Californians will start receiving their new stimulus checks this week as gas prices increase again

Josue Torres
(Canva Pro)

According to state authorities, the first round of one-time payments to assist millions of Californians balance increasing inflation is planned to be sent this week.

According to the budget agreement reached by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature in June, eligible individuals earning up to $250,000 and couples earning up to $500,000 in 2020 adjusted gross income will receive payments ranging from $200 to $1,050, depending on their income, tax filing status, and the number of dependents.

The payments will begin to come in as gas prices in California and other states in the US start to increase once more after falling for many months from record highs. 

The one-time payments referred to as a “Middle-Class Tax Refund,” do not only address the issue of high gas costs; although Newsom had in the spring suggested distributing $400 debit cards to automobile owners, that idea did not catch on and was replaced with the more comprehensive inflation relief program.

The payments will be made from California’s $97.5 billion surplus, which makes this year’s budget a record $300 billion. It is the highest surplus in state history.

In general, in order to be eligible for a payment, you must have submitted your 2020 California tax return before the due date, as well as fulfill the applicable income and residency standards.

According to government estimates, payments totaling $9.5 billion will be made to 17.5 million tax registrants.

Depending on how they paid their taxes in 2020, the Franchise Tax Board will distribute the payments to qualified Californians either via direct deposit or a postal debit card.

Deposits made electronically

The first batch of one-time payments will be sent into eligible Californians’ bank accounts between October 7 and October 25, according to the Franchise Tax Board, recipients who got the first or second Golden State Stimulus Check via direct deposit last year.

Those who did not get Golden State Stimulus checks but whose electronic banking information is on file with the FTB, usually for tax returns, will receive the remaining direct deposits between October 28 and November 14. These people normally receive tax refunds.

According to a statement from Franchise Tax Board spokesperson Andrew LePage, around 90% of the direct deposit payments will be made in October.

Debit card transactions

The state will mail debit cards to qualified recipients of Golden State Stimulus monies between October 25 and December 10th.

For people who are eligible for payments but do not fit into one of the aforementioned categories, the remaining debit cards will be distributed by January 15, 2023.

For individuals getting debit cards, a more thorough payment plan will be made available in early October, according to LePage.

He explained that by the end of this year, they anticipate having completed around 95% of all payments, direct deposit, and debit cards combined.

LePage asked Californians to keep checking the Middle-Class Tax Refund website, which provides further information and a tool for calculating payment amounts.

On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., FTB customer service agents may also be reached by phone at 800–542–9332.

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