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Tax season begins on Friday with COVID-related changes

Posted at 5:56 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 11:17:00-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — One of the most dreaded times of the year tax season has been set to begin on Feb. 12 with a slew of changes, many related to the coronavirus pandemic that is affecting how people will file with the IRS.

The first change was a delay in the start date to allow companies to shift to other changes.

RELATED: IRS starts processing tax returns on Friday

Standard deductions have risen slightly, tax brackets have shifted.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more charitable donations can be deducted. Teachers can deduct certain unreimbursed COVID related expenses, and the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act includes tax relief for self-employed people who couldn't work because of the pandemic.

Financial Analyst Steve Budin said if this is someone's first time taking unemployment benefits, they will have to pay taxes on that income.

"There are boxes on the screen that you can check that will offer to withhold," he said. "But it's a very anxious time. People may have missed that, and if they miss it now is the time to pay the piper. So, I strongly urge viewers to sit down with someone who's a professional."

Budin said many people may have taken money from a retirement account for the first time as well and that will require them to fill out a 1099 form.

He said those people need to keep their eyes peeled for the form.

"You don't want to get a letter three, four months down the line and something is missing that could potentially hold up a refund or stimulus money," Budin said.

Budin also urged people to file their taxes as early as possible to jump in front of potential fraudsters filing ahead of them.

The deadline to file taxes is April 15 or Oct. 15 if there's an extension.