With all of the layoffs that are currently taking place, I thought I’d spend a few minutes talking about whether or not unemployment benefits are taxable. In short, they are. Because unemployment payments are technically classified as income, you have to pay income tax on them. Sucks, huh?
Here’s the answer straight from the IRS (see Topic 418 for more details):
Unemployment compensation is includible in gross income. You must report unemployment compensation on line 19 of Form 1040, line 13 of Form 1040A, or line 3 of Form 1040EZ.
If you receive unemployment at some point during the year, you should received Form 1099-G showing how much you were paid. Oh, and if you don’t make a “voluntary withholding request,” you might have to make estimated quarterly tax payments to avoid an underwithholding.