How is Repayment of Unemployment Treated on a Tax Return

When you receive unemployment benefits, it’s important to know how they will impact your tax return. Generally, unemployment benefits are taxable income and should be reported on your tax return. The amount you received in benefits will be included in your total income, and you will pay taxes on it accordingly. Depending on your other income and deductions, you may be eligible for a refund or owe additional taxes. To accurately report your unemployment benefits, you should receive a Form 1099-G from the unemployment office detailing the amount you received during the tax year. It’s essential to keep this form for your tax records and to ensure accurate reporting of your income.

Taxability of Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are payments made by the government to individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. These benefits are taxable at the federal and state levels. The amount of tax you owe will depend on your income and filing status.

If you received unemployment benefits in 2023, you will need to report them on your tax return. You can find the amount of benefits you received on the Form 1099-G that you received from the unemployment agency.

You can use the following table to determine how your unemployment benefits will be taxed:

Filing StatusTax Rate
Married filing jointly15%
Married filing separately20%
Head of household12%

If you owe taxes on your unemployment benefits, you can make estimated tax payments throughout the year. You can also have taxes withheld from your unemployment benefits by completing the Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request.

How to Handle Unemployment Repayment on Your Tax Return

If you collected unemployment benefits during the past year, you’ll need to report them on your tax return. More often than not, the full amount you collected is added to your income, increasing your overall tax bill. If you also received a tax refund based on your unemployment income, you may need to repay a portion of it.

Deductions for Taxes

You can deduct any taxes withheld from your unemployment benefits from your total income. This deduction will help to reduce your taxable income, resulting in lower taxes owed.


If you received a tax refund using your unemployment income, you will generally need to repay part of the refund if you end up not owing taxes. This can occur if you had other deductions or credits that reduced your tax liability, or if your income ended up being lower than originally estimated.

How to Repay

You can repay the overpayment by adding the amount due to your tax return. Alternatively, you can make a direct payment to the IRS. If you are repaying through your tax return, you will need to use Form 1040-ES to calculate and submit your payment.

In addition to repaying the amount of the overpayment, you may also owe interest on the amount you repaid. The interest rate is determined by the IRS and is adjusted quarterly. Interest will be added to your tax bill if you do not repay the overpayment in full by the tax filing deadline.

Type of RepaymentHow to PayInterest Charges
Include in Tax ReturnForm 1040-ESYes, if not paid in full by tax filing deadline
Direct Payment to IRSIRS website or mailYes, if not paid in full by tax filing deadline

Reporting Unemployment Repayments on Your Tax Return

If you received unemployment benefits in a previous year and later had to repay some or all of them, you must report the repayment on your tax return. Here’s how:

Schedule 1

Report the repayment as “Other Income” on Schedule 1 (Form 1040), line 8z. Enter the amount repaid, along with a brief description (e.g., “Unemployment compensation repayment”).

Exceptions to Schedule 1

  • If you repaid unemployment benefits from a prior year and received a Form 1099-G for the repayment, report the amount on line 5 of Schedule 1 (Form 1040).
  • If you repaid unemployment benefits from the current year, do not report the repayment on your tax return. It will automatically be accounted for when calculating your taxable unemployment income.

Impact on Refund or Owed Taxes

Repaying unemployment benefits can impact your tax refund or the amount of taxes you owe. When you repay, the amount repaid is treated as taxable income, increasing your overall taxable income, which can lead to several outcomes:

  • Reduced refund: If you were expecting a refund based on your initial tax return, the repayment may reduce your refund amount.
  • Owed taxes: If the repayment pushes your taxable income into a higher tax bracket, you may end up owing taxes instead of receiving a refund.
  • No change: If the repayment does not change your tax bracket or otherwise affect your tax liability, you may see no change in your refund or owed taxes.

It is important to note that the impact of the repayment will vary depending on your specific financial situation, including your other income, deductions, and credits.

Calculating the Impact

To estimate the impact of the repayment on your taxes, you can use a tax estimator or consult with a tax professional. Here is a simplified example of how the repayment can affect your taxes:

Initial taxable incomeRepayment amountNew taxable incomeTax obligation

In this example, the repayment increases the taxpayer’s taxable income by $5,000, resulting in a higher tax obligation. Depending on the individual’s other financial factors, this could lead to a reduced refund or even owed taxes.

And there you have it, folks! Navigating the ins and outs of repaying unemployment on your tax return can be a bit of a maze, but hopefully this little guide has helped shed some light on the matter. Remember, the most important thing is to be honest and accurate with your reporting. If you’re still feeling a bit lost, don’t hesitate to reach out to a tax professional for assistance. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check back later for more helpful tax tips and tricks!