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Tax changes: what is new and how to get a better refund

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(WSIL)---The pandemic caused a lot of changes to how taxes are prepared this year.

The tax deadline is extended, but that doesn't mean you should wait to file.

Normally, taxes are due April 15th, this year the deadline is May 17th.

Experts said if you're getting a refund-filing earlier is probably a good idea.

They said because stimulus checks have been sent out, it may take more than one to three weeks to get your refund.

"It's kinda put a little damper on it and returns are taking a little bit longer. So we're pretty much telling people upfront that it's probably not gonna be within the 21 days, if you are, you're one of the lucky ones. So it's probably gonna take a little bit longer," said Carbondale's Jackson Hewitt's General Manager, Barbara Holland.

The IRS also has new rules for unemployment.

Up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits are waived off 2020 taxes.

That income is not taxable, and you could see save double that amount if you are your spouse both collected unemployment last year.

This change could also make it so you are eligible for future stimulus.

"It's gonna lower their adjusted gross income, so they could get more than they got before, you know. And even people that's never been eligible for EIC. Because of the pandemic and everything, and jobs being lowered, and drawing unemployment, this could make people eligible now that were never eligible before," said Holland.

And if you already filed--you don't have to file again to meet this requirement.

It should be changed if you added unemployment to your income.

If you owe money, tax experts still recommend you file as early as possible.
That way you can avoid any possible issues.

MORE: Kentucky extends state tax filing deadline to May 17
Missouri delays tax filing deadline to May 17
Illinois Income tax filing deadline delayed

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Madeline Parker

Madeline Parker is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Madeline joined the team in 2020 and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies.

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