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California’s First ‘Inflation Relief’ Payments Are on the Way. Here’s What to Know

Tens of millions of Californians will begin receiving so-called ‘inflation relief’ payments Friday through the Middle Class Tax Refund approved by lawmakers in June.

Eligible Californians will receive $200 to $1,050, depending on tax filing status and income. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is up for re-election in November’s runoff, said in a tweet that 23 million Californians will begin received the refunds Friday.

The plan approved by lawmakers was announced earlier this year at a time of skyrocketing fuel prices. After weeks of decreases, gas prices took another leap in Southern California to start October.

On Friday, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gas in Los Angeles and Orange counties recorded their largest decreases since Aug. 6, but that was two days after reaching record highs.

The Los Angeles County average price dropped 3.3 cents to $6.458 while the Orange County average price decreased 3.7 cents to $6.399, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

Statewide, the average for a gallon of regular gas is $6.392.

At least 33 states have approved some form of tax relief this year, and 14 states have passed income tax rate cuts.

Here’s what to know about the refunds and when to expect a deposit.

When Will the First Payments be Sent?

Californians who received a Golden State Stimulus check in 2021 via direct deposit will be the first to receive the tax refund. 

The first round of payments are expected between Oct. 7 and Oct. 25, according to the Franchise Tax Board.

The second round of direct deposits are slated between Oct. 28 and Nov. 14, with 90% of deposits occurring in October. 

Californians who filed their taxes online and received a refund via direct deposit can expect this latest payment the same way. 

Those who filed a paper tax return or received a refund by check will receive the payment via a debit card in the mail.

Debit cards will be mailed between Oct. 25 and Dec. 10 for those who received a previous Golden State Stimulus check.

The remainder of eligible Californians who did not receive a previous stimulus payment will receive a debit card by Jan. 15. 

New data from the Pew Research Center shows Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans are being hit hardest by rising inflation. An expert from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offers insight.

How Will I Receive the Money?

Eligible Californians will receive a direct deposit or debit card via the mail.

Who is Eligible for the Tax Refund Payments?

Payment amounts vary on income and 2020 taxes. Below is a breakdown of the expected payments, according to the Franchise Tax Board.

Joint Filers

Adjusted Gross Income Payment With Dependent Payment Without Dependent
$150,000 or less $1,050 $700
$150,000 to $250,000 $750 $500
$250,000 to $500,000 $600 $500

Head of Household Filers

Adjusted Gross Income Payment With Dependent Payment Without Dependent
$150,000 or less $700 $350
$150,000 to $250,000 $500 $250
$250,000 to $500,000 $400 $200

Other Individuals

Adjusted Gross Income Payment With Dependent Payment Without Dependent
$75,000 or less $700 $350
$75,000 to $125,000 $500 $250
$125,000 to $250,000 $400 $200

Why Are Californians Receiving This Money?

California’s inflation relief payments are part of the $308 billion state budget approved earlier this year by California lawmakers. 

“We did tax refunds because we value dollars in your bank account versus pennies at the pump,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting, chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, told the Associated Press in June.

The inflation relief package amounts to $17 billion of California’s budget, providing relief to millions of taxpayers.

“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,” Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said in a joint statement earlier this year.

For more information on the tax relief payments, click here

To estimate your payment, use the Tax Franchise Board’s calculator here.

With gas prices rising, proper vehicle maintenance is key to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck per tank of gas. We got helpful tips from a Dallas-area mechanic on how to do just that. Stop flooring it going up to a red light!

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