With inflation running high this past year, many people have felt the squeeze. The cost of the things we’re purchasing continues to rise while, for many of us, our income stays the same. This struggle has forced some to cut back in the hope of making ends meet.
While the Federal government has not stepped in to help everyday people figure out how to survive financially, some states have. 19 states have offered inflation relief payments to their residents. The goal of these checks is to help citizens cope with rising inflation.
Let’s look at these checks and who is eligible to receive them. While most of these payments have already been sent out, there’s a chance you didn’t receive yours and can still claim the money owed to you by contacting your state’s tax authority.
- Some states ran budget surpluses in 2022 and decided to use the extra money to refund taxpayers.
- 19 states decided to create such programs. If you haven’t yet claimed your inflation relief payment, there’s a chance you still can.
- Rebate amounts vary by state and are based on income amounts for the 2020 and 2021 tax years.
What are Inflation Relief Payments?
Due to the pandemic, many state budgets are running at a surplus. These surpluses are partially due to shutdowns during the height of the pandemic and the money the Federal government gave to states.
Because states have more income than expenses, they have decided to help out their residents by giving them money in the form of tax rebates to help with higher fuel, food, and other costs.
Why the Need for Inflation Relief Checks?
This last year we’ve seen record-high inflation numbers. In June 2022, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) peaked at 9.1% and remained above 6.0% for the remainder of the year. Since then, inflation has continued to cool as the economy responds to the Fed’s aggressive rate hike campaign, and the latest annual inflation data from March saw the annual inflation rate lowering to just 5.0%.
Declines in gas and food prices have helped inflation to cool off. The cost of shelter has remained stubbornly high.
What causes inflation?
A mismatch of supply and demand is the general cause of inflation. When supply lines are interrupted or the price of a certain raw material increases, supplying a certain good or service becomes more expensive for a company. This can translate to higher prices and companies try to pass costs onto consumers.
Conversely, increased demand can drive prices higher. Government stimulus checks sent out during the pandemic led to inflation as consumers had more discretionary money to spend. Other factors contributed to high inflation in 2022, with the Russia-Ukraine war pushing up the price of gas and supply chains still readjusting to greater demand after being shut down by Covid.
Who Gets Inflation Relief Checks?
Unfortunately, only some states decided to issue inflation relief checks to their residents. And if you live in a state offering these checks, there is no guarantee you will receive one. To get one, you need to meet specific criteria. Here is a summary of who qualifies by state and what timelines were put in place for sending out payments.
Alaska residents already receive money from the state government every year as part of the Permanent Fund Dividend. In 2022, however, the state combined the Dividend payment with a $650 Energy Relief Payment. The total amount owed to residents was $3,284 per eligible recipient.
If you did not receive this payment or think your check may have been lost, you can contact the state of Alaska’s tax authority for help.
The Middle Class Tax Refund has been sent to over 32 million California residents and their dependents. Payments started showing up in bank accounts in October last year, and most payments have since been issued.
Residents can receive up to $1,050 in checks through direct deposit or a debit card. Individuals must earn $250,000 or less to qualify, and married couples need to make $500,000 or less. The $500,000 limit also applies to heads of households.
The other qualifying factors are that you must have been a state resident for at least six months of 2020, and you can’t have been claimed as a dependent on your 2020 tax return.
The majority of MCTR payments have already been issued, but some requiring additional review may still not have been sent out. If you qualify for this tax rebate and haven’t received a payment, contact the State of California’s Franchise Tax Board to inquire further.
Colorado created a Colorado Cash Back program to help residents pay for necessities during this inflationary time. Colorado residents must have lived in the state during the entire 2021 year and filed a 2021 state income tax return to qualify. Additionally, they must have been at least 18 years old in 2021. If you meet these criteria, you should have received a $750 paper check if you are an individual tax filer or a $1,500 check if you file jointly.
If you haven’t received a check for this amount and think you’re eligible, the state of Colorado encourages you to submit a form found on their website or call the Colorado Cash Back hotline.
Residents should have received a relief rebate as long as they filed a 2020 or 2021 tax return and are 18 or older as of December 31, 2021. Individual filers qualified for $300, and joint filers qualified for $600.
The program has ended, but if you qualify and did not receive a payment, you can contact the state and potentially still receive the rebate.
Florida issued $450 checks to low-income households participating in Florida’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Families that are participating in the Guardianship Assistance program are also eligible.
