RESIDENTS in Maine might soon receive a payment worth $850, if the governor’s proposal is approved.
Maine Gov Janet Mills hopes to give back part of the state’s budget surplus to taxpayers, according to WGME.
Maine has a budget surplus of $822million.
For the proposal to pass, it needs 2/3 of the legislature’s support.
“While I cannot control the impact of COVID-19 on global markets, I can make sure that we deliver to Maine people the resources they need to grapple with these rising costs as we build a stronger sustainable economy,” Mills told lawmakers in a state address.
If approved, the checks could go out as early as June.
There is now a push to get payments out even faster by sending the money electronically rather than by paper checks if approved.
Read our stimulus check live blog for the latest news and updates…
Stimulus check helped a family with necessities, continued
When they received word they were going to get more stimulus payments, Lynn wished the checks were more like back in the spring of 2020, when the federal government paid $1,200 to each person.
“Even if it’s not the full amount it’s going to help tremendously,” she told Spectrum News 13 at the time.
“I think the fact they dropped it down is really bad.”
Stimulus check helped a family with necessities
In 2020, Michelle Lynn’s family from Florida lived in a hotel room for a while when they were kicked out of their previous apartment.
With the pandemic laying off Michelle’s husband, they were struggling to find a new house with their low credit scores.
To provide food and a roof over their heads, Michelle and her husband were delivering food and working with FedEx.
Benefit program ending in Indiana
Emergency Snap benefits will end for 607,000 Indiana residents that are getting $693 a month.
This was started in March of 2020 by the US government to provide “emergency allotments” to help families who relied on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.)
May 2022 will be the last month SNAP recipients can get these emergency benefits, according to the state website.
This is due to Indiana ending the public health emergency declaration and a recent change in laws.
Durham, NC helping previously incarcerated residents
Previously incarcerated residents of Durham, North Carolina could be chosen for the city’s Excel pilot program.
The program will send monthly payments of $500 for a year to 115 residents.
Funds for the $700,000 pilot program will mostly be provided by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
The program is set to begin this year and continue through January 2023.
A pre-screening form is available to help determine eligibility.
Senator killed child tax credit expansion
Senator Joe Manchin made the deciding vote to not renew child tax credit payments as a part of president Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
This could have provided families who struggled throughout the pandemic with up to $300 a month.
“If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it,” Manchin said.
American Rescue Plan ‘saved’ US
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the American Rescue Plan, which included stimulus checks for Americans, helped protect the nation from economic turmoil.
“In some ways, the ARP acted like a vaccine for the American economy, protecting our recovery from the possibility of new variants,” Yellen told mayors at a January 19 meeting.
She said 2021 witnessed one of the biggest reductions in child poverty and child hunger in American history during one of “the strongest periods of economic growth in a century.”
Other ways to get a stimulus check
Currently, thousands are set to get stimulus checks and other payments automatically.
This is a result of a few states using funds from the Rescue Act to launch their own programs.
One of them is California, which told The Sun recently that it would send up 70,000 stimulus checks in the middle of the month.
Another is New Jersey, which is sending stimulus checks worth up to $4,000 to specific groups that missed out on federal stimulus checks.
Also, new $600 stimulus checks in Oregon will go out to 250,000 workers.
How to claim a stimulus check
Those who believe they are still eligible for a stimulus check need to file a tax return.
Those eligible can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.
However, the deadline to file taxes this year is April 18 – so you need to act quickly.
Who is owed a stimulus check, part three
A survey from the National Center for Children in Poverty found that 32 percent of children with married parents are living in poverty.
That would mean at least more than a million in that category alone would qualify.
In 2021, the federal poverty level for a family of four was $26,500.
Who is owed a stimulus check, continued
As of March 2021, data from the Census Bureau shows that the average number of births per day was 9,710.
By using that same rate, that would mean more than 3.54 million children were born in 2021.
Keep in mind, single filers are eligible to claim the full $1,400 if they make $75,000 or less, or $150,000 for couples.
Past those thresholds, the payments start to reduce and fully phase out completely at $80,000 and $160,000, respectively.
Who is owed a stimulus check?
While most received their stimulus payments already – some might still be owed one but need to act before the approaching deadline.
This may be for the following reasons:
- Parents who had a baby in 2021
- Families who added a dependent on their 2021 tax return
- Individuals and couples who earned more than $80,000 and $160,000, respectively, in 2020 but less than that amount in 2021
- Eligible family members who passed away in 2021 and did not receive their full stimulus payment
A big category is those who welcomed a baby to the world last year.
Future of stimulus checks
As things currently stand, a fourth federal stimulus round appears to be unlikely.
Currently, Mr Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda does not include stimulus payments.
And last May, White House secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the stimulus checks “were not free” and that another round wasn’t in Biden’s plans.
