Will your stimulus money affect your tax refund?

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WACO/TEMPLE, Texas – Tax season is here, and many are wondering if they have to pay back the stimulus money they received as part of the COVID-19 relief package.

Karyn Campbell, Senior General Manger at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Temple, says tax season was pushed back this year – which is something she has never seen before.

“So I want to set the expectation and understand they are delayed right now,” Campbell said.

With the IRS opening in February, it delays the time people will receive their refunds.

A common question people have is, are they required to pay back the stimulus cash they received as part of the COVID-19 relief package?

“Technically, you are not paying back the stimulus payment that was received,” Campbell said. “That was money given to us, but what you do have to do is reconcile or show that you received X amount of dollars.”

The reason proof of stimulus payments are required is to determine if a person qualifies for additional money.

“If you are adding a child to the tax return this year, you had a baby in 2020, then you will get an extra stimulus for that child adding to the tax return this year. So it is going to add an additional $1,100 to your tax return this year,” Campbell said.

If a person did not receive any of the first two payments, they can include that on their tax return – but it will delay the refund.

“If you add that additional $600 you did not receive from Stim 2, that $600 is actually going to delay the full refund,” Campbell said. “So we really encourage clients to not include it on the tax return, and get the money they’ve got coming to them first.”

If done this way, taxpayers can file an amended return to get the additional $600 after the full refund has been received.

Campbell said although the IRS opened later, her facility has been operating since December to get people their money while adhering to CDC guidelines.

“Things look different, but things are running very smooth,” Campbell said. “We just schedule the appointments and make sure we have enough staff to accommodate the amount of clients that are trying to get into the offices.”

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