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New Round of Stimulus Checks; Advice from Accountant Ahead of Tax Season

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 10:28 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - As many throughout the country receive the most recent round of stimulus money, accountants say there are a few things you should know ahead of tax season.

“Stimulus money is not taxable… I’ve been asked that a few times. If a taxpayer has not received their stimulus and does qualify, they can get that stimulus payment as a credit on their 2020 tax return.  That’s something to keep in mind when filing.”

Poitras adds the IRS must send stimulus checks out to those who qualify by the end of the week.

“The IRS is really backed up between still processing 2019 returns and having the task of processing stimulus checks. They do have until the 15th to get stimulus checks out and that was in the statute. For whatever reason if checks aren’t out by the 15th and you haven’t received yours, you will need to claim that as a credit on your 2020 tax return because they cannot legally send checks or payments after [Jan. 15, 2021].”

Thinking ahead to tax season, Poitras says there are small changes to be aware of both for the individual and for businesses.

“For charitable deductions, everyone can take a deduction for  charitable donations this year. In the past it’s been an itemized deduction. This year you can take an above the line deduction for any charitable contribution so that’s something for people to be aware of when they’re filing. It’s not a large amount but it all counts so. Thanks to the legislation passed in December, there are no tax consequences to the payroll protection loan.”

Poitras expects the IRS will open for individual returns later this month.

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