Filing taxes is way beyond my paygrade, or maybe I should say my field of knowledge. I'd much rather pay someone to do it for me, but thankfully I have my husband who handles that confusing mess in our house. If you are the Rockstar,tax-filing hero of your house too, there are some pandemic-related filing changes you need to be aware of this year.

First off you should know the IRS will begin accepting tax returns this Friday, February 12th.

Now for the changes and points you need to know before you begin preparing your 2020 federal taxes according to The Associated Press;

  • Unemployment benefits are taxable income both federally, and in Illinois.
  • The two rounds of economic stimulus payments received is NOT taxable.
  • You cannot claim expenses incurred while working from home in 2020 unless you are self-employed. In order to claim a home office, it must be used “exclusively and regularly” as the place of business.
  • This tax season has a "lookback" provision that "allows taxpayers to use either their 2019 or 2020 income when claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit.
  • If you took on a side/new job with a ride share or delivery company, make sure you claim all mileage you are eligible for. You can also claim expenses for your car and car washes.
  • There's a new, temporary deduction for charity donations. You can deduct up to $300 for cash donations given to charity, even if you don't itemize.

The above is just a brief summary of tax filing changes for 2020, to be sure you are crossing all your t's and dotting all your i's, always make sure you contact a tax professional.

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