Georgia residents with a tax liability for 2021 and who filed a state tax return for 2021 and 2022 qualify for the rebate check. This is part of Georgia’s new 2022 Surplus Tax Refund program. Single filers qualify for up to $250, and married joint filers qualify for $500. Heads of household qualify for up to $375.
Surplus Tax Refunds will be issued starting in May 2023. A similar rebate was offered to residents the previous year.
Hawaii offered rebates for single filers of $300, assuming they earned less than $100,000 in 2021. For joint filers, each person should have received $300 if their 2021 earnings were less than $200,000. Dependents were also eligible for the $300 as well. If individual tax filers earned more than $100,000 or $200,000 for joint filers, they qualified for $100 each.
Idaho offered two rebate checks to its residents. The first check was $75 per taxpayer and dependent, or 12% of income taxes paid, whichever was greater. The second check was $300 for individuals and $600 for joint filers, or 10% of income taxes paid, whichever was greater. Both rebates were for taxes paid in 2020, and to be eligible, residents must have filed income taxes for 2020 and 2021.
Residents in Illinois got a $50 tax rebate for single filers who earned less than $200,000 in 2021 ($100 for joint filers earning less than $400,000). Tax filers got an additional $100 per dependent, up to a maximum of $300. A separate rebate of $300 was available to homeowners as well. To qualify, individuals needed an income of less than $250,000 and joint filers less than $500,000.
Indiana also offered two rounds of rebate checks. The first was for the 2020 tax year, where individual filers could receive $125 (joint filers will receive $250), regardless of their income. The second round of rebate checks was $200 for single filers and $400 for joint filers, regardless of income.
To qualify for an inflation rebate in Maine, you must be a full-time resident and have filed your 2021 tax return. You had until October 31, 2022, to have filed your return. The rebate check was for $850 per tax filer. Individuals must have made less than $100,000 to qualify, and joint filers must have earned less than $200,000.
Like Maine, Massachusetts residents could earn a rebate check if they were full-time residents and filed their 2021 tax return by October 17, 2022. Recipients should have received a credit in the form of a refund of 14.0312% of their 2021 personal income tax liability.
Some front-line workers should have received a one-time payment of $488 last October. You must have worked a certain number of hours and met certain income requirements to qualify.
New Jersey offered a tax credit of up to $500 per child under six years old. To qualify, you needed to have claimed at least one dependent on your 2020 taxes and have had a tax liability of at least $1. Additionally, homeowners should have received a $1,500 rebate on their property taxes if they earned $150,000 or less. Those who earned between $150,000 and $250,000 received $1,000. Finally, renters who earned up to $150,000 could receive $450 rebate checks.
2021 joint tax filers qualified for a rebate of $500 with an income of $150,000 or less. Single filers earning $75,000 or less qualified for a rebate of $250. In August, a second round of rebate checks was announced, with single filers getting $500 and joint filers receiving $1,000. Unlike the first round of checks, the second round had no income limits.
New York offered a rebate to homeowners as long as they qualified for the 2022 School Tax Relief Program, had an income of $250,000 or less, and had a school tax liability for the 2022-2023 school year greater than their School Tax Relief Program benefit. Also, New York City offered a property tax rebate to homeowners of up to $150. To qualify, the home must be your primary residence, and your 2020 taxable income must have been less than $250,000.
Low-income homeowners in Pennsylvania’s Property Tax Rent Rebate Program could receive a maximum rebate of $650. To qualify, residents needed to be at least 65, a widow or widower age 50 or older, or a person with a disability older than 18. A second rebate check was also available to these residents worth up to $455. Those who qualify needed to claim their rebate by December 31, 2022.
Residents with a tax liability on their 2021 tax returns were eligible for a rebate worth up to $800.
To help out residents, Virginia offered a rebate of $250 for single tax filers and $500 for joint filers. The rebate required that you file your 2021 tax return by November 1, 2022.
The Bottom Line
Many states offered their residents inflation relief payments to help offset the rising cost of living in 2022. While it is nice to have the extra cash, in some instances, the money won’t go very far. In other cases, a broad segment of the population that could use the extra money the most does not qualify.
Your state may offer a tax rebate you qualify for. Look up your state’s tax authority for more information, and see whether you can still qualify for last year’s tax rebate or for a program this upcoming year if your state offers one.
The post Did You Get Your Inflation Relief Payments? appeared first on Due.