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Surprising tax notice for man with missing unemployment benefits

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BATON ROUGE - For 18 weeks last year, Karl Hamilton was furloughed from his job and hoped to collect unemployment benefits. He assumed it would take a couple of weeks for the benefits to arrive, but months went by and nothing came.

Hamilton says he called the Louisiana Workforce Commission and emailed them multiple times. He says it was difficult to get through and calls weren't returned.

He went back to work and didn't think much of those benefits until a 1099 form turned up in his mail.

"It says that I was paid $15,124, which I was never paid," Hamilton said.

The 1099 form says Hamilton was paid the money in unemployment compensation. Hamilton says he didn't see a dime.

"I don't know what's going on, I don't understand if the money went somewhere else," he said.

Like last year, Hamilton says he hasn't had much success getting in touch with the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

"Once in a while you get somebody, but they always tell you that a supervisor will call you back and no one calls you back," he said.

Hamilton reached out to 2 On Your Side with concern over his taxes. He said he was unable to file his taxes with the 1099 form that says he received $15,000 when he didn't.

Last week, 2 On Your Side reached out to LWC on Hamilton's behalf and soon after received a response. On Monday, Hamilton says he took a call from LWC that said he would be getting that money after all.

LWC says there currently isn't any known widespread issue with claimants receiving incorrect 1099-G forms, but if a claimant thinks their form is incorrect they can contact the UI call center.

If a claimant receives the 1099G form in error and did not file for UI benefits, they should:

• Go to the Fight Fraud banner located in the center of the laworks.com home page.
• The claimant will receive a confirmation that you can print out and attach to your tax return with the erroneous 1099-G.
• Remember, filing a false identity theft report is subject to criminal penalties.
• The IRS advises if someone receives a 1099-G in error and it has not been corrected before you file your federal income tax return, they should NOT report the income.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensations (FPUC) and Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) payments are taxable income.

Last month, 2 On Your Side reported that a man received an incorrect 1099 form and he is still working to get that corrected.

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