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Gas prices remain high in Southern California, with the average price of gas sitting at $6.19 per gallon statewide. Back in June, Governor Gavin Newson signed a tax relief package meant to help Californians with the high gas prices and inflation. The three tier program is meant to help approximately 23 million Californians fight inflation. Governor Newson announced the news on Twitter on June 26, with checks said to be sent out to Californians starting in October.
The plan is called the Middle Class Tax Refund, and it will serve as a one-time relief payment. Eligibility for the tax rebates are based on the adjusted gross income on your 2020 California state tax return. To be eligible, you must have filed your 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021; lived in the state of California for at least six months during 2020; and live in California when the payment is issued.
Individual households who make $75,000 a year or joint filers who make a combined $150,000 will receive a payment of $350 per taxfiler, plus an additional $350 per dependent (if they have any claims on their return). Individuals making $125,000 a year will receive $250 and joint filers making a combined $250,000 will receive $200 per taxfiler. Filers in these tiers will receive $250 or $200 respectively, per eligible dependent. Individuals making $250,000 a year or joint filers making a combined $500,000 are not eligible for a rebate. People who didn’t file a tax return, specifically vulnerable communities like disabled people and seniors will not be eligible for a tax rebate as well. In addition, individuals claimed as dependents on a 2020 tax return will not be eligible for a tax rebate either. Undocumented Californians who filed 2020 tax returns with a social security number or a valid taxpayer number and meet all requirements are eligible for this rebate.
The criteria for eligibility for the tax rebates remain exactly the same for college students who filed their own 2020 tax returns. Students should refer to the payment schedule to determine the date their payment will be issued and method of payment they will receive. However, college students claimed as a dependent on their parent or guardian’s 2020 tax returns will not be eligible to receive the rebate.
Commuter students not eligible for the rebate may be the ones most affected by the current state of gas prices, posing difficulty on attending classes. If a student needs help financially for emergency assistance, students are encouraged to fill out the Whittier College CARE Emergency Fund Application; a program set in place by the College’s CARE team to help students experiencing financial hardship that may affect a student’s academic progress. Grants through this program are reviewed on a case by case basis with grants being between $100 to $500 depending on the student’s situation. Students are eligible to access emergency funds twice during their four years at the College with transfer students being eligible to access the funds once during a two year period. Students may only use the funds once per year. The eligibility requirements for the tax rebate are previously listed above, but if you are still unsure if you are eligible for the tax rebates you may check your eligibility here.
Payments began going out to Californians on October 7, 2022, and are expected to continue rolling out to tax filers through January 2023. The payments are being made through California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and those who received their 2020 state tax returns via direct deposit will also receive their tax rebates the same way. Californians should have begun receiving their rebates via direct deposit on October 7 with deposits continuing through October 25. Those still waiting on the direct deposit will receive payments from October 28 through November 14.
Those who received their 2020 tax returns in the mail will receive their tax rebates in the form of a debit card, which Californians should expect to receive in the mail. Debit cards are set to be mailed out October 25 and will continue through January 14, 2023. Those who changed their direct deposit information after receiving their 2020 tax returns will also receive their tax rebates through the mail on debit cards. 90 percent of Californians should expect to receive their rebates through direct deposit. The eligibility requirements for the tax rebate are previously listed above, but if you are still unsure if you are eligible for the tax rebates you may check your eligibility here.
Photo Courtesy of ABC 10.