SAN ANTONIO – Another tax season is upon us, but as with many other things, you can expect it to look different this year because of the pandemic.
A spokesperson for H&R Block told KSAT the company is taking precautions to provide a safe experience with a drop-off service and after-hours appointment.
Another tax preparer, SnapBack Tax Services, told us they are getting their employees ready for the additional services they are having to add this year.
While walk-in service is still available, those who don’t feel comfortable being in the office can drop off their paperwork curbside.
“You can literally just pull up to the office, go ahead and give us a call and let us know that you’re here, and then we’ll go out and we’ll get all your documents,” SnapBack Tax Services manager Ashley Haywood said. “We’ll bring them in, will prepare your taxes, and then we’ll go back outside so that you can review everything we’re doing. You can sign the documents in your car.”
Haywood and her team are preparing to also deal with more customers this year who were unemployed last year. When unemployed there are changes to what credits you get and don’t get like the child tax credit.
“Unemployment is taxable income, but not earned income,” Haywood said.
People who received unemployment benefits won’t be eligible for the child credit, but there is a new credit they can claim. The recent stimulus bill allows some to qualify to use their 2019 earned income in order to get credit for their 2020 taxes.
“That’s going to save a lot of people’s refunds for this year,” Haywood said.
H&R Block is urging those who were unemployed to start working on how their unemployment income will affect their 2020 return and that can be done with a tax calculator.
As for those stimulus checks, they are not taxable but if you have not received them by Feb. 1, then you can get a recovery rebate credit where that money would then be added to your refund.
Here are other notable 2020 tax changes to be aware of:
- Tax brackets are wider than last year to account for inflation.
- Standard deduction amounts were increased for 2020.
- More donations to charity can be deducted and nonitemized donations can be written off up to $300 for cash donations.
- Sick and family leave credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- The solar credit for those with solar panels falls from 30% in 2019 to 26% in 2020.