Individuals who claimed unemployment benefits during 2020 are reminded to watch their mailboxes and unemployment system notifications for the 1099 form that is required to file their 2020 taxes.
“Many workers filed for unemployment for the first time this year and may be unaware of the importance of this form when filing federal income tax,” said Department of Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “Needing to have this document reproduced by the Unemployment Compensation Service Center may cause the claimant delays in filing their tax paperwork. We hope all Pennsylvanians keep a watchful eye out for this key document and avoid mistakenly discarding it.”
Claimants of all unemployment programs offered during 2020 receive a 1099 tax form detailing their benefit payments. This form will soon be viewable on the online system where claimants file their weekly claims. Claimants who have requested the 1099 tax form to be mailed should receive it no later than Jan. 31. All claimants also have the option to view 1099 tax forms from previous years, if applicable.
Because the 1099 forms are automatically generated for all claimants receiving unemployment compensation payments, the receipt of a 1099 form by a person who didn’t file for unemployment may indicate a case of identity fraud. If someone who didn’t file for unemployment receives what looks to be a 1099 tax form in the mail, they should report this suspected fraud immediately so L&I can correct their income with the IRS and present any issues with the victim’s taxes.
“L&I is continuing to work with law enforcement partners to identify cases of unemployment fraud, including cases where the victim may not be aware their identity was stolen and used to apply for benefits,” said Berrier. “As a reminder, L&I will never contact you and ask for personal information such as your username, password or full Social Security number, so please do not provide it. And if you believe you are the victim of identity theft, please make us aware so we can take steps to prevent issues in areas such as income tax.”
If you suspect or know that someone is using your personal information such as your name, Social Security number or date of birth without your knowledge or consent to file for UC benefits, complete and submit the Identity Theft Form. If you know of individuals who are collecting UC benefits illegally, including people who are working and not reporting their wages for PA UC benefit purposes, or people who cannot work due to an illness, disability or incarceration, complete and submit the Unemployment Claims Fraud Form.
You can also call the PA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469, and file a police report with the municipality you resided in at the time the unemployment benefits in question were paid. A copy of the police report must be provided to the Office of Unemployment Compensation.
If you are a victim of identity theft, you may also report it to the Federal Trade Commission and start a recovery plan at identitytheft.gov