Navigating 2020 tax season changes

ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis breaks down how changes caused by the pandemic will impact the 2020 tax filing season.
5:18 | 02/16/21

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Transcript for Navigating 2020 tax season changes
The tax season with the filing process officially open for your Tony Tony taxes and there are many changes after only upheaval that we saw caused by the pandemic. So let's bring in our chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis to break it all down forests. So Rebecca let's start out what does stimulus checks sent to millions of Americans last year what are we need to know about how those will impact Tony Tony taxes. The Lindsey good to see you in the good news here is that those stimulus checks are not taxable income at the federal level C don't have to pay taxes on the check that you got last year these were sent out. Throughout the year to people making 75000. Dollars or less and households. Up married couples making 150000. Dollars or less and there were two rounds of payments up to 12100 on the first round in up to 600 on the second round she. Here's what's interesting about twelve million people who were eligible for those stimulus checks Lindy did not receive them. And the good news is your 20/20 taxes are a place where you can claim that benefit and then receive it and turn. Q what's known as the recovery rebate credit so if you didn't receive your stimulus check even the 12100 dollar check or the up to 600 dollar check. You are eligible for that and you can file Ford on your taxes and there's also big change share with regard to taxes for families and have children they explain how that works. Yes in the earned income tax credit as well as did. Child care tax credit these are two big ones that really help families who are in need and the big change that happened in this last year is that because so many were in need. The federal government is now allowing you to look at either your 2019. Income horror you're 20/20 income. Very likely you'll want to use whichever one is lower because that will get you the larger. The benefit so again usually you can only look at the past tax year when claiming that benefit this year you can choose whether it's going to be 2019. Or 20/20 and that should benefit families who faced hardship especially unemployment hardship over this last year Lindsay and here's a question and a lot of people's specially those working from home we're going to be asking this year can get a tax break for that home office. You know a lot of people would love that tax break for the home opera's especially anyone who invested in something like this thing. Well guess what in less in less you are self employed. You cannot at this point take it that benefit now if you are self employed in your not an employee of a company. You are able an eligible to deduct from your taxes and make deductions on the space in your home that you are using exclusively. For your work and that applies to things like heating bills and things like that so if you have a home and you have a corner of that apartment or that house that you make sure is only exclusively for your work in your self employed. You can take those deductions everything from your phone bill to your utilities to the space itself and what you invest in all of it. People who moved are working remotely from a different state than when their offices base could that have an impact on state Texas. It really could and this is what's confusing about it there are a lot of people there is a huge amount of movement in the last year and there are definitely the people. For example who might be living in one place but working in a completely different place. And you could be either double taxed in both places or you may own taxes to one of those two places that you have not paid yet. Here's what you need to do either way unfortunately this is a little tricky but the best thing you can do for yourself is top tier HR department. Many HR departments manage these things sometimes they will even deduct from your taxes along the way. The out of state taxes that you would be would essentially paying because you're working in a place where you are not currently living the bottom line here though Lindsay is make that call teary HR department early as opposed to around April 15 when they will be bombarded with phone calls especially given what we've seen over the last year. And lastly for people are just saying I mean the money now what is the fastest filing method in order to get that refund. It's all about the you will get your money much faster if you electronic. IRS will let you do it for free on their website if you make 72000 dollars or less that's at IRS stock up and one point you're Lindsay for anybody who. Filed in unemployment claim last year there's a lot of Americans millions of them who took unemployment benefits and one thing to look out for are those form 1099. Cheese now we understand that there are at least some people who collected those benefits fraudulently and one thing you might get in the mail that is questionable is a 1099 G form that doesn't look right Q it might include benefits you didn't receive. Do not worry what you should do if you didn't receive those benefits is contact immediately your state and local government let them know you received this form you believe it was fraudulent and when you go to file your taxes. File your taxes as though that those unemployment benefits we're not benefits they came to you because they didn't Lindsay. Rebecca hill and you're walking talking Turbotax everybody you know things you can decide and stamp and cents we appreciate all your knowledge thank you my friend thank you so much Lindsay I really appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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