Along with getting Biden on board, two corporate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would need to get convinced as well.
This is unlikely because the US is dealing with inflation, as there is huge consumer demand that the supply is not meeting.
Are third round stimulus checks taxable, continued
If you didn’t receive the third payment or if your check was less than what it should’ve been based on your income, you could receive the amount you’re owed when you file your 2021 taxes.
If you received more than you should have, due to a change in income or other circumstances, you will not be required to pay back the government.
It’s also important to note that these stimulus checks cannot be taken by the IRS to pay federal debts, child support, federal taxes, or state income taxes.
The IRS states on its website that you are not required to report the third stimulus check on your 2021 tax return.
However, the information may be helpful to determine if you’re eligible to claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return.
Are third round stimulus checks taxable?
Third round stimulus check payments are similar to the first two rounds in that they work as an advance tax credit.
This payment is not included as part of your gross income and, as such, cannot be taxed.
It will also not affect an amount you may owe or reduce your tax refund when you file your 2021 taxes.
The third stimulus check was issued as an advance Recovery Rebate tax credit for the 2021 tax year.
Are stimulus checks taxable?
In 2021, millions of Americans received a stimulus check worth up to $1,400.
That was the third round of stimulus checks issued amidst the ongoing Covid pandemic.
The payment was in addition to the child tax credit payments that began in July 2021, offering up to $300 per month per child to qualified parents.
Some individual states also issued aid to residents.
The second round of California’s Golden State Stimulus program, for example, provided residents with 8.1million payments worth more than $5.8billion, a spokesperson for the California Franchise Tax Board told The Sun.
Here we explain whether these stimulus checks are subject to taxation upon filing a return in 2022.
Are child tax credit payments taxable, continued
If your total advance child tax credit payment amount is greater than what you’re eligible to claim on your 2021 tax return, you will have to repay what is owed.
That’s because the payments were based on the IRS’ estimate of your 2021 child tax credit amount.
You can repay the excess during the 2022 tax filing season when you file a return for 2021.
Are child tax credit payments taxable?
If you received child tax credit payments in 2021, they were technically an advance of your 2021 tax year child tax credit.
These payments cannot be claimed as income, and cannot be taxed.
However, there is one key difference between federal stimulus checks and child tax credit payments.
Are Golden State Stimulus payments taxable?
While individual states that offered stimulus checks may have different rules, the California Franchise Tax Board confirms on its website that the Golden State Stimulus payments are not subjected to state tax.
As with the federal stimulus payments, the Golden State Stimulus cannot be claimed as income.
Therefore, it cannot be claimed on an income tax return.
New guaranteed income program, part four
Researchers at UC Davis will simultaneously study the pilot program and its outcomes.
The program is targeted and families qualified based on need and having a young child, and there was no application process.
Yolo County, which includes West Sacramento, is not the first California region to test a guaranteed income program.
Roughly 8,000 Californians across nine cities are already receiving guaranteed income ranging from $300 to $1,800.
New guaranteed income program, part three
Through CalWORKs assistance, a family of four is eligible to receive up to $15,000 annually.
The goal, according to Yolo County officials, is to boost these families above the poverty line in California, which is roughly $25,000 for a family of four.
On April 1, prepaid debit cards will be sent to the participating families.
New guaranteed income program, continued
The program will help 54 families in Yolo – the California county with the highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line.
Approved by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors last year, the bulk of the initial funding for the program will come from cannabis tax revenue.
The selected families will receive guaranteed income payments in addition to the assistance they already get.
New guaranteed income program
Families across California will receive monthly cash aid between $1,200 and $1,500 for the next two years from April.
The basic income pilot program is targeted at households who are already receiving aid through CalWORKs, the state’s public assistance program for families.
Those eligible must also have at least one child younger than six.
How many people have signed the petition?
Over 3million people have signed the Change.org petition.
At 4,500,000 signatures, the petition would become one of the top signed ones on Change.org.
Update to Change.org petition
Bonin recently added an update to her petition as it neared 3million signatures.
“**UPDATE: Our country is still deeply struggling. The recovery hasn’t reached many Americans – the true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20 percent and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part five
“For our team and other Americans who can claim unemployment, even the maximum payments will not be enough for most people to continue paying their bills – and avoid slipping into poverty,” Bonin wrote.
“The facts are, even successful small businesses can’t go months with their doors closed.”
“But supplying Americans with monthly support until they can get back on their feet can save our communities from financial ruin.”
“We need immediate checks and recurring payments so that we can keep our heads above water. Congress needs to make sure that we won’t be left financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part four
“Our talented and cherished team, some of whom have been with us since we opened our doors 15 years ago, are now without an income,” Bonin noted on the petition she started.
“Like our team, my family has lost all of the income from our restaurant, and business owners and the self-employed can’t claim unemployment. This is the story of America right now.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part three
“My husband and I own a restaurant in Denver and these past two weeks have been a blur,” Bonin wrote.
