Taxes and Unemployment – Is My 1099 Correct?

Screenshot of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment's Tax Form 1099-G webpageWe’re more than halfway through January, so many people are starting to receive 1099-G tax forms for their unemployment. It’s causing a lot of surprises. Here’s what I know, especially for some Colorado specifics.

If you haven’t received it yet, don’t panic. The state has to send them by January 31 (correction, Feb. 1 this year). Also, no tax claims will be processed until February 12.

What if I think my 1099 is Wrong?

What Counts as Taxable Income for Unemployment?

First, make sure you have counted all of the following:

  • All unemployment benefits, including regular unemployment insurance (UI) and any federal or state extension (PEUC, SEB, and PUA) – pre taxes
  • The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) “extra $600” that was available from the spring through the end of July. Different states had it for different weeks; for Colorado, if you were eligible all 17 weeks from March 29 through July 25, that’s a total of $10,200 (New York state had one less week) - yes, it's taxable
  • The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) “extra $300” for up to 6 weeks in Colorado adds up to $1800 (July 26 to September 5 - we were one of the first states to request it and others didn't get all six before the funds ran out)
  • In Colorado we also had the $375 “Polis stimulus”it too is taxable, though the two federal stimulus payments in 2020 are NOT taxable
  • The FPUC, LWA, and Colorado state stimulus, if you were eligible for every week of each, add up to $12,375
  • If you had any DELAYED payment from 2020, which wasn’t paid until January 2021, these do NOT count; when I was doublechecking my husband’s and was off by two weeks, I forgot that he didn’t get his backpay until January 4
  • [UPDATE] If you're off by the amount of a weekly benefit or two, remember to consider whether there were any "gap weeks" between programs; also, if you had a partial payment one week, it may add up with another week to form the full benefit, and not be two complete weeks of unemployment

For all of the above, you need to add up the gross (pre-tax) amount for each of them to equal what is in Box 1 of your 1099-G. If you elected to have taxes taken out already, that amount taken out adds up to Box 4 for the federal amount (roughly 10% for Colorado) and Box 11 for state (roughly 4%). Note, everyone’s individual tax rate is very different – you may still owe, or may get a refund, but this is a “best guess” amount for the state to take across the board for everyone. Unemployment benefits are not subject to Medicare and Social Security, however.

Note: Residents in six states — Alabama, California, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia — will not pay [state] income taxes on jobless benefits even though those states have a state income tax. States that don't have an income tax, such as Florida, aren't taxing jobless benefits at the state level (Source: Herald Review).

For those in the original MYUI system, the “extra” payments were never visible to us as part of our total, but they are on your taxes - AND they are now somewhat visible in MyUI+. At the time of this writing, I can see the $600, but not the $300 or $375. I’m told that those who have been in PUA all along have always had the ability to see all three of these payments in their account. Go to View and Maintain Account Information, then Payment History, then scroll down to the Payment Summary. The $600 is in the “Additions” column. “Deductions” tells you the taxes that were taken out (there may be other reasons for a deduction, but this is the main one). “Payment Amount” is what was deposited into your account after all taxes/deductions. (Remember, you have to add this to the deductions amount in order to find the gross reported for taxes.)

Colorado’s issue with 1099s

Screenshot of the incorrect TIN for Colorado's PUA, with the number 85-6000577
Oops. That's too many zeros for PUA. UPDATE: Or maybe completely the wrong number....

There are two different 1099s you may receive, based on which filing system you were in for 2020.

For the old MyUI system (UI, PEUC and SEB), you will receive a 1099-G with a Payer TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) of 84-0802678. [UPDATE 2/17 - this is now the correct TIN for BOTH types of 1099Gs.] This is the same number they have used for years. It appears every one of these is being mailed out at this point. They may eventually become available in MyUI+ but either way, they still have until January 31 to send them. If you only receive this one, but did transition to PUA, you need to add up BOTH 1099s.

