployment tax refunds?

With the last batch of payments in July, the IRS has now issued more than 8.7 million unemployment benefit refunds totaling more than $ 10 billion. The IRS announced it was performing the recalculations in stages, starting with single filers with no dependents, and then for those who are married and filing jointly. The first batch of these additional refunds went to those with the least complicated returns at the start of the summer, and the batches are expected to continue for the more complicated returns, which might take longer to process.

According to an 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 receiving transcript updates with dates in August and September. No further official IRS news has been released regarding the payment schedule for this month.

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How can I track my refund or view my tax statement online?

The first way to get clues about your refund is to try the IRS’s online tracking applications: the Where’s My Refund tool is available here. If you have filed an amended return, you can consult the Status of Amended Return tool.

If these tools don’t provide information about the status of your unemployment tax refund, another 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 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.

Do I have to file an amended return to claim the tax relief?

Most taxpayers do not need to file an amended return to claim the exemption. 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.

The only reason to file an amended return is if the calculations now make you eligible for additional federal credits and deductions that were not already included on your original tax return, such as the Additional Child Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit. tax on earned income. If you think you are now eligible for deductions or credits based on an adjustment, the most recent version of the IRS contains a list of people who must file an amended return.


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

Sarah Tew / CNET

What do the tax transcription codes 971, 846, 776 and 290 mean?

Some taxpayers who have consulted their transcripts say they have 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.

Can I call the IRS if I am waiting for my 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 file a second return.

The IRS says not to call the agency because it has limited live assistance. 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 give it a try. Here is the best number to call: 1-800-829-1040.

What else should I know about unemployment reimbursements?

The IRS has provided information on its website on taxes and unemployment benefits. But we still don’t know exactly which banks receive direct deposits first or who to contact the IRS with if there is a problem with your refund.

Some states, but not all, are adopting the unemployment exemption for 2020 state income tax returns. Since some taxes on unemployment benefits and others do not, you may need to dig to see if the relief Unemployment tax 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 is information about the child tax credit up to $ 3,600 per child and details on who qualifies.

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