PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Tax filing season is upon us, meaning many Rhode Islanders, like Bruce Yuro, are beginning to get their paperwork in order.
But the Coventry resident had a hard time accessing his 1099G form online. Yuro, like several other 12 News viewers, wrote into 12 Responds to express their frustrations.
“I typically will file my taxes right at the beginning of February,” Yuro said “When I wasn’t getting it and they hadn’t released it, I was concerned.”
The 1099G form is for those who collected unemployment benefits. He said he filed for unemployment last spring.
“I took off April and May last year as a voluntary layoff because we were slow,” Yuro said.
Yuro said he didn’t have any problems with unemployment benefits until recently, when he said he tried using his PIN number to access the 1099G form online.
“The system kept kicking me out and telling me they didn’t recognize me,” he said.
12 News reached out to the Department of Labor and Training (DLT) regarding the issue. A spokesperson said those who can’t access their 1099G forms can reset their PIN online, but Yuro said he wasn’t able to.
“When they ask you to reset your PIN, it sends you into this loop right back to where you started,” Yuro said. “Put in your social security, put in your date of birth, again, and then it’d kick you out again.”
The DLT spokesperson said since updated information, including PIN numbers, is sent to the system overnight, anyone who has reset their PIN will need to wait to try and download the form again the following day.
Yuro said he tried contacting the DLT Call Center for assistance, but no one there would help him.
“They kept telling you to call back because they’re inundated or they’re very busy,” Yuro said.
The DLT spokesperson suggested calling later in the day or at the end of the week, when it’s usually less busy.
During a small business forum held Tuesday by incoming Gov. Dan McKee, DLT Assistant Director Matt Weldon said they were able to help slightly more than 1,000 people last week. He suggested Rhode Islanders visit their website prior to contacting the DLT Call Center.
“I’m working with our web developer to make some new graphics and to make it a little bit easier to find information,” he said.
Weldon also said the DLT Call Center has been receiving calls from people questioning the amount of unemployment benefits they received.
“The issue really was, either people didn’t realize how many payments they had gotten, and that’s partially because we need to do a better job of providing a benefit balance statement,” he said, noting that all of the claims he looked into were accurate.
He said unemployment benefits are taxable and Rhode Islanders could still owe taxes even if their taxes were withheld.
“Every payment that came from DLT, whether it be your regular unemployment, pandemic unemployment, the $600 extra weekly amount, the amount that FEMA put through which was $300 a week, the governor’s pause boost which was $200, and now the extra $300 a week … all of those payments are taxable,” he explained.
The DLT also said pop-up blockers could be preventing the form from appearing on your computer, and simply turning off ad blocker could resolve the issue.
Those who have tried all of these steps and still can’t access their 1099G form online can wait for the form to arrive in the mail, which the DLT said were recently sent out and should arrive by the end of the week.
The latest unemployment rate in Rhode Island hover just over 8%, and Weldon said they’re still helping about 80,000 people per week.
“We had 83,000 people request a payment last week,” he said.