UPDATED 1/28: For those in the PUA system, first, the state issued 1099s with a different Taxpayer Identification Number, 85-6000577 (or sometimes one less zero - UPDATE: BOTH ARE WRONG, SEE BELOW). Members of my Colorado Unemployment Facebook group were actually the first to spot that when input into a tax prep software it came up as New Mexico instead. I reported it to CDLE officials, and they pulled all incorrect ones from the website to be re-issued. When these were re-issued, they had the same TIN as the other group of people, 84-0802678 (as reported here 1/25). However, it doesn't say corrected* and it doesn't add up to include the other. It also has a Box 10b State Identification number of just "08" whereas the MYUI one has 23-86309. Evidently the 08 is a bit of a place-filler (others have reported that Colorado is the 8th state alphabetically, and often referred there for that), and that while it's not a definitive number, it may not be something the IRS really looks at. I haven't filed my taxes yet this year to see if they even ask for that number. I do know it's NOT reported in the same area as 1099-MISC. I also know that last year I could NOT put two different 1099G in my system, so I've asked her if people are supposed to add the two together in that case, and if they should use the longer number if so. She said she'd try to track down and get the answer. If you ONLY have PUA, I don't think you'll have issues if you put in 08. It's still a little questionable what to do if you have two different 1099s now with the same TIN but different Box 10b numbers. WHEE.

*The CDLE person who called me said that the reason it does NOT say "CORRECTED" is because that first batch hadn't been sent on to the IRS yet. So in Federal terms, there was no incorrect one, and thus no need for a "corrected" one. Confused yet?

What if my amount is still wrong? What if I need another copy?

Again, please check that you have added up the $600, $300 and $375 payments mentioned above, and all weeks of unemployment pre-tax, and have looked for two different 1099s if you were in both online systems. If you still find that your amount is incorrect, visit Colorado UI’s 1099 webpage, where you can report an invalid 1099 or a fraudulent 1099. There are also instructions on changing your address and requesting a duplicate 1099. (Check your own unemployment website if you are in a different state.)

UPDATE 1/31 regarding getting a DUPLICATE/RESENT one - According to the IRS website, "A 2015 law made it a permanent requirement that employers file copies of their Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by January 31. That is also the date the Forms W-2 are due to workers. This upcoming tax season, however, January 31 falls on a Sunday, pushing the due dates to the next business day, which is Monday, February 1." I can confirm that MANY people have received them by mail, including the updated PUA ones. Some people can see them online, some cannot. (CDLE also recommends you review your current mail or email address information, select "View and Maintain Account Information"-> "Contact Information" screen.) If you were sent them in ONE of these ways, that's all they are currently required to do. Frankly, the mail system is incredibly delayed - and since it's my blog, I can be political and blame this on the previous administration. Anyway, that same link above will tell you the way to get a DUPLICATE 1099 is to download one in your account. Hopefully this is updated VERY soon in our accounts.

UPDATE 2/1 - Some people (not me, of COURSE) are seeing a message to contact a 505 phone number to request a duplicate. DO NOT CALL THIS NUMBER. Some poor woman in New Mexico's Workforce area is being flooded with things she can't answer. I have reported this as well.

UPDATE 2/4 - It was asked by our reporter friend to CDLE. Still no ETA on when 1099s will be available for download in MyUI+. Sigh.

UPDATE 2/14 - We have now discovered a form on the website to request a duplicate 1099G. The instructions on this page say to use this form only if you need a duplicate from the old MyUI system (those in UI, PEUC, SEB). Those in PUA should supposedly have access in MyUI+ to download it.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE (UPDATE/EDIT)

Since we're talking taxes, there is a special circumstance to look for in your taxes, but it may not be automatic in your tax program/make sure your accountant knows/make sure to look for it. “This tax season, tax filers will be able to choose whether they want to use either their 2019 or 2020 earned income to calculate the Earned Income Tax Credit on their 2020 income tax returns, thanks to a one-time look-back provision. The look-back will also help financially challenged people qualify for the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit, which is allowed even if you do not owe any tax.” "The latest COVID-19 economic relief package, signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 27, created a special break for obtaining the earned income tax credit after the economic upheaval in 2020."

Also, if you didn't receive one of the federal stimulus payments, or you had a child between your 2019 taxes and receiving them, be sure to account for that in your taxes too.

For an entire article about even more thoughts on unemployment and taxes, including about taking money out of an IRA right now, and more, check out this one from Forbes.

