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Yes, some U.S. states are sending out ‘inflation relief’ tax rebate checks

California is one of a dozen states sending direct payments to its residents. Here’s what you need to know:

As the U.S. grapples with record-high inflation rates, many states throughout the country are searching for ways to put money back into residents’ pockets. 

People on social media (here and here) are claiming that California is sending out “inflation relief” stimulus checks. Google Trends data also show people are searching for information about when those checks will arrive. 

VERIFY readers, including Angel in Georgia, have also reached out to the team to ask about whether other states are providing direct payments. 

THE QUESTION

Are some U.S. states sending out “inflation relief” tax rebate checks?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

   

This is true.

Yes, California and other U.S. states are sending out “inflation relief” tax rebate checks. 

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WHAT WE FOUND

A dozen states are sending tax rebate checks to millions of residents this year as inflation drives up the price of everything from gasoline to food. Many of the state governments are able to send these checks due to excess revenue. 

The federal government is not sending a fourth stimulus check to all U.S. residents at this time. 

Here’s what we know about the direct payments from states, starting with California.

RELATED: VERIFY Fact Sheet: Inflation in the US

California

On June 26, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state leaders announced that they reached an agreement on the state’s 2022-23 budget, including a $17 billion “inflation relief package” offering tax refunds of up to $1,050 to 23 million California residents. Money for the tax refunds is coming from the state’s historic $97 billion budget surplus. 

VERIFY sister station KFMB in San Diego reports that California residents could receive their rebates as early as October 2022 in the form of either direct deposit or as a debit card. 

“California’s budget addresses the state’s most pressing needs, and prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians who are grappling with global inflation and rising prices of everything from gas to groceries,” Newsom and other leaders said in a joint statement.

The amount of money that a person will receive depends on their income and the number of dependents they claimed on their income tax return. 

Here’s how the tax refunds break down for California residents:

Tier 1: Single taxpayer with income up to $75,000 and couples filing jointly with income up to $150,00

  • Single filer with no dependents: $350
  • Single parent with at least one dependent: $700
  • Joint filer with no dependents: $700
  • Joint filer with at least one dependent: $1,050

Tier 2: Single taxpayer with income up to $125,000 and couples with income up to $250,000

  • Single filer with no dependents: $250
  • Single parent with at least one dependent: $500
  • Joint filer with no dependents: $500
  • Joint filer with at least one dependent: $750

Tier 3: Single taxpayer with income up to $250,000 and couples with income up to $500,000

  • Single filer with no dependents: $200
  • Single parent with at least one dependent: $400
  • Joint filer with no dependents: $200
  • Joint filer with at least one dependent: $600

Roughly 500,000 tax filers with incomes above the third tier will not receive a tax rebate, state officials say. 

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Georgia

The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) announced on May 11 that it would begin issuing special, one-time tax refunds due to the state experiencing a revenue surplus.

Taxpayers who filed income tax returns in both 2020 and 2021 will receive the credit, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said

"When government takes in more than it needs, I believe those dollars should be returned to the taxpayer, because that is your money - not the government's,” Kemp said. 

Those who are single or married and filing separately will receive $250, heads of household will receive $375, and those who are married and filing jointly will receive $500. Those who are eligible will get their refund by mail or direct deposit, depending on what they indicated on their tax return. 

The DOR expects that it will issue all refunds by early August for tax returns filed by April 18, 2022. 

Maine

An estimated 858,000 Maine residents are also receiving $850 relief checks amid “pandemic-driven inflation, ranging from higher energy costs to increased prices of everyday goods,” Gov. Janet Mills said

The state is also using its budget surplus to fund the direct payments. 

To be eligible, individuals must file a 2021 Maine individual income tax return by Oct. 31, 2022 as a full-time resident.

Those eligible must not be claimed as a dependent, and must have a federal adjusted gross income of less than:

  • $100,000 if filing single or if married and filing separately;
  • $150,000 if filing as head of household; 
  • $200,000 for couples filing jointly.

The first round of relief checks were mailed in June 2022, and will be delivered on a rolling basis through the end of the year as tax returns are received, Mills’ office said. Checks will be mailed to the address provided on a person’s 2021 Maine individual income tax return. 

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New Mexico

New Mexico is providing multiple rebates for taxpayers in 2022, according to the state Department of Taxation and Revenue

“This summer we’ll be returning hundreds of millions of dollars in relief to families around New Mexico, protecting their paychecks and helping them cope with the rising prices of gas, groceries and other household expenses,” Gov. Michelle Lujan said.

