How can I get my tax return after unemployment tax change?


Q. Last year, my husband and I filed our 2020 joint tax return before the implementation of the American Rescue Plan excluded $10,200 of unemployment payments from our yearly income. It was left to the IRS to adjust our return and we received a refund of taxes that we overpaid, based on our recalculated income level. So how can we get a copy of our revised tax return for 2020, since we didn’t actually file an amended return, if we need it for a lender?
— Hopeful

A. You’re correct in how the IRS handled the change in taxation of unemployment benefits.

Rather than requiring millions of taxpayers in your situation to file amended tax returns, the IRS took it upon itself to process the adjustments for change, which excluded up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation from taxation for 2020.

Instead of presenting a lender with the return, you should get your tax transcript from the agency, said Neil Becourtney, a certified public accountant and tax partner with CohnReznick in Holmdel.

The service, called “Get Transcript,” offers extensive information on the IRS website.

Becourtney said taxpayers can request a transcript both online and by mail.

For either process you will need to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, and latest mailing address, he said. For an online transcript, you will also need an email address, a personal account number from a credit card or loan account, and a cell phone to receive an activation code.

“Presumably a lender would accept from you a copy of your 2020 Form 1040 together with the transcript, which would differ by the excluded unemployment compensation,” Becourtney said. “It might behoove you to provide an explanation upfront regarding the difference in the figures.”

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This story was originally published on Oct. 11, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.