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By H&R Block
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting tax law changes have created financial questions for nearly every American in 2021. An H&R Block survey found that 56% of Americans have more tax questions than last year due to the pandemic. Changes created by the pandemic, such as a record number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, three stimulus payments with differing amounts and eligibility requirements, and new tax breaks passed after people began filing taxes have conspired to create confusion for the majority of the country.
For many, a tax refund is the largest single financial transaction of the year. With more Americans feeling less financially secure this year, the stakes couldn’t be higher for getting your taxes done right.
“Helping people understand their situation is what our tax experts do best,” said Karen Orosco, senior vice president of U.S. retail for H&R Block. “We know that financial confidence is about knowing what to expect — particularly when it comes to your tax refund. H&R Block can help you, even in a stressful year, understand your potential outcomes.”
Getting expert help with digital experiences
Since the pandemic began, people are increasingly comfortable using virtual services for buying groceries and getting advice from a medical provider. Tax preparation now offers the same virtual access. Your neighborhood H&R Block tax pro is still available to help you even if you want to skip the office visit. Expert tax help can be accessed from anywhere, in the same way you might now access telehealth, virtual workout classes, or other virtual expert services — live or on your own schedule.
“Many things have changed in the past year, but H&R Block is still here to help,” said Orosco, “At H&R Block, we know you have a unique tax situation. So, whether we file for you or you file yourself, you can decide how much help you need from one of our tax pros and access that help online or in-person.”
H&R Block offers the myBlock app as a solution to get tax expertise at your fingertips. You can upload documents, set appointments, message, and even video chat with a tax pro. You can also get updates on your tax return, connect with a tax pro year-round, explore mobile banking and plan for next year.
Don’t leave money, or stimulus payments, on the table
H&R Block tax pros always help people claim every credit and deduction they deserve, and this year that includes any possible unclaimed stimulus payments when filing a 2020 tax return. For those who did not receive a stimulus payment, believe they did not receive their full stimulus payment amount, or had life changes, such as the birth of a baby, a Recovery Rebate Credit can be claimed when their 2020 taxes are filed this year.
For the record number of people who received unemployment income last year, a recent tax law change makes up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits nontaxable income for 2020 if your household income is less than $150,000. If you already filed your 2020 taxes and it included unemployment income, there is no need to file an amended return, in most cases. Beginning in May, the IRS will begin calculating and issuing refunds for overpayments. However, because everyone’s situation will be unique, this benefit may make some people eligible for additional credits or deductions, including the Earned Income Credit. Working with a tax professional will help you know what actions you might need to take, in order to evaluate if you are newly eligible for a credit or to understand if your state tax return(s) will be impacted.
To get started on your taxes today, visit hrblock.com.