Millions of stimulus checks were sent out to Americans covering a vast range of income groups and demographics. While it was the federal government that stepped in immediately after the pandemic was declared, in 2022 it was the state governments that ensured that people received some form of support. This helped them tide over a drastic rise in prices across the spectrum.
The state stimulus checks helped residents cope with record inflation that touched the highest in over 4 decades. While the payments were mostly sent out in the first two quarters o 2022, the rest were paid during the festive season.
But some states have continued with their payments through 2023 and the stimulus checks may continue for now. California was among the few states that were late off the mark with their version of the inflation relief payments, the Middle-Class Tax Rebate.
The Golden State Tax Rebate/Stimulus Check
The Golden State has already issued two rounds of stimulus checks related to the COVID-19 pandemic. the Golden State Stimulus Checks I and II were sent out earlier as pandemic relief measures. This was above what they were paid by the federal government.
But the third round, the Middle-Class Tax Rebate was delayed, though Gov. Gavin Newsom declared the payments in June 2022. Initially, the Democratic Party ruled state government had decided on a gas card, a debit card worth $400 for every car registered in the Golden State. The cards were limited to two cards per family. Families not owning cards were to be given transit cards worth the same amount.
But the proposal fell through as Democrat legislators prevailed upon Gov. Newsom to go for a third round of stimulus checks. the amount was also hiked and residents could now claim up to $1,050 depending on several factors like the Adjusted Gross Income for 2020, the filing of the income tax returns for 2020, and the presence of at least one dependent. The filing status, whether single or joint, also influences the amount to be paid out to the beneficiaries. Families with an AGI above a certain amount did not receive the Middle-Class Tax Rebate.
While the limit was a 2020 AGI of $250,000 for individuals, for a married couple filing jointly, the upper limit comes to $500,000. The payments were divided into three tiers depending on the AGI for 2020.
Around 23 million households and individuals are set to receive the Middle-Class Tax Rebate. Those who are yet to receive their payments should check their status on the website of the State of California Franchise Tax Board.
In Washington, several qualifying families are set to get the benefit of a stimulus check. it took more than a year of advocating and years of legislation before the Dept. of Revenue of Washington launched the Working Families Tax Credit on Wednesday. The credit could provide a stimulus check worth $1,200 as a refund to those who qualify.
The tax credit is designed to benefit more than 400,000 households in the state in the low-income category. People are eligible based on their income level and the number of qualifying children in the household.
A single person gets to receive up to $300 through the tax credit. the number increases by $300 for each child up to $1,200 for families with at least three children. the maximum amount that is linked to the gross income of eligible children comes to $50. The State Budget and Policy Center of Washington has stated that the tax credit is the culmination of over a decade’s worth of work from the advocates of the community.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently wrote about the tax credit. he states that in 2021, a study revealed that residents of Washington in the low-income category were paying 17% of their income as taxes. but the figure was way less for the middle class as they paid only 11%. And strangely for people in the wealthiest pay bracket, the average tax paid comes to 3% on average.
Inslee wrote that the Working Families Tax Credit will help to right this anomaly in the tax structure, which he called righting an upside-down tax structure. This will be achieved by making the tax system in Washington more progressive.
A key component that is part of the refund program is that it allows people who are filing taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to become eligible for the refund as well. People who file taxes with an ITIN include some visa holders and undocumented immigrants. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues ITINs to process tax returns and payments for those who are not eligible for Social Security numbers.
State Stimulus Checks And Their Contact Point
Tax filers aged 18 years and above as on December 31, 2021, and residents of Colorado for the whole of the year received a stimulus check worth $750 as individual tax filers and double the amount for married couples filing jointly.
The eligible taxpayer received their payment by September 2022. But filers who applied for an extended period to file their income tax returns for the state of Colorado had until October 17, 2022, to do so. They continued to receive their payments into the new year and the Payments were completed only by the end of January 2023. Any issues arising out of the stimulus check payments from Colorado can be resolved by visiting the Dept. of Taxation website or by calling 1-303-951-4996.
Delaware issued payments of $300 for individual filers and double that amount for married couples filing jointly. They were issued in Mary last year. Residents who had filed either the 2020 income tax return or the 2021 tax return and were 18 years or above as on December 31, 2021, received the stimulus check. the status of the Relief Rebate issued by the state of Delaware can be checked out on the Dept. of Finance website.
Residents of Georgia who have a tax liability in the 2020 tax year and provided that they filed their state tax returns for both 2020 and 2021 should have received a stimulus check or had funds directly deposited in August 2022.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill for filers who had filed both their returns for the 2020 and 2021 tax year to receive a $250 stimulus check for individual filers. Heads of Households received $375 while for married couples filing jointly the payment was $500. Residents could review their rebate status from the Georgia Dept. of Revenue website.