Many taxpayers are unaware that the unemployment income they received is taxable, just like earned income. The key difference is that unemployment income is taxed at a lower rate. Also, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the first $2,400 of unemployment income is untaxed. In any event, you should list your unemployment income should on your return. Your state unemployment office should send you the 1099-G form listing that amount, but there are ways to request the form in the mail.
If you have received unemployment income at any point during the year, you will be required to complete and return IRS Form 1099-G. This document will accurately summarize your unemployment compensation and ensure that you are taxed appropriately. You can collected Form 1099-G by calling your local unemployment office or contacting the IRS directly.
When Should I Receive My Unemployment Tax Form?
Go the website of your state's labor department. Navigate to the page that provides information on unemployment claims. This page should explain your state’s time frame to mail 1099-Gs to residents who received unemployment benefits during the tax year in question. In most cases, 1099-Gs for the previous year are mailed on or before January 31. For example, if you collected unemployment in 2018, the 1099-G should have been mailed by January 31, 2019. While on your state’s website, copy the contact information so you can contact the office directly if necessary.
How Do I Get My Unemployment Tax Form?
Call your local unemployment office to request a copy of your 1099-G by mail or fax. If you haven’t received your 1099-G copy in the mail by Jan. 31, there is a chance your copy was lost in transit. Your local office will be able to send a replacement copy in the mail; then, you will be able to file a complete and accurate tax return.
Contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 to request a copy of your wage and income information. You can also use Form 4506-T to request a copy of your previous year’s 1099-G. You can download Form 4506-T at IRS.gov or order it from 800-TAX-FORM. Mail the completed form to the IRS office that processes returns for your area. If you are not sure which office it is, check the Form 4506-T instructions.
Transferring 1099-G Information to IRS Form 1040
On your 1099-G form, Box 1 ("Unemployment Compensation") shows the amount you received in unemployment wages. If this amount if greater than $10, you must report this income to the IRS. Enter the amount from Box 1 on Line 19 ("Unemployment Compensation") of your 1040 form. If you have more than one 1099-G form, add all the amounts from Box 1 on each form, and enter the total amount on Line 19 of your 1040 form.
Denise Caldwell is a finance writer who has been writing on taxation and finance since 2006. Her articles appear regularly on websites such as Gomestic.com and MoneyNing.com. She has taken what she learned while working at the IRS to provide readers with helpful tax and finance tips. Caldwell received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Howard University.