(NEXSTAR) – California is sending out inflation relief checks – officially called the Middle Class Tax Refund – in October 2022, but the amount you’ll get is all based on your income from 2020.
The size of your payment (if you qualify) will be somewhere between $200 and $1,050 depending on your tax filing status, the number of dependents, and income. More specifically, it depends on your California Adjusted Gross Income (CA AGI) on your 2020 tax forms.
But a lot can change in two years. What if you make significantly less now than you did in 2020? Could you qualify for a larger payment?
“No,” the California Franchise Tax Board told Nexstar. “The Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR) legislation requires eligibility to be based on a complete filed 2020 California state income tax return.”
That means regardless of any change in income – lower or higher – you’re locked into receiving the payment size that corresponds with your 2020 income. There is no system to appeal the Franchise Tax Board for an exception.
The government agency also told Nexstar there is nothing Californians can do to speed up the process of receiving their inflation relief payment. Even though the legislation was announced in June, the payments aren’t set to be issued until late October.
Legislators estimate more than 20 million state residents will benefit from the payments. The direct payments are meant to alleviate some of the financial stress of rising costs of gas, food, housing, and other goods the country has experienced over the past year.
In July, consumers saw prices about 8.5% higher than they did at the same time last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.