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California Exemption Checks: Who Must File Taxes to Get the Stimulus Checks?

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The state of California continues to distribute one-time payments worth up to $1,050 to residents as part of the Middle Class Tax Refund. The process has been going on for months, but the California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) expects the final round of payments to be with the recipients by February 14th.

To qualify for the aid, Californians had to file a tax return for their 2020 income so state officials could determine the amount of their entitlement. Normally, low incomes do not have to file a return if they are not taxable, but this program brought a new reason to file a return.

The deadline for filing those tax returns passed last Octoberwhich means that there is no longer a possibility to claim the support if you have not already done so.

How much was sent in California relief checks?

As of January 28, the CFTB has spent more than $9 billion on this program. This includes more than 7 million direct deposits and 9 million debit cards sent to eligible residents.

Overall, the state estimates that the Middle Class Tax Refund has benefited 31,650,087 Californians and their dependents. The vast majority of payments have now been distributed, but some claimants requiring additional assessment are still awaiting their support.

When the program was signed into law last summer, Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement highlighting the purpose of the payments:

“California’s budget meets the state’s most pressing needs, and prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians struggling with global inflation and rising prices of everything from gas to groceries.”

The program was designed to help households facing rampant inflation in 2022, and the vast majority of residents were eligible for the aid. Assuming a 2020 tax return was filed by October 15, 2021, benefits were offered to anyone who met the following criteria:

– Earn less than $250,000 ($500,000 for couples) in 2020

– Not eligible to be claimed as a taxable person

– Lived in California for at least half of 2020

– Will be a resident of California on the date payment is made

For anyone who has not yet received their payment, the CFTB will issue the next update on the payment process no later than February 22, 2023. At this point, all eligible residents should have had the support.

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