NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - People can start filing their 2020 taxes on Friday. Experts recommend people file as soon as possible, especially if they have been without a job due to COVID-19, even if they usually wait to file in April.

"It's hitting me all at once, so I'm trying to figure it out," Cal Stewart, who has been unemployed since last summer, said.

Accountant Patrick Min with Beacon Accounting and Tax Services said start planning now, especially for those laid off or earned less in 2020.

"You don't want to come up to April 15 and have a big surprise in terms of what you're going to owe," Min said.

Remember, if people have been out of a job and receiving unemployment benefits, those benefits are taxable. People may also benefit from a tax credit.

"If they didn't get the stimulus because in 2018 it was too high, but they should have because in 2019 it went down, they'll still have a shot at that," Min said.

People may not know that many people can take money out of their 401K without a penalty right now if they find themselves owing taxes.

"We're seeing more people having to use retirement assets now to help stay in their basic standard of living," Min said.

People we talked with that are still without a job are staying hopeful but are happy to hear they have options if they need them.

"I'm hoping to find employment before tax time, and I wouldn't have to worry about that," Stewart said.

Many Americans will be eligible to get their taxes done for free this year. Click here to find out if you qualify to help get your taxes done for free this year.

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