“Our restaurant community is wrestling with seeing everything we all have worked so hard for irrevocably changed.”
“Our hearts were breaking as we watched our staff divide the ingredients in our kitchen to bring to their homes: a dismal token for employees who worked tirelessly every day.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part two
“This is catastrophic for working families like mine,” Bonin added.
“I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis.”
“Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table.”
What does the Change.org petition say?
The petition was created by restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin.
It reads “My name is Stephanie, and I am one of millions of Americans who fear for my financial future because of this coronavirus crisis.”
“With businesses and schools closing across the country to control the spread of this virus, many people have already lost their jobs. Others are being forced to stay home.”
More than 3million people have signed a Change.org petition that calls on lawmakers to pass legislation for recurring $2,000 monthly payments.
21 Democrat senators also previously signed a letter to President Joe Biden in support of recurring stimulus payments.
The letter read: “Almost six in 10 people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months.”
April 18 tax deadline
In order to receive any missed stimulus payment, a tax return must be filed.
The April 18 tax deadline also applies to applications for missed stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 per adult.
The credit may be claimed by making a switch to your filing status and shuffling kids around thanks to a tax loophole.
Hackers targeting stimulus payments, part three
Email phishing campaigns are also sending out messages regarding stimulus payments to taxpayers in another attempt to convince recipients that they owe money to the fake agency and must act now.
“Fighting back against phishing scams requires constant vigilance, and we urge tax pros to take some basic steps to help protect their clients and themselves,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.
The recent pandemic-related scams have a tendency to tell an urgent story that attempts to trick its receiver into opening a dangerous link or attachment.
Hackers targeting stimulus payments, continued
To be clear, the IRS does not contact people over email, text messages, or through social media.
Fraudulent texts normally include a link that taxpayers, if clicking, could give up personal information that could jeopardize their stimulus payments.
Taxpayers should also be watching out for incoming calls where scammers impersonate IRS agents and aggressively demand that the recipient pay a fake missing payment.
Hackers targeting stimulus payments
As tax returns hit millions of bank accounts during this year’s tax season, scammers are impersonating the Internal Revenue Service in text messages and calls.
“Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams,” the agency warned on their website.
“Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.”
Who will qualify for energy relief stimulus?
The qualifications for the proposed stimulus money would mirror that of last year’s stimulus checks.
The payments would go to individuals with incomes under $75,000.
The income threshold for married couples is $150,000 according to the proposal.
The payments would total around $240 per year for singles and $360 per year for married couples.
Stimulus money for energy relief, continued
The bill was initially proposed by Representative Ro Khanna of California and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
It is now being championed by Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet and Sherrod Brown.
The bill proposes that quarterly stimulus payments would be provided to Americans to assist with costs like rising gas prices.
Stimulus money for energy relief
Low and middle-income families in America could get payments of $240 every three months to help with rising gas prices.
Six democratic senators introduced the bill on March 10 and said the payments would be funded by a new tax on oil companies.
Like the American Rescue Act stimulus checks, payments will go directly to Americans’ bank accounts, as long as they have provided that information to the IRS.
Agriculture department sends out cash, continued
“They deserve recognition for their resilience and financial support for their efforts to meet personal and family needs while continuing to provide essential services,” Vilsak said.
“This grant program is another component of this Administration’s efforts to ensure assistance to alleviate the effects of the pandemic is distributed to those who need it most.”
Agriculture department sends out cash
A whopping $700million was set aside by the US Department of Agriculture to compensate staff who incurred unexpected costs – such as having to purchase their own PPE and taking unpaid leave.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak announced the bonuses earlier this month, applauding “the social and economic achievement” of workers who kept food on the table.
Monthly payments for Alabama mothers
Single mothers in Alabama may be eligible to receive monthly $375 payments for a year.
Birmingham’s Embrace Mothers program received a $500,000 grant as a part of a nationwide research project to evaluate the impacts of guaranteed income on families.
Birmingham government is using this money to randomly select 110 single mothers to collect the monthly check.
Applications closed on February 8 and the mayor’s office said more than 8,000 single mothers submitted for a chance to get the funds.
People lifted up from poverty
According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 11.7million people were taken out of poverty through stimulus check payments.
- 3.2million children under 18
- 6.4million adults between 18 and 64
- 2.1million people over 65
Maine Disaster Relief Program
As a part of the relief program, 524,754 Maine workers are eligible to get a one-time payment of $285.
This program is aimed to help Maine citizens who experienced financial difficulty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To be eligible, you must have filed a Maine individual income tax return as a full-time resident for the 2020 tax year by October 31, 2021.
As far as income goes, adjusted gross income must have been less than $75,000 for single filers or $150,000 for couples.
