Heads Up, If You Received Unemployment Benefits, Tax Season May Cost You
Nearly 3.6 million Texans have applied for unemployment benefits since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just last week, another 40,073 Texans applied as well. At this rate, the state has already met the number of unemployment applications it received in all of 2019. However, some of these folks may receive a shock come tax season in 2021.
When people apply for unemployment benefits in Texas, they have the option to have the state withhold 10% of their funds. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, it's absolutely not required, but it is an option.
What people may not realize is that taxes are attached to unemployment funds and do have to be paid back.
If you did not opt in for taxes to be withheld from your unemployment checks, it would be smart choice to have your employer withhold more money from your paychecks after you return to work to offset the amount.
If you've already opted out for taxes to be withheld, you are able to log back in to your account and adjust it to the 10% withheld rating.
The TWC also wants you to be aware of fraudulent claims made through its website. In a press release, TWC says that fraudulent claims have been processed by "bad actors" using a filer's username and password. TWC is reassuring Texans that there has not been a breach in security:
"In most cases, bad actors appear to have obtained password or private information from the individuals in question through direct hacking or phishing," the press release said. "In such cases, UI claimants are usually innocent victims. This notification is intended to alert individuals whose personal information might have been acquired by an unauthorized person. If TWC determines that your information has been potentially compromised we will contact you."
TWC is asking all UI claimants to be vigilant regarding their UI account and treat this account the same as they would their bank or credit card accounts.