As of 2015, unemployed people in California who meet eligibility requirements can receive up to $450 a week in unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. California does not require recipients to pay state income taxes on their unemployment benefits, but they must pay federal income taxes.
Paying Federal Income Taxes
When you apply for unemployment benefits in California, you can request to have 10 percent deducted from your check for federal income taxes. In January of the year following the year in which you got unemployment benefits, the Employment Development Department will send you a Form 1099-G, which reports how much you received in benefits. You report the income from this form on line 19 of Internal Revenue Service Form 1040, line 13 of Form 1040A or line 3 of Form 1040EZ. If you had taxes withheld, report that in Box 4 on line 64 of Form 1040, line 40 of Form 1040A or line 7 of Form 1040EZ. Your federal tax liability will depend on your overall income for the year.
- California Tax Service Center: Special Circumstances
- State of California Employment Development Department: Meeting Eligibility Requirements
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?
- State of California Employment Development Department: FAQs - Collecting Benefits
- Internal Revenue Service: Topic 418 - Unemployment Compensation
- State of California Employment Development Department: Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Unemployment Insurance System when Filing Your Claim