The California government under Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom announced its third round of payments to residents after sustained inflation. This record inflation, the highest in over 4 decades, led to an unrelenting price increase that started in the last quarter of 2021.
But the administration dithered about a third round of payments despite enjoying a record budget surplus of over $90 billion last year. Gov. Newsom had initially mulled giving a gas debit card worth $400 for vehicles registered in California. Residents were to get a maximum of two cards. Households without cars were to be given an equal amount of transit allowance.
But state legislators, mostly Democrats, prevailed upon the governor to go for another round of stimulus checks as the price of every product and service from gasoline to groceries continued to rise relentlessly.
Finally, in June 2023 the administration decided upon a third round of stimulus checks, called the Middle-Class Tax Refund. It was decided to give between $200 to $1,050 per family depending on several factors including income, the inclusion of dependents, and the filing status of the families.
The payments were part of an inflation relief package worth $17 billion and went out to 23 million people in the Golden State. around 60% of the population of California benefitted from the third round of stimulus check, which has been given out as inflation relief.
California Sends Out One Of The Most Generous Of Inflation Relief Stimulus Checks
The California Middle-Class Tax Rebate is one of the most generous of the inflation relief payments. Though the payments came a little late, timed as they were for the festive season.
This brought a smile to the face of many residents at the end of a difficult year when the federal administration stopped giving out any form of stimulus checks. The new year doesn’t promise to be much different with the Biden government losing further ground after giving up control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.
The administration of California has set a few simple requirements to be eligible for the Middle-Class Tax Refund. Residents should have filed their California income tax returns for 2020 by October 15, 2021, to be eligible for the payments.
Residents will have an Adjusted Gross Income of $75,000 or less as individuals and $150,000 or less as married couples filing jointly will get a one-off stimulus check of $350 each. The inclusion of a dependent will fetch the filer an equal amount, though the amount for the dependent is limited to one.
The maximum total amount in this tier can go up to $1,050 for a joint filer with dependents. This is the highest possible amount under the Middle-Class Tax Rebate.
Filers with an AGI for 2020 between $75,001 and $25,000 for individual filers and between $150,001 and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly will get an individual stimulus check of $250 each. An additional $250 will be paid if the filers in this tier include a dependent. The maximum amount under this tier can go up to $750.
Residents with an individual Adjusted Gross Income between $125,001 and $150,000, and married couples filing jointly and with an Adjusted Gross Income of between $250,001 and $500,000 will get a stimulus check of $200 each with another $200 for dependents. The maximum amount under this tier came to $600.
Residents with an AGI for 2020 above $250,000 for individuals and double that amount for married couples filing jointly did not receive any stimulus checks.
Most Residents Get Their Stimulus Checks In Their Accounts
Residents eligible for the Middle-Class Tax Rebate payment received their money either through direct deposit or debit cards. Those who received their stimulus check under the Golden State first and second rounds through direct bank transfers can expect the same to happen in this third round of payments.
Such households received their stimulus checks early and the amount was credited to their accounts within days of being sent. The Middle-Class Tax Rebate sent through debit cards experienced some delays including the fact that they were going out through the US Postal Department.
This delayed the payments by another 15 days. The debit cards went out in batches. The Franchise Tax Board revealed that eligible households and individuals who previously received a Golden State Stimulus payment through debit cards receive their payments in the same way in this round of inflation-linked payments.
Residents with surnames beginning with A to E received their California stimulus check debit cards between October 24 and November 5 last year.
For residents who had their names between the letters F and M, their cards were issued on November 6 and November 19, 2023. Those whose last names begin with N through V were similarly issued debit cards between November 20 and December 3, 2022. People with last names starting between W and Z received their debit cards between December 4 and December 10.
A separate schedule was announced for residents who had not earlier received a debit card under the Golden State stimulus check scheme but will receive one under the Middle-Class Tax Rebate.
Residents who are getting a debit card because they changed their bank or their bank accounts after filing their California state income tax returns will receive their debit cards between December 17, 2022, and the middle of January 2023.
Residents should also factor in the delay caused by the US Postal Service which could be as many as fifteen days. So you would need to add another 15 days to the date the debit cards were sent to get an approximate date by which you can expect the stimulus check.
The Franchise Tax Board will also mail the debit cards to the address that it has on its record. so any resident who fails to update their income tax records with the tax board will not receive the stimulus checks until they update their record with the authorities.