Raleigh, N.C. — Federal workers who received unemployment benefits from North Carolina during the partial government shutdown in October will have to settle up soon or risk an extra tax bill.
That was the word Wednesday from Assistant Commerce Secretary Dale Folwell, head of the Division of Employment Security.
"We're looking at somewhere between 550 and 700 people" who filed for benefits while they were furloughed, Folwell said.
Not all claimed or received jobless checks during the shutdown. Those who did, however, are now required to return the money to the state because Congress approved back pay for the furlough, he said.
"It's important for them to get this cleared up in the next week because we're starting to generate our 1099 forms," he said, referring to the IRS form used by the state to report benefits it pays out during the tax year.
Any federal workers who haven't yet reimbursed the state yet will receive a 1099 form for benefits they received. That means they'll have to pay income taxes on the benefits – even though they'll still have to give that money back to the state.
"I think the last thing a federal employee needs is for us to send them a 1099 form for income that they know they're going to have to pay back," Folwell said. "It's very important for these federal employees to get this money back to us as soon as possible."
Folwell said he'll be sending out letters to affected workers this week, urging them to get their repayments in quickly.
The DES has also added a new feature to make repayment easier: the agency is now accepting credit card payments online, he said.