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Counting on a tax refund or stimulus check? 5 things to know before filing your taxes


This year’s tax season will start against a very different backdrop.

Approximately 18 million people are on some form of unemployment assistance and savings rates are drooping along with personal income. Between August and December, a growing number of people said it’s hard paying for usual household expenses.

Income tax refunds — and claims on missed stimulus checks — may not be a welcome surge in cash this year. They might be a financial lifeline.

Refunds last year averaged $2,535, which is more than the first $1,200 stimulus check and the second $600 payment combined.

The Internal Revenue Service knows the stakes going into Feb. 12, the date when it will start…


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