Married couples filing jointly, heads of household and surviving spouses with incomes under $150,000 will receive a refundable income tax rebate of $500 in July 2022. Single filers and married people filing separately with incomes under $75,000 will receive $250. 

The state is also issuing another round of equal payments of $250 or $500 to single taxpayers and married couples in June 2022 and August 2022.

Residents who do not file income tax returns will receive a $1,000 relief payment if they are a married couple or single person with one or more dependents. Single taxpayers without dependents will receive $500. 

The relief payments for those who don’t file tax returns will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applications are available online.           

Colorado

In Colorado, taxpayers will receive rebates of $750 for individual filers and $1,500 for joint filers in summer 2022. 

“We are providing real relief when Coloradans need it most. Everyone in our state is feeling the impact of rising costs, and I refuse to let the government sit on taxpayers’ money when it could be used to make life a little bit easier for the people of our state,” Gov. Jared Polis said on June 21, 2022

The state Department of Revenue says those who have filed their state income tax return will receive their “Colorado Cash Back” check via mail by Sept. 30, 2022. Those who file on extension by Oct. 17, 2022 will receive tax rebates in January 2023. 

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Hawaii 

Hawaii is also providing refunds to its taxpayers and their dependents, Gov. David Ige’s office said. The state’s Department of Taxation anticipates that it will begin processing the refunds in late August 2022. 

Single taxpayers who earn less than $100,000 per year and couples who earn less than $200,000 per year will receive $300, and single taxpayers and couples who earn more will receive $100.

Idaho

Idaho Gov. Brad Little said during his Jan. 10 state and budget address that the state needed to deploy immediate tax relief to residents given soaring inflation. 

The state began sending tax rebates of $75 per taxpayer and dependent, or 12% of their income tax amount – whichever is greater – beginning in March 2022. Payments will be issued weekly throughout 2022 as taxpayers file their returns and become eligible for the rebate, according to the state Tax Commission

Illinois

Illinois is giving out one-time individual income and property tax rebates to people who meet certain requirements in 2022. The $1.8 billion in tax relief is aimed at easing the “burden of inflation for families,” House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Westchester) said

Single taxpayers will receive a $50 income tax rebate, while couples will get a $100 rebate. Families will also receive a rebate amount of up to $300 per dependents – or $100 per dependent, with a maximum of three. 

Those who qualify for the income tax rebate include people who lived in Illinois in 2021, and had an adjusted gross income of under $400,000 if filing jointly and under $200,000 if filing as a single taxpayer, according to the state Department of Revenue.

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New Jersey

New Jersey began mailing Middle Class Tax Rebates to eligible residents on July 2. Those who filed a 2020 income tax return and claimed at least one dependent child with a tax balance of $1 or more qualify for the tax rebate. 

The rebate amount is equal to the tax paid after credits, up to a maximum amount of $500. Tax rebates will be issued as a paper check, separate from the income tax refund. 

New Jersey’s Division of Taxation anticipates it will take about six weeks for the initial checks to be processed. 

Indiana

Indiana is also giving taxpayers a one-time tax refund of $125, according to the state Department of Revenue. Married couples filing jointly will receive $250. 

Checks began arriving in bank accounts beginning in May and will continue through mid-summer. 

There is no income requirement to receive a check – you just need to have filed a 2020 Indiana tax return by Jan. 3, 2022, and a 2021 tax return by April 18, 2022. 

In early June, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a plan to send more checks of $225 to residents, but legislation hasn’t been signed into law. 

“Hoosiers have real needs right now during this period of high inflation, from the gas pump to buying groceries, and everyone should benefit from the state’s success,” Holcomb said. 

RELATED: Yes, these five U.S. states have passed their own gas tax ‘holidays’ in 2022

Virginia 

Virginia lawmakers approved a one-time tax rebate of $250 per single taxpayer and $500 for a couple filing jointly. 

Tax rebates won’t be issued until late September 2022, the state Department of Taxation said. Those who are eligible and filed their taxes before July 1 will “likely” receive their rebate in September or October. 

Residents will receive their tax rebate via direct deposit or as a check in the mail. 

Delaware

Delaware is sending one-time direct payments of $300 per adult resident – or $600 for married couples – to help people as they face “higher prices at the grocery store and gas pump,” the state Department of Finance said

Gov. John Carney said the tax rebates are “intended to help counter the impact of inflation on Delaware families.”

The state issued the first round of payments in May 2022, and more will arrive to eligible residents who filed 2021 tax returns throughout the summer. 

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