Warning: Exemption for unemployment has expired

Recipients in 2009 were allowed to write-off the first $2,400 in benefits, but that provision has not been extended for payments received in 2010.

Without the exemption, all benefits received are considered taxable income and so-called 'take home' pay will be less than it was last year.

Unemployed workers can have taxes withheld to avoid having a high unpaid balance at tax time next year, according to the Tax Institute at H&R Block. 

Extending the benefits was considered a key component to helping the economy recover since most of the money received would be circulated back into the economy as unemployed workers pay bills and buy food for their families. 

"People who receive these checks, they go out and they buy things," House Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) told MSNBC. "They need the money. And that spurs the economy." 

But without the $2,400 exemption there will be stimulus as the unemployed save a larger portion of their payments to pay for higher tax bills come tax season.

More in Healthcare

Warning: The absence of a surgeon general is harmful to our health

Read more »