West Virginia exempts $10,200 in unemployment benefits from taxation

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — It has been a busy tax season at the AARP tax preparation site in South Charleston.

AARP tax aide district coordinator Steve Wellons says they’ve done more than 1,000 tax preparations.

Due to COVID-19, they had people drop off their forms while tax preparers worked on them from home.

Another change this year is the new unemployment benefit exemption which will not tax the first $10,200 dollars.

It was first passed by President Biden in the American Rescue Plan Act, and then some states followed suit.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill into law Tuesday that will also exempt the $10,200 in unemployment benefits from the state taxes.

Those who already filed their returns will have to amend their state tax return, which Wellons says is going to be an extra hassle for people and tax preparers.

“To me, it seems like it would be much more efficient if the tax department of West Virginia can do basically a “software fix” and amend these returns and send people their refunds back,” he said.

Delegate Kayla Young (D-Kanawha) worked on the bill with the Governor, and she says there’s another option available.

“If you have filed your taxes, you’ll have to go onto the West Virginia state tax department website,” said Young.

“They have a whole site set up where you can fill out the form; it’s going to look just like your normal state return looks and at the top you’ll just click “amended return” instead of new return,” she said.

Young says the bill is very exciting.

“We didn’t think West Virginia was going to be one of the states that did that,” she said.

“West Virginia is one of only a few states that even taxes unemployment income as income in the first place.”

Wellons says people need the money.

“These people that were getting, that have this unemployment, were already kinda in hard times financially, and really, really need, they could really use that money that they would get back,” he said.

If you already filed through a third-party software like TurboTax, you don’t need to amend the state return through them, you can do it via the West Virginia state tax department website for free.

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