Reasons why you may have to repay the IRS, part six
“I knew a lot of people whose spouse’s died in 2018, and when they filed their 2018 return in 2019, they filed as married filing jointly (which is the correct filing status in that situation),” Kari Brummond, a tax preparer at TaxCure, told The Sun earlier this year.
She added that those couples including deceased spouses received payments most frequently in the first round of the federal stimulus package – but the IRS has not reached out to that group.
So, in that event, it’s not clear if the IRS will reach out to you – but be aware it could happen.
Reasons why you may have to repay the IRS, part five
There is also some confusion on whether or not you would need to pay back the IRS if you received a stimulus check for a deceased spouse.
In particular, this has been the case under the first federal stimulus package (signed into law in March 2020), worth up to $1,200 per eligible adult.
That stimulus round was based on 2018 and 2019 tax returns.
But If your spouse died in those years and you received two checks – you might have to repay one back.
Reasons why you may have to repay the IRS, part four
“The IRS is sending out balance due notices with no calculation or explanation analysis,” Dan Herron, a Certified Financial Planner and CPA with Elemental Wealth Advisors, told CNBC last year.
Another issue is that the IRS normally informs you on the error notice that you have more than 60 days to respond.
If you fail to, the adjustment is final and you lose the right to file a petition in the U.S. Tax Court.
However, more than 5million taxpayers were sent a math error notice last year without the 60-day language being included.
As a result, the IRS resent some letters with clear language, including the time you have to respond.
Reasons why you may have to repay the IRS, part three
Between January 1 and July 15, the IRS sent roughly nine million math-error notices, according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Of the notices, which typically reflect adjustments, 7.4million were related to stimulus checks.
Math errors could signal a number of issues provided by the claimer such as the wrong Social Security number, incomplete information, or wrong filing status.
But there is one problem, as the IRS has been said to be sending math error notices with a lack of information.
Reasons why you may have to repay the IRS, continued
You were eligible to get the full $1,400 stimulus payment if you made $75,000 or less – with the threshold being $150,000 for couples.
If you earned more than those amounts, your checks start to phase out.
If the IRS overpaid you, it’s fair to expect to receive a letter from the agency.
Reasons why you may have to repay the IRS
Millions of Americans received direct payments from the government in the past year – and some may have to send them back.
The latest round of federal stimulus checks was worth up to $1,400 under the American Rescue Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2022.
Under the stimulus package, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it issued more than 175million checks worth $400billion, as of December.
However, if your earnings were over the threshold, if you received a stimulus check for someone who died, if you’re a non-US-citizen, or if there’s a math error, you might have to repay them to the IRS.
Mistakes to avoid when filing taxes: Car claims, continued
In order for you to file your taxes on time, you should have received your W–2 from your employer by now.
If your employer or former employer has not sent you a W–2 yet, be sure to reach out to the HR department.
If you cannot meet the April 18 deadline, you may apply for a six-month extension.
Mistakes to avoid when filing taxes: Car claims
If you used your car for work then it is fine to claim deductions for that.
What might result in an audit is claiming your vehicle is 100% business use.
It is unlikely your car is only for work and so the IRS might take a closer look.
The date for filing individual tax returns and making tax payments this year is Monday, April 18.
Mistakes to avoid when filing taxes: Round number estimates
You should try to avoid round number estimates when filing.
The IRS is more likely to flag your return if they see figures that look like guesses.
Add up your receipts exactly and make you report accurately.
Mistakes to avoid when filing taxes
Americans who have second jobs or side hustles need to ensure that all of their earnings are reported, according to one expert at The Motley Fool.
Any role where you earn more than $600 should come with a 1099 form to help you complete your return.
But even if you don’t get a 1099 form, the earnings still have to be filed.
The IRS focuses on income that’s work or business-related, regardless of how you earn it.
You’ll also need to report any income from a savings account or dividends that is not an IRA or 401(k).
Stimulus checks for inflation in Georgia, continued
Single taxpayers in Georgia will receive $250, while heads of household will get $375 and married filers will get a single $500 check.
Refunds will be allocated either via direct deposit or paper check, according to the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Stimulus checks for inflation in Georgia
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law on Wednesday that will give residents up to $500.
Residents will get the refund once they’ve filed an individual income tax return for the 2021 tax year, according to the Governor’s office.
Stimulus checks for inflation in Maine
Maine Gov. Janet Mills wants to send an $850 check to residents.
She said the average person will spend an extra $560 this year because of inflation compared to last.
The relief payments still have to be approved, but the first checks could be sent out in June, according to WGME.
Stimulus checks for inflation
Eleven states including California and Georgia are planning on sending rebates worth up to $850, benefiting millions of Americans.
Inflation skyrocketed by 7.9 percent over the past year – the sharpest rise since 1982 – amid the surging costs for gas, food, and housing.