CAD Tax Site Manager answers pandemic-related tax questions

Updated: March 01, 2021 09:32 PM
Created: March 01, 2021 04:15 PM

Zayla Asquith-Heinz, the Tax Site manager for Community Action Duluth, has been receiving several pandemic-related tax questions this year.

One of the most pressing concerns for people, she said, is what to do if they didn’t receive a stimulus check they were due.

“If an individual did not receive either one of those, whether that’s for themselves, their child, or their dependent, then they can recover those stimulus checks through filing a 2020 tax return," said Asquith-Heinz.

If someone is filing for them, they simply have to let them know how much they didn’t receive.

She said that anyone filing themselves just needs to fill that information out themselves in the program that they are using.

Another major concern she’s seen this year, is people receiving lower tax returns than expected or even owing money because no taxes were withheld for their unemployment.

"It’s important to know that unemployment is taxable.  It's recorded in the federal form called a 1099-G, so if you received unemployment you should have received a 1099-G."

For Minnesotans who collected unemployment last year, but haven’t received this form, Asquith-Heinz said they are able to recover it themselves in the same location where they originally filed.

For those who owe money this year, she says it’s important that they file before April 15th to avoid financial consequences, but for those who don’t owe anything, they actually have up to three years to file before any fines are incurred. 

Though there are some qualifications that need to be met, there are organizations in Duluth that help people file their taxes for free.

The aforementioned Community Action Duluth is one such organization that helps with tax preperation. They do ask that those looking to get their taxes filed before April 15th start the process with them by March 15th due to the large work load they are currently dealing with.

More information can be found here.

The University of Minnesota, Duluth also offers the VITA Program.

According to Angela Braud, one of the program's organizers, “Limited tax preparation appointments are still available; our availability is limited to Wednesdays and Saturdays due to the Duluth Public Library being closed to the public. Tax appointments will only be scheduled during our limited office hours via phone.”

More information on the VITA Program can be found here.

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