All posts by Beth

Owner of Hupp Tax Service

what to do about the unemployment retroactive tax change

A tax law change passed in March 2021 allows you to exclude up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation from your 2020 income. This is a benefit to you. 

However, if your taxes were filed before this change was in effect, you may have paid too much tax.

What should you do? For now, do nothing. Later, keep in touch.

The IRS has stated they will automatically adjust for this change. They will start sending refunds in May, continuing over the summer months. However, they will not adjust for other tax breaks that might kick in when you lower your income (e.g, Earned Income Credit, Retirement Savings Credit, etc.).

To ensure you receive the full amount related to this tax change, when you get your unemployment-related refund from the IRS please let us know how much you received. We will review your tax return and calculate what we believe you should have received from the IRS. We can then determine what action, if any, is necessary. Keep in mind, this refund is separate and different from the EIP (Stimulus) money.

There is no charge for us to double check your refund amount. If it turns you didn’t get the full amount allowed, we will charge a fee for the additional work to amend your taxes.

This change affects Ohio taxes as well. We are hopeful Ohio will also make the adjustment automatically. 

We expect the IRS adjustment to be correct most of the time. But, just in case, please keep us posted so we can double check.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Appointments during COVID

We are sorry we aren’t able to meet face to face at the current time. We miss seeing our long-time clients and meeting friendly new faces! That said, we are available by phone and email to answer all of your questions.

You can still schedule an appointment if you like, to ensure we have time set aside for you on a certain day. (We might work on your tax return before your appointment if we have your W2s, etc.) Keep in mind, as of now our building is closed to the public.

We ask that you get us your tax documents at your earliest convenience. Drop off or upload (unsecured email is not always safe!) or mail to us. We will contact you with a few check-in questions. These will be things like confirming your address, dependents, bank info, and other necessary and beneficial tax questions. Then your tax documents will go to your preparer. If you don’t have a particular preparer in mind you can choose first available for faster service.

Once the preparer has your tax documents, they will call with any additional questions, and then your refund (we hope!) amount.

Once we are finished, it’s your turn. You will receive a folder with your tax documents and completed tax returns. Your folder might include “action” items. It is IMPORTANT you review all of your ACTION ITEMS to avoid penalties.

If you prefer a digital copy of your tax returns, let us know. We can deliver your completed returns securely through email or a client portal. You can sign electronically as well.

Stimulus (EIP2)

Most eligible taxpayers will receive their second stimulus (EIP2) by January 15, 2021. If you have not received a payment or any IRS guidance by then, you can claim the refundable Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return. 

The total of both stimulus payments are reported on your tax return. It is NOT TAXABLE. It is only included to ensure you receive the full amount.

Parking lot pick-up

Parking lot pick-up now available!  Call from the parking lot during business hours and we will bring your completed taxes to you. A secure drop– off box is still right by the front door 24/7. Remember, tax day is Wednesday, July 15.

Stimulus checks-round 1

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?

The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?

Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.
* 4/2/20 change from original answer** Due to the hardship this presents to many citizens, IRS is developing a process to send the stimulus checks WITHOUT the need to file a tax return.

I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?

Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?

For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?

The IRS will post all key information on as soon as it becomes available.

The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.

Ohio stay at home procedures

We strongly encourage everyone to adhere to Ohio’s stay-at-home order. As a professional service we are allowed to remain open. However, in the spirit of the order, we are closing our walk-up window effective Tuesday, March 24 through April 6. 

If you have an appointment with us, we regret that it is cancelled. When you get your tax documents to us, we will contact you. We invite you to upload your tax documents or mail them to us and we will work on them. Please stay at home as much as possible. 

Our building will be closed to the public and we will have greatly reduced staff, with strict social distancing rules enforced. We will be periodically checking messages and returning calls and emails. Our preparers will be working on alternate days. If you contact our office please be patient if it takes a couple days for us to respond. The tax deadline has been extended until July 15, and while no one really wants to be doing taxes in June and July, we can relax about taxes for the next two weeks. Stay at home and help flatten the curve. Once COVID-19 is under control we will be back at work in full force.


