Inflation Relief Program or Middle Class Tax Refunds for Californians

Most Californians who filed their taxes in 2020 will get one-time payments from the state starting in October 2022 to help offset rising inflation.

The Franchise Tax Board has set up a web page with some of the details on the Middle Class Tax Refunds and a calculator where people can estimate their payment. Couples making up to $500,000 in 2020 adjusted gross income and individuals making up to $250,000 are eligible.

Who is eligible?

To get a refund, you must have filed a 2020 California tax return by Oct. 15, 2021 (or by Feb. 15, 2022, if you applied for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and had not received it by Oct. 15, 2021). Also, you must:

  • Meet the income requirements.
  • Have been a California resident for at least six months in 2020.
  • Be a California resident on the date the payment is issued.
  • Have not been eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2020 tax return.

How much is the refund?

The refund amount will be based on the adjusted gross income reported on your 2020 California tax return. It can be found on line 17 of your 2020 Form 540 or Line 16 of Form 540 2EZ.

The refund will be one amount if you had no dependents with an extra, flat payment if you claimed a tax credit for one or more dependents. (The extra payment is not per dependent.)

Single or Married filing separately/Registered domestic partner filing separately:

 CA AGI (Adjust Gross Income) reported on your 2020 tax return

Payment with dependent Payment without dependent
 $75,000 or less $700 $350
$75,001 to $125,000 $500 $250
$125,001 to $250,000    $400 $200

Married filing joint or Register Domestic Partner filing joint:   

CA AGI (Adjust Gross Income) reported on your 2020 tax return        

Payment with dependent Payment without dependent
 $150,000 or less $1,050 $700
$150,001 to $250,000 $750 $500
$250,001 to $500,000 $600 $400
Head of household or surviving spouse:

CA AGI (Adjust Gross Income) reported on your 2020 tax return

Payment with dependent Payment without dependent
 $150,000 or less $700 $350
$150,001 to $250,000 $500 $250
$250,001 to $500,000 $400 $200

When will payments go out?

The first round went out on October 7, 2022. Payments range in size from $200 to $1,050, according to the California Franchise Tax Board. A second batch will be sent out October 25, 2022 in debit card form.

Those who received a Golden State Stimulus payment last year whose names also start with letters A through E will receive payments first. All eligible Californians should have their payments by Jan. 14, 2023.

Here’s a timeline of when payments will be sent out:

Recipients Debit card mailing timeframe
Last name beginning with A – E Oct. 24 – Nov. 5
Last name beginning with F – M Nov. 6 – Nov. 19
Last name beginning with N – V Nov. 20 – Dec. 3
Last name beginning with W – Z Dec. 4 – Dec. 10

How will I receive my payment?

If the FTB has your banking information, usually because you had a regular tax refund deposited into a bank account, you will get a direct deposit into that account. If the FTB doesn’t have your banking information, you will receive a debit card.

Will undocumented immigrants qualify for a payment if they filed a 2020 tax return and meet other requirements?

Yes. Taxpayers with ITIN (Individual Tax Payer Identification Numbers) who live in the US could receive up to $2,200.  

Are the CA stimulus payments taxable?

The stimulus payments are not considered taxable income and do not need to be included on your CA tax return. 

The purpose of the payments is to provide financial relief for Californians who may have been adversely impacted by the increased costs for goods, including gas, due to inflation, supply chain disruptions, the effects of the COVID-19 emergency, and other economic pressures.

Are dependent children who work part time and file a tax return eligible to receive the stimulus payment?

No, not if the child was a tax dependent.

Can I get a payment if I did not file a tax return?

No. However there are some additional support payments being provided by the state. For example, monthly grants to low-income families with children enrolled in CalWORKS by 21% for the next two years. It will increase State Supplementary Payments for low-income seniors and people with disabilities by $39 per month for single adults and about $100 per month for couples starting January 2023. And families will no longer need to have earned income to qualify for the state’s Young Child Tax Credit.