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California Inflation Relief Payments Have Started Going Out

Here's Everything You Need to Know

What's happening California residents have started receiving one-time "middle-class tax refund" payments.

Why it matters Eligible taxpayers will receive between $200 and $1,050, either through direct deposit or debit cards.

(CNET) - Millions of inflation-relief payments started going out to California taxpayers on Oct. 7. The Middle-Class Tax Refund, as it's being billed, can be for as much as $1,050, depending on your income, residency, filing status and household size. It's part of a $12 billion relief effort that Gov. Gavin Newsom said "prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians grappling with global inflation and rising prices."

Here's what you need to know about California's inflation relief checks, including who is eligible for the money, how much they'll get and how payments will be distributed.

For more on tax relief, find out which other states are issuing tax refunds and pausing their gas tax.

Who qualifies for an inflation relief payment?

Roughly 23 million California residents are eligible for the rebate plan, which has been set up in three tiers based on the adjusted gross income on your 2020 California state tax return. Residents who filed individually and made $250,000 or less or couples who filed jointly and made $500,000 or less qualify for a refund. In addition to income requirements, though, residents must have filed their 2020 tax refund by Oct. 15, 2021. You must have lived in the state of California for at least half of the 2020 tax year and still be a California resident on the date the payment is issued. Individual filers who earned over $250,000 and couples who made more than $500,000 combined in 2020 aren't eligible, nor is anyone claimed as a dependent by someone else in the 2020 tax year.

How much will my check be for?

  • Single taxpayers who earned less than $75,000 and couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will receive $350 per taxpayer and another flat $350 if they have any dependents. A married couple with children, therefore, could receive as much as $1,050. This is the largest bracket, KCRA reported, representing more than 80% of beneficiaries. Individual filers who made between $75,000 and $125,000 -- and couples who earned between $150,000 and $250,000 -- will receive $250 per taxpayer, plus another $250 if they have any dependents. A family with any children could receive $750. Individual filers who earned between $125,000 and $250,000 and couples who earned between $250,000 and $500,000 would receive $200 each. A family with children in this bracket could receive a maximum of $600.

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Dan Avery Writer

Dan is a writer on CNET's How-To team. His byline has appeared in Newsweek, NBC News, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Daily Mail and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.


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