LWC: 1099-G tax forms now available for La. residents who received unemployment benefits in 2020

LWC: 1099-G tax forms now available for La. residents who received unemployment benefits in 2020
Louisiana Workforce Commission (Source: KSLA)

The following information is from the Louisiana Workforce Commission:

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has begun the process of mailing 698,000 1099-G forms to individuals who received unemployment benefits in 2020. Digital copies of the 1099 forms are also accessible in the LWC’s secure HiRE website, www.louisianaworks.net.

“The 2020 total reflects the unprecedented increase in the number of unemployment claims in 2020, a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “The 2020 total is 14 times more than the number of Forms 1099-G produced for 2019 unemployment benefits, when approximately 48,000 individuals received benefits.”

To access the 1099-G information, individuals should log into HiRE and go to the left navigation options. Go to Services for Individuals > Unemployment Services, and select Form 1099-G Information from the sub-navigation options presented. On the row marked 2020, click “View” to open a printable pdf copy of the 1099-G form.

The forms are being mailed by the LWC to the latest address the agency has on file for the recipients. All 1099-G forms will be mailed by the end of January.

All paid unemployment benefits are considered taxable income by the IRS. Individuals who are required to file a tax return must report the total shown in Box 1 on the 1099-G as income to the IRS.

“The huge influx of unemployment claims in 2020 also brought a significant number of identity theft cases, and the mailing of the Forms 1099-G is expected to reveal even more suspected identity theft,” said Dejoie. “An international crime ring used previously stolen personal information to fraudulently claim unemployment benefits in states across the country, including Louisiana. The stolen information was used to both open new unemployment claims in victims’ names as well as access legitimate unemployment claims and fraudulently file for benefits.

“We strongly advise anyone who receives a 1099-G for unemployment benefits for which they did not apply to report the suspected identity theft via our agency’s online form at www.laworks.net,” said Dejoie.

The form is accessible via the Fight Fraud icon on the website’s home page. A direct link to the online form is https://www2.laworks.net/Forms/UI_ReportSuspectedFraudForm.asp.

The LWC is providing additional guidance with the mailed 1099-G forms to individuals who suspect they are victims of identity theft:

· The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advises if you received a 1099-G in error and it has not been corrected before you file your federal income tax return, you should NOT report the income. You must attach a statement to your return why you are not reporting the 1099-G income. A copy of the submission confirmation from the LWC’s online fraud reporting form can serve as the written statement. For more information from the IRS on identity theft issues, go to https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft.

· Individuals must file a report or complaint with the following agencies and provide copies of these reports to the LWC as part of the agency’s investigation. It is recommended to have these reports in hand before submitting the online fraud form to the LWC:

o A report filed with your local law enforcement agency.

o The Office of Inspector General’s online Allegation Form, available at https://www.oig.dhs.gov/hotline.

o Confirmation of a filed identity theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov. Be sure to indicate that someone has used your personal information to attempt to obtain government benefits.

Those completing the online fraud form must provide an accurate and active email address so the LWC can send full instructions on next steps, Dejoie said. If an online fraud reporting form has already been submitted to the LWC regarding the ID theft, there is no need to submit the form again unless a confirmation of the submission is needed for record-keeping and to use as your written statement to the IRS with your income tax return.

It should also be noted that filing a false identity theft report is subject to criminal penalties.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I believe the amount of unemployment benefits on my 1099-G may be incorrect. How can I get it corrected?

A: You should first review all your 2020 payments showing in your account in our HiRE website. If the total in HiRE doesn’t match the total shown on your 1099-G, you can contact our Unemployment Call Center at 866-783-5567 and request a payment review. If an error is identified, we will take necessary action to make the correction and issue a corrected 1099-G. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advises if you received a 1099-G in error and it has not been corrected before you file your federal income tax return, you should NOT report the income. You must attach a statement to your return why you are not reporting the 1099-G income. A copy of the submission confirmation from the LWC’s online fraud reporting form can serve as the written statement.

Q: The benefits reported on my 1099-G were overpaid. Could you provide me with a corrected 1099-G?

A: We are required by the Internal Revenue Services to put all benefit payments, including amounts overpaid, on this form. A claim overpayment does not require a correction to the 1099-G.

Q: I have repaid some (or all) of my overpayment and need a corrected 1099-G. How can I get a corrected form?

A: As stated in the above answer, the LWC is required by the IRS to put all benefit payments, including amounts overpaid, on the 1099-G. The LWC does not issue corrected 1099s for overpaid monies or repayments made against an overpayment. You can bring your 1099-G and proof of the repayment(s) to a qualified tax preparer, who would be the best source for answers to any questions you have about reporting your unemployment payments, overpayments, and repayments.

Q: I have already reported Identity Theft to the LWC. Why did I still receive a 1099-G?

A: The IRS requires absolute proof of Identity Theft in order for 1099-Gs not to be issued. If you have reported Identity Theft to the LWC, you should have received a follow-up email which provided next-step instructions for Identity Theft victims to have their name cleared in LWC’s system. You must follow the steps as directed and upload ALL requested documents for the case to be investigated. If you did not receive an email detailing next-step instructions, you will need to resubmit the Identity Theft request at https://www2.laworks.net/Forms/UI_ReportSuspectedFraudForm.asp. Once you receive the email and upload all required documentation (including a police report), there is nothing else required of you unless investigators need to contact you for more information. Save the submission confirmations and the required documentation, including a police report, for your records and for tax purposes. If ID Theft is confirmed by our investigation, a corrected 1099-G will be issued.

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