California Stimulus Update: Will You Receive The Middle Class Tax Refund?

While the federal government stopped issuing Economic Impact Payments (also known as pandemic stimulus checks) in 2021, many states, including California, have continued to issue their own versions of these payments on a regular basis in an effort to help residents cope with the high cost of living caused by things like rising gas and food prices.

Middle-Class Tax Refund

The Golden State is also among those that provide the greatest aid. The Middle-Class Tax Refunds (MCTRs) of up to $1,050 were first issued by the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) on October 7 to around 23 million qualified residents. The 18 million payouts, totaling $9.5 billion, is the largest such program in the state’s history.

In a statement issued one day before tax refunds, and checks were dispatched, Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “We know it’s expensive right now, and California is putting money back into your pockets to help. We’re sending out refunds worth over a thousand dollars to help families pay for everything from groceries to gas.”

Middle Class Tax Refund
Middle Class Tax Refund

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) states that you qualify for the one-time tax rebate if and only if you meet the following criteria:

  • Filed a 2020 tax return by Oct. 15, 2021.
  • Were a resident of California for six months or more during the 2020 tax year and will be a state resident on the date when the payment is issued.
  • Met the required 2020 adjusted gross income (AGI) limits.
  • Were not claimed as a dependent by someone else in the 2020 tax year.

Tax refunds are scaled based on adjusted gross income levels, with larger payouts coming to people in lower-income groups. Those who register as a single person and make less than $250,000 or those who file as a couple and make less than $500,000 are eligible for some sort of payment. In the case of married couples with several dependents and an annual income of less than $150,000, the maximum refund is $1,050.

Individuals having a 2020 adjusted gross income of more than $250,001 and joint filers with an AGI of $500,001 or higher do not qualify for the MCTR.

Money Network will facilitate the issuance of debit cards or direct deposits to California residents in order to disburse MCTR funds. By the end of 2022, it is expected that 95% of all refunds would have been issued via direct deposit.

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