Golden State Stimulus checks: When will payments go out, who qualifies and how to check the amount

California

California will be sending out another round of Golden State Stimulus checks, providing up to $1,100 for millions of qualified residents.

The stimulus payments — dubbed Golden State Stimulus II — were approved under a $100-billion budget plan signed earlier this week by Gov. Gavin Newsom that aims to spur California’s economic recovery following a year of pandemic-related shutdowns.

Under the plan, eligible individuals will receive $600, while those with dependents will get an additional $500. And people who qualified for the first Golden State Stimulus payment earlier this year and claimed dependents will get another payment of either $500 or $1,000, according to California’s Franchise Tax Board.

Between the two stimulus checks, California will send out roughly $12 billion in direct payments to residents of the nation’s most-populous state, making it the largest state tax rebate ever in the U.S., according to the governor’s office. It’s estimated two out of every three Californians will benefit.

Because the payment is based on the 2020 tax return, people who haven’t filed one yet will need to do so by Oct. 15 of this year in order to to receive a check, state officials say.

When will the checks go out?

Payments are expected to start going out at end of August, provided your tax return for last year has already been processed.

The state has a Wait Times dashboard with information on tax return and refund processing time frames.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for the payment, you need to have been a California resident for more than half of last year, still live in the state, have an adjusted gross income between $1 and $75,000, have wages of $75,000 or less, and cannot be claimed by someone else as a dependent. You also must have either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Some of the nearly 6 million people who qualified for the first check sent out by the state — Golden State Stimulus I — can also get the second payment. Those with an SSN who claimed a credit for at least one dependent are eligible for another $500 payment, while anyone with an ITIN who claimed a credit for a dependent can get an additional $1,000, state tax officials say.

Unlike the federal stimulus checks, there is no higher income threshold for various taxpayer filing statuses. That means even married couples filing jointly and those who file as heads of household are also restricted to the $75,000 limit. (Married couples filing separately, however, have an income level capped at $37,500 per person and can get $300 and $550 if they have at least one dependent, according to the state’s online tool to check eligibility. More on that below.)

Another key difference between the federal and state stimulus checks is the tax return requirement, which will exclude those who normally don’t file income taxes. The IRS launched a non-filers tool specifically for those who qualified for the economic impact payments and the advanced child tax credits so they wouldn’t miss out.

How to check the amount?

California has an online tool that allows residents to see if they are eligible for Golden State Stimulus II and to check the estimated payment amount.

The tool asks a series of questions, including a person’s tax filing status, adjusted gross income reported on their 2020 return and whether they have any dependents. It then provides an estimated monetary figure.

Those who are eligible for a stimulus check may receive the funds in more than one payment, the estimate notes.

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