UPDATE 2/7: A new bill has been introduced that would "would remove taxes on up to $10,200 in unemployment aid for the 2020 tax filing year." It would include PUA and PEUC, but has NOT been passed. Nothing is official. The $10,200 exemption amount is intended to cover 17 weeks of the extra $600 federal unemployment benefit that was passed as part of the Cares Act and ran from March to the end of July 2020. Note, it wouldn't cover the $300 Lost Wages Assistance, nor the Colorado-specific $375 stimulus. It remains to be seen whether this will be finalized before the IRS starts processing returns February 12th.

Check out more posts tagged Navigating Unemployment

33 thoughts on “Taxes and Unemployment – Is My 1099 Correct?”

  1. Okay so I understand what it’s says happened with the TIN. However, I now have two 1099G’s for my PUA claim. One is the 85-6000577 and the other is the 84- number used for regular UI/PEUC. Neither form is checked as corrected. Is EITHER of these correct to use for my PUA claim?? Thanks!!!

    1. So, I think you know this from discussion elsewhere – but they didn’t write “CORRECTED” on them, because they hadn’t sent the batch to IRS yet, so IRS doesn’t need a corrected one. All 1099s now have the same TIN (post is updated). There are two VERY different Box 10b numbers. CDLE has advised me to use them separately as written…even though the 08 is kinda a “filler” number in reality.

  2. I only have one 1099 on their website and mailed that has a total of 902.00
    I was getting unemployment with taxes taken out since the end of March 2020 and I have not received a 1099 for all that unemployment income. I have no idea why and I can’t seem to get a hold of anyone to find out the reason or what the mix-up is?

    1. Unfortunately, they seem to be very off, and constantly making it worse, regarding the 1099s. For a while today they had a phone number of some poor woman in New Mexico which was NOT correct.

  3. Still waiting for my 1099G. Isn’t even available on the website for me to download. Is this happening with anyone else? Called the ‘virtual assistant’ yesterday, and was told if not received by the middle of February to call back – ugh! No way to even know if the correct amounts are listed. Any insight?

    1. My own were mailed to me. My guess is you have a set stuck in the terrible post office system due to the previous federal administration. I’m hoping they get online soon, but the deadline was to be mailed by 2/1.

      1. It is February 8 and still nothing in the mail or online. I checked with my previous address and nothing. I called and was told to call the 9000 number and can not get a person and the Virtual Assistant has no answer. The “Get a duplicate” link just sends you to your My UI page so you’re back to Square 1

        1. It is very frustrating that they are not available online yet. Someone else said they heard 2/15, but I have had ZERO confirmation of any date to get them online. Meanwhile, mine came in the mail weeks ago. I do know my mother keeps getting Christmas cards because the USPS system is terrible. I completely blame the previous administration if it is stuck in the mail. That said, CDLE should make them available online too.

          1. 2/15 has come and gone and still no 1099 in the mail or online. I don’t know what to do. I ordered a copy to be mailed to me but am not holding my breath

  4. On my 1099-G, the State Identification Number says “08”. Is this correct, or is it a typo? PLEASE help! I’m trying to file my taxes early! Thank you!!!

    1. So as I wrote in the post in the “UPDATED 1/28” section, the 08 is a “place filler” according to CDLE, and they said it should be fine to use. (It still doesn’t seem to be right, but they say the IRS won’t worry about it.) Anyway, they are not planning to re-issue it.

  5. Is there any reason those of us who haven’t received our 1099g’s can’t just figure out our 1099g ourselves?

    Gross payout (including the extra $600, $300, ect) of weekly payments is easily able to be calculated on the payment history page for 2020, then if chosen to withhold taxes we just calculate the 10% (fed box 4) and 4% (state, box 11) of the gross pay then using info gathered from here (Payer TIN, 84-0802678 and box 10b, 08) it seems thats all that’s going to be mailed to us.

    Am I missing anything?

    1. I will say it’s not an exact 10% and 4%, for one thing, for my own withholdings. (What I received for the Polis stimulus equals .8586666….,etc. of the total, for instance.) They are going to try to get back to me today with an anticipated date for 1099s online. The vendor told them “Friday,” but they need to clarify if that meant tomorrow or next week, is my understanding.

      1. Would love an update for this, completed my taxes otherwise…even had TurboTax help tell me this would be ok and can be amended after the fact to account for any differences.

  6. Hi! I don’t know if this helps anyone but if you did not receive your 1099-g in the mail they will be adding a voice request duplicate option on Feb. 15.

