California has paid more than half its inflation relief money

California has paid over $5 billion to 19 million eligible residents and their families under an inflation support program designed to help cushion the blow of rising costs.

The latest figures represent more than half of the total payments expected under the program, with the rest of the payments expected to reach eligible residents early next year.

The middle-class tax refund program, or inflation support program, aims to pay out $9.5 billion to eligible Californians. Reimbursement payments range from $200 to $1,050 depending on your filing status from your 2020 income tax returns and whether you have dependents claimed.

According to the latest information from the California Franchise Tax Board, the state has made 10.5 million payments. Since the beginning of October, almost 7 million people have received direct deposits and 3.5 million have been issued debit cards in the following months.

All direct deposits have been shipped as of Nov. 14, according to the state, but millions of the debit cards have yet to be shipped.

These one-time payments range from $400 to $1,050 for couples who filed their 2020 state income tax returns together and $200 to $700 for those who filed independently. Eligible residents must file their 2020 tax returns by October 15, 2021 and meet the state’s adjusted gross income limits.

Inflation has risen steadily over the past year, with a 7.7% rise in October from the same month in 2021 and a 0.4% rise in September, according to the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the data shows the smallest monthly increase since January, it follows several months of steep inflation, despite aggressive Federal Reserve moves and state-level inflation relief programs.

Payments for California’s Inflation Support Program will continue to be sent through January. You can verify your eligibility and calculate your total payment amount using the Franchise Tax Board’s reimbursement estimator.

1. Am I eligible to receive money through the California Middle Class Tax Refund?

There are some important requirements that you need to be aware of in order to receive a payment. You may already be eligible and not know it. According to the state franchise tax agency, requirements for eligible Californians include:

  • After filing your 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021.
  • Compliance with California adjusted gross income limits of $500,000 or less. There are tiers to how much you get depending on the AGI.
  • Not having been claimed as a dependent in the 2020 tax year.
  • You must have been a California resident for at least six months in the 2020 tax year and be a resident on the date of payment.

2. How do I receive my payment?

This all depends on how you filed your 2020 income tax return and whether you still have the same bank account. That can mean the difference between a direct deposit or a physical debit card arriving in the mail. There are other qualifications that may affect how you receive your payment, but here are a few:

  • Direct deposits will go to you if you filed your 2020 income tax return electronically. Payments will be made to the same bank account where your 2020 income tax refund was deposited.
  • If you submitted your 2020 income tax return using a paper form, you will receive a physical debit card.
  • If you filed your 2020 income tax return electronically but have since changed your account number or bank altogether, you will receive a debit card.

3. When should the money arrive?

  • Direct deposit payments were introduced between October 7th and 25th. All additional direct deposits have been sent out by November 14th.
  • If you have changed your bank or account number since filing your 2020 income tax return electronically, you will have to wait a little longer. Your payments should be received on a debit card between December 17th and January 14th.
  • If you received a Golden State Stimulus Check in the mail in 2021 — a program designed to help families weather the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — you can expect a physical debit card, too. These are expected to arrive between October 24th and December 10th. The remaining cards will be sent by January 14th. California has paid more than half its inflation relief money

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