It's a major priority on so many minds here in Tampa Bay and across the country – money. 

And for the millions of people who found themselves out of work throughout the pandemic, simply paying the bills was often out of reach.

What You Need To Know

  • Unemployment benefits are taxable

  • Stimulus payments are not taxable

  • Taxes are due on April 15

“It’s definitely been a challenging year,” Bradenton-based CPA, Jim Gay, said.

With tax season set to start, many Americans are counting on tax refunds to help them fill those financial gaps – but some will find out they actually owe money to the government this year.

“These are the things you need to be aware of and prepared for before you go to file,” Gay explains. “If you didn’t opt to withhold taxes, you will have to pay.” 

He’s referring to the unemployment benefits paid out to all those who lost their jobs. Gay says, there’s a lot of paperwork to sort through this tax season, so he urges people to get help filing.

“You could literally be costing yourself thousands of dollars by not getting any help,” says Gay. 

The deadline to pay these taxes is April 15. 

It’s important to note that stimulus payments are not taxable, but they do have to be accounted for on your return.