Tax refund tips for getting more money back from the IRS with write-offs for unemployment, loans

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Tax refund tips for getting more money back from the IRS
You have extra time to file your taxes this year, which also means extra times to find extra money for your refund.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The extra time to file your 2020 tax return this year also means more time to find savings.

The federal tax deadline was extended from April 15 to May 17 because of the COVID pandemic. Now that you have an extra month the I-Team is sharing tips on how to get extra cash back into your pocket.

People who relied on unemployment benefits in 2020 are in for a break, according to Forbes advisor, tax expert and former IRS agent Kemberley Washington.

"If you earn less than $150,000 you'll qualify for a tax break up to $10,200," she said. "And it simply means you do not have to include up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits in 2020 on your taxes."

Tax experts say that $10,200 write-off could mean a savings of $1,020. That change was based off of the latest stimulus package, so if you've already filed your taxes, the IRS will make that adjustment for you and increase your refund.

And the savings don't stop there.

"If you are someone who gave a bonafide loan, not a gift, but a loan to someone and, you know, because of COVID or whatever the case may be, this person has maybe faced a financial hardship and will not pay you back you qualify for what's called the bad debt deduction," Washington explained. "The way that this works is if someone owed you money, you know they're not going to pay you back, you can actually take it as deduction on your tax return. Family member or friend, whoever you loaned money to."

Experts say you can write off up to $3,000, but if you're looking to do this, you should get a professional tax preparer to help. If you can't afford a tax preparer you may qualify for one, at no cost.

"Your income generally has to be under $57,000 a year to qualify. Head to you can enter your address and it will show you which programs and which sites may be available to you in your area,' Washington said. "because of COVID you may have to drop it off."

And if you make under $72,000 a year you can qualify for the use of free tax software and online filing by going to

Click here for more information on writing off unemployment income.