The Tax Deadline Was Extended, So Don't Forget to File

NBC 7 Responds looked for answers to questions about unemployment benefits and taxes

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The new tax filing deadline is May 17th. It was extended to give people more time to file after changes to tax law that took place during filing season. One of those changes exempted some unemployment benefits from federal taxes and gave some people pause.

"I would encourage them to go ahead and file because I don't believe any new tax changes are coming down the pike at this point," said Ena Askia-Reese, a franchisee with Liberty Tax Service.

When NBC 7 last spoke with Askia-Reese, it was right after the stimulus bill exempted $10,200 of unemployment benefits. At the time, many tax preparers were waiting on guidance from the IRS and suggested people wait if they fell into that category.

Askia-Reese said the IRS has started going through the tax returns on its own and adjusting them, so some people might not have to do any additional work.

"But you had quite a few people where the federal and the state didn't match after they filed," said Askia-Reese. "After they filed, they realized the credit didn't quite match up with the state as well."

That's why Askia-Reese recommends people talk to a tax preparer if they have any questions. You might have to file an amended return in order to correctly report your income.

"Even sitting down with a tax professional remotely might still be your best bet," said Askia-Reese.

When sitting down with a tax professional, Askia-Reese suggests to bring any documents you think might be relevant.

"It's better to bring everything," said Askia-Reese. "We can say you don't need it, but if we're not aware of it, suddenly you left something off. So bring everything you might be a tax document."

While the IRS has extended its deadline, not all states have done the same. Askia-Reese said if you received benefits or income in another state, you'll need to file and check the deadlines.

"There are some states that did not extend, which means the due date was still April 15th," said Askia-Reese. "Penalties start 30 days after you're late."

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