Tax filing has changed due to causes by winter storm and COVID-19

VIDEO: Tax filing has changed due to causes by winter storm and COVID-19

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The tax filing process has changed a bit this year.

For one, the IRS has extended the deadline for Texans to file their taxes to June 15, due to the winter storm.

All 254 Texas counties qualify for this extension to file individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

Now in terms of changes from COVID-19, a certified public accountant says the COVID-19 stimulus checks are not taxable income.

If you received both stimulus payments, it should not impact your return as long as you declare you received them when filing.

However, things change if you only received one check or didn’t receive the full amount.

“If you didn’t receive one of the credits you should have received and that you were entitled to, you get to claim it as if it were a payment on your tax return,” said Mark Gilliland, CPA and owner of Gilliland and Co., PC “So, it can make your refund even bigger or if you owed money, it can make what you owed less.”

He adds those who did not receive the full amount from a stimulus check and are now eligible due to income change, can claim that money when they file taxes.

Among other changes, is the charitable donation deduction.

“On this return you can take up to 300 dollars of donation on the face of 1040 as an adjustment to adjust your gross income,” said Gilliland “So, you get to deduct up to 300 dollars of donations to a charitable organization even if you cannot itemized, so that is new.”

Meanwhile Panhandle Community Services is encouraging people to check eligibility for the earned income tax credit which is for low to moderate income working individuals.

“The IRS data says that between 35 to 45 thousand filers in the Texas Panhandle are not taking advantage of the income tax credit even though that was something that was earned,” said Christy Hilbert, director of Communications at Panhandle Community Services “And because of that, that leaves 100 million dollars annually that could be going towards families in our area.”

The average return for this tax credit in Texas is $2,752 dollars.

However, Hilbert says sometimes people who are eligible for this tax credit are not always required to file taxes because of low income and miss out.

She says everyone should check for eligibility and if needed can call Panhandle Community Services where they can refer you to free or reduced resources for submitting taxes.

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