    1. I asked specifically yesterday for what the update date was, and they couldn’t give it to me. I won’t hold my breath on your information, but it’s good to add.

  7. I found that if I use the 08 in box 10b instead of the correct state identification number, it affects my state refund. The first 1099G I received has the correct state identification number so I am using that instead of the 08 provided on the second 1099G. I just hope I don’t get into trouble for that. I have tried to contact unemployment to bring that to their attention with no luck getting through. This is very frustrating.

    1. Sigh. Yup, I figured that would happen. Looks like TurboTax was okay with it, from someone else’s comment in my Facebook group. I have forwarded your comment to my contact at CDLE to let them know, and ask if that number from the original is the one to use.

  8. Hello,

    I received my PUA 1099g from Arkansas. I chose to have my taxes withheld when I applied for it. Box 1 Unemployment compensation shows the amount that I actually received and Box 4 shows the amount of Federal Taxes Withheld. Shouldn’t Box 1 shows the pre tax amount of my Unemployment? Or After Tax? Box 1 shows the exact amount that was deposited on my relia card and BoX 4 shows that $902 was withheld as a federal tax.

    1. Let’s see, looking at mine: Box 1 for me is the full amount I earned, not that I received after taxes were taken out. You may have an incorrect 1099. If you add Box 4 and Box 11 (State withheld, if appropriate), along with what you actually received, that would add up to Box 1. (Give or take child support/garnishments, etc.)

  9. Question of the day regarding 1099G- Colorado paid my claim for “most” eligible weeks in 2020. Any time there was Federal or State bonus money added onto a week, I instantly became “ineligible” and it showed an overpayment balance to be paid back. When the bonus money runs out, I become “eligible” again and the overpayment vanishes. My Federal 11 week extension should have started yesterday, but of course I’ve become “ineligible” again and have an overpayment to pay back from 2020.
    How is the 1099G accurate if I have to pay the money back? Is it income or a loan? I don’t understand why I should pay taxes on money that I am paying back

    1. This is way above my volunteer paygrade. I would send in one of the correction forms, but also try to get someone on the phone about why this is happening. Perhaps your workforce center can get through to a human at CDLE. (Remember today is a holiday, so not today.) They have a chat line to UI reps, and a hotline Wed-Friday. If yours won’t answer, Boulder will take anyone’s calls.

  10. So my partner received 2 1099G’s. One with the 08 in the state box, and the other with full numbers. I am still not certain if he is supposed to report both, or one or the other. If I disregard the first one with the smaller amounts, and look at just the 2nd one with the bigger amounts because it does look like they migrated in all payments he received under the old system…and I compare it to his payment history screens and I pulled ALL payments received between 010120-123120 (and looking at authorized amount, and taxes deducted to get all the data I need…it looks like they are reporting he got more than he did by 288.00 dollars, but under reporting taxes paid by 909.00. I tried to use their little form to report an issue, and am still waiting, its been 2 weeks. I am so lost…and my son received UI last year too, and has no 1099 on his portal, and hasn’t been mailed one either. It’s very frustrating!

    1. First check that both are the correct TIN (see my blog). The one with 08 should be just what was in the PUA system. The longer number should add up to what was in the old MyUI system (UI/PEUC/SEB). Disregard any with the incorrect TIN for PUA. Many people are indeed receiving two, and accurately. If it is incorrect, use the report link I have. If you are still MISSING a 1099, use the new request link I have.

      1. So you are saying that both with the correct TIN should be the total sum of all benefits received? So I need to file his taxes with both. I really do not think he received this much money, and when I screen shot and print out all his payment history, I get closer to the 2nd 1099 received, at 14k, vs the sum of both 23k, but the taxes withheld are all way off. This is beyond frustrating! I have a call scheduled for the 25th to speak to someone, I think I would feel safer verifying the numbers prior to filing just to be safe – unless I am reading the payment history wrong.

        1. There are some who didn’t receive correct 1099s, but most are people who aren’t counting all the add-ons. Sure, see if they can confirm your amounts for you. They should be added IF he was both in PUA and the other system. (Two different 1099s with same TIN but different Box 10b numbers,) Also, my payment history does not show the $600 add ons from the fall, nor the $375 stimulus, though I did get those payments. If it is indeed wrong, I’ve got the report link listed above.

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