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Tax expert advises people who received pandemic financial assistance to file taxes earlier

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Tax experts are advising people who received pandemic-related financial assistance to gather their tax records now.

IRS Spokeswoman Irma Treviño said employers have until February 1 to file W-2 and 1099 forms. 

"Many people, because of the pandemic, applied for unemployment and received those payments last year," Treviño said. "Well, we need [you] to include those on your tax return."

Treviño said unemployment is taxable if you did not request voluntary withholding, but as far as stimulus checks — they are not taxable. 

"Remember, we all pay taxes and when they approved that CARES law to help tax payers in the country because of the pandemic -- that money came back from the taxes we all paid," Treviño said. 

Some experts say if you're not sure you received all of your stimulus money you're entitled to, you can report it on your income tax form and the government will reimburse you. 

Anyone who has been a victim to identify theft can use the IRS identity protection pin service. 

Free online filing tools like Turbo Tax, Free Tax USA and H&R Block free edition will be available by mid-January for those who make $72,000 or less.

Watch the video for the full story. 

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