IRS has sent over $10 billion in unemployment tax refunds so far. Here’s the latest

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

Angela Lang/CNET

Do you qualify for a refund since you paid taxes on unemployment advantages you acquired? Sit tight. The IRS is now disbursing the subsequent spherical of 1.5 million refunds through direct deposit and paper verify. Some folks on Reddit say they’ve received the money as a direct deposit. But many others have not acquired any cash or any clues that it is on the method. 

The first $10,200 of 2020 jobless benefits, or $20,400 for married {couples} submitting collectively, was made nontaxable revenue by the American Rescue Plan. Taxpayers who filed their returns earlier than the invoice was handed in March 2021 are actually eligible for an adjustment and a attainable refund. The IRS plans to ship the cash this summer season. Taxpayers can count on to obtain a median of $1,686 relying on their circumstances. 

Start by on the lookout for an IRS TREAS 310 transaction code in your financial institution assertion to see if you happen to acquired your deposit. Parents can even look out for more money with the subsequent advance child tax credit payment being sent Aug. 13. In the meantime, we’ll present you the way to search for clues in your tax transcript about your refund. For extra on unemployment, take a look at the latest on $300 weekly bonus payments. And this is how the advance youngster tax credit score funds could affect your taxes in 2022. This story will get common updates.

What’s the replace on IRS unemployment refunds?

With the fourth batch of funds now going out, the IRS has now issued greater than 8.7 million unemployment compensation refunds totaling over $10 billion. In late May, the IRS began sending refunds to taxpayers who acquired jobless advantages in 2020 and paid taxes on that cash earlier than the American Rescue Plan went into impact. That regulation waived taxes on as much as $10,200 in unemployment insurance coverage advantages for people incomes lower than $150,000 a 12 months.

The first batch of those supplemental refunds went to these with the least difficult returns (single taxpayers with no dependents), and batches are presupposed to proceed all through the summer season for extra difficult returns. On July 13, the IRS stated it sent out 4 million extra funds through direct deposit and paper verify, and one other 1.5 million went out beginning July 28. According to an forum and one other dialogue on Twitter, some taxpayers who filed as head of family or as married with dependents began receiving their IRS cash in July or getting updates on their transcript with dates in the coming weeks. 

Here’s a fast recap of what we all know:

  • The tax break is just for individuals who earned lower than $150,000 in adjusted gross income and for unemployment insurance coverage acquired throughout the pandemic in 2020. 
  • The $10,200 is the quantity of revenue exclusion for single filers, not the quantity of the refund. The quantity of the refund will fluctuate per particular person relying on total revenue, tax bracket and the way a lot earnings got here from unemployment advantages.
  • Most taxpayers don’t need to file an amended return to assert the exemption. But if you happen to assume you are now eligible for deductions or credit primarily based on an adjustment, verify the recent IRS release for the record of who ought to file an amended return. 
  • If the IRS determines you’re owed a refund on the unemployment tax break, it can mechanically right your return and ship a refund with none extra motion out of your finish. 
  • Not everybody will obtain a refund. The IRS can seize the refund to cowl a past-due debt, akin to unpaid federal or state taxes and youngster assist. 
  • Refunds started going out in May and can exit in batches by means of the summer season as the company evaluates tax returns. More difficult returns might take longer to course of.
  • The IRS is doing the recalculations in phases, beginning with single filers who’re eligible for the up-to-$10,200 tax break. It will then modify returns for these taxpayers who’re married and submitting collectively, who’re eligible for the up-to-$20,400 tax break.
  • Refunds will exit as a direct deposit if you happen to offered checking account data in your 2020 tax return. A direct deposit quantity will doubtless present up as “IRS TREAS 310 TAX REF.” Otherwise, the refund will likely be mailed as a paper verify to no matter deal with the IRS has readily available.
  • The IRS will ship you a discover explaining the corrections inside 30 days of when a correction is made.
  • Some states, however not all, are adopting the unemployment exemption for 2020 state revenue tax returns. 

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Your tax questions answered in 3 minutes


How can I see my unemployment refund on my tax transcript?

The IRS says eligible individuals should’ve received Form 1099-G from their state unemployment agency showing in Box 1 the total unemployment compensation paid in 2020. (If you didn’t, you should request one online.) Some states may issue separate forms depending on the jobless benefits — for example, if you received federal pandemic unemployment assistance, or PUA. 

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

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

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

Here’s how to check your tax transcript online:

1. Visit and log in to your account. If you haven’t opened an account with the IRS, this will take some time as you’ll have to take multiple steps to confirm your identity.

2. Once logged into your account, you’ll see the Account Home page. Click View Tax Records.

3. On the next page, click the Get Transcript button.

4. Here you’ll see a drop-down menu asking the reason you need a transcript. Select Federal Tax and leave the Customer File Number field empty. Click the Go button.

5. The following page will show a Return Transcript, Records of Account Transcript, Account Transcript and Wage & Income Transcript for the last four years. You’ll want the 2020 Account Transcript

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

If you don’t have that, it likely means the IRS hasn’t gotten to your return yet. 


You can use the Where’s My Refund tool to track your tax refund online. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Should I call the IRS for an update on my unemployment refund?

It’s best to track your refund using the Where’s My Refund tool (mentioned above). The IRS says that you can expect a delay if you mailed a paper tax return or had to respond to the IRS about your electronically filed tax return. The IRS makes it clear not to file a second return. If it’s been more than three weeks since you’ve gotten an update you should call. 

Keep in mind that the IRS has limited live assistance because they’re juggling the tax return backlog, delayed stimulus checks and child tax credit payments. Even though the chances of speaking with someone are slim, you can still call. Here’s the best number to call: 1-800-829-1040. 

What we don’t yet know about IRS unemployment tax refunds

The IRS has only provided limited information on its website about taxes and unemployment compensation. We’re still unclear on the future timeline for payments (they’re a bit sporadic), which banks get direct deposits first or who to contact at the IRS if there’s a problem with your tax break refund. 

Some taxpayers who have accessed their transcripts have reported seeing the tax code 290 along with “Additional Tax Assessed” and an amount. Since this code could be issued in a variety of instances, it’s best to consult the IRS or a tax professional. 

Also, since some states fully tax unemployment benefits and others don’t, you might have to do some digging to see if the unemployment tax break will apply to your state income taxes. This chart by the tax preparation service H&R Block could give some clues, along with this state-by-state guide by Kiplinger

Here’s how to track your tax return status and refund online and what we know about contacting the IRS for stimulus check problems. For more on stimulus payments and relief aid, here is information about the child tax credit for up to $3,600 per child and details on who qualifies.

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