In these concerning times, we would like you to know the steps we are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As we learn more about this pandemic, we feel we need to do our part to “flatten the curve”, and slow down the spread of this virus. 

Hupp Tax Service plans to continue to prepare tax returns as long as we are healthy. However, we will suspend face to face appointments beginning March 17.  We are also closing the inside of our building to client traffic. 

We offer and encourage remote completion of your tax returns. We are implementing a Quick Drop and Quick Pick up service, which will allow for the briefest of time and interaction with our staff.

We have created a walk up window next to our front door, in addition to the existing secure mailbox. We have added a “parking lot service.” Call our office from our parking lot and our staff will step out to pick up and deliver to you in your car. 

We continue to offer our upload service.  For those who prefer paper, we have always had the option of mailing in your tax documents through the regular mail. We have been serving many clients this way, those who snowbird in Florida, those who have moved away, those kids who (were) away at college, and those who simply prefer to eliminate a trip to the tax office.

With this type of remote interaction, we want to assure you that our staff is still available to answer any and all questions you might have over the phone rather than in person. 

Again, any questions, concerns, please call our office at 440-944-4343.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Under 18 – city refunds

Working and under 18 years old? Make sure you are filing for ALL of your refunds. Sure, you probably know you can claim Federal and Ohio refunds. Did you know about your city tax refund? In Ohio, most* individuals under 18 are exempt from city tax. Often, employers withhold city tax for these teenagers who are exempt. What does this mean?

That means you may due a refund. A teenager who earned $3,000 would have a city tax refund of approximately $60. But you have to ask for it. 

You have to file a tax return for each city you worked in. Most of our nearby cities (e.g., Willowick, Eastlake, Wickliffe, Mentor, Willoughby, etc) are part of RITA , so one Form 10A will do. Fill it out, attach the W2s and proof of your birth date, and file it. Other cities, for example Cleveland, are part of CCA, which is a different form. And even other cities administer their own taxes, so you would file directly with them.  If you are having trouble, we are happy to help. Our fee for filing just the city tax return is $35.

*While most Ohio cities exempt individuals under 18 years old, there are some, like Painesville, where the age is 16. Sorry, Painesville teenagers, you have to pay. 

Tax law passed dec. 20, 2019

Congress again has signed retroactive legislation. They extended through 2020 (partial list):
– Energy Credits (windows, doors, insulation, etc)
– PMI deduction (mortgage insurance premiums)
– Tuition and fees deduction
– Cancellation of qualified principal residence debt (e.g., foreclosures).

We believe the IRS will update the 2018 forms to allow us to amend those returns with the extension of the above tax breaks. Please let your tax preparer know if think you qualified for one of these tax breaks in 2018.

In addition, new tax provisions beginning in 2020 include a change in age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from age 70 1/2 to 72. Also, for those with a new child (born or adopted), up to $5,000 can be taken from a retirement account with no 10% penalty.

Rapid Refunds = Rip-Off

Avoid bank products like rapid or “instant” refunds. These are very costly and the cost is somewhat hidden.

They are costly because you aren’t really getting your refund, but a short term loan. These loans must go through a bank or other intermediary, and they charge a substantial fee. They have risk, because your refund may not be issued. If you owe back taxes, child support, or student loans, your refund will be taken to pay those debts. Or, your refund may be held up unexpectedly due to things beyond your control (e.g., identity theft, someone else claimed your dependent, etc). So the bank fees are substantial.

They are somewhat hidden, buried in your payment, and you might not realize it. If your refund was supposed to be $5400, and their fees are $400, you will only receive $5000. You may think a $5000 is great, and want it right now! But you just paid $400 to get your own money two weeks earlier.