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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Stimulus Checks Continue At Multiple Levels From Federal To Local Governments: Payments Up To $3,600 Up For Grabs

Millions of Americans are in line for stimulus checks at multiple levels as the festive season gets underway. Many residents in several states could get an additional festive season bonus gift this month in the form of a state stimulus payment while for close to 10 million Americans, a bonanza awaits them from the federal government.

Over 20 American states out of 50 have sent stimulus checks to their residents in 2022. The gesture is significant as people have fallen on hard times due to the record inflation and federal support has all but died out after 2021.

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Though the expanded Child Tax Credit stimulus check was the last of the federal payment in 2021 or even later, there are nearly 10 million Americans who are eligible but have not submitted the correct documents or neither have initiated any more to collect their stimulus checks.

As the 2022 festive season nears, most state stimulus checks have already gone out to eligible residents. But a few states remain whose payments are continuing into December and are very likely to spill over into January.

California and Colorado are among the states whose stimulus checks have coincided with the festive season and residents are not complaining. With prices at record highs due to the pandemic, people have been forced to cut corners to fit in a tight budget.

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Gasoline to grocery, it has been a similar tale of relentless rise in overall prices and inadequate efforts by the administration to rectify the situation. While the Republicans have laid the blame squarely on the third stimulus check for the mess, the Biden administration says that it is a global emergency that has affected all leading economies, including the developed ones.

But the resulting differences have meant that all further federal stimulus checks including the expanded Child Tax Credit stimulus check have been put on hold for now. The only federal payment in 2022 was the pending payments of the previous year including the CTC stimulus payments.

Federal Administration Concentration On Pending Stimulus Checks

But close to 10 million Americans failed to collect their Economic Impact Payment and other stimulus checks that were sent out in 2021. The IRS and the Treasury Dept. have concentrated on contacting them and persuading them to collect their payments by sending out individual letters. The letters have notified them and given them simple instructions to go about the process.

With the third stimulus check, the EITC payments, and the expanded Child Tax Credit payments up for grabs, individuals and families can stand to gain up to $10,000 if they have failed to collect any of the payments.

Just the third stimulus check may be worth up to $5,600 for a family of four with an Adjusted Gross Income below $75,000 for individual filers and $50,000 for joint filers.

The expanded CTC stimulus checks are just as big with each child below 6 bringing in $3,600 while children between 6 and 17 could bring in $3,000 for their parents.

The Earned Income Tax Credit or the EITC payments is a tax credit that may bring beneficiaries’ money back at tax time or lower the federal taxes you owe. You can claim the credit whether you are married or single, have children, or are childless. The main criterion is that you must earn from a job.

The credit can eliminate all federal taxes you owe at tax time. If your EITC payments are more than what your taxes add up to, you will get a refund check. if you qualify for a credit, you can even receive the refund payments though you may not owe income tax.

Beyond the federal EITC, 29 states and D.C. have adopted state EITCs. You can get details from the state EITC map to see if your state is on the list that offers filers a tax credit.

The EITC credit is linked to your income, family size, and marital status. The credit was worth up to $6,728 in 2021. The credit amount rises with earned income until a maximum amount is reached and gradually phases out after that. Families with more children are eligible for more amount as credit.

The expanded CTC stimulus checks saw the highest rate of increase from $2,000 per year to between $3,000 and $3,600 per child. The payments were set to continue through 2025 but the Republicans cut down President Biden’s proposal.

State Stimulus Checks Help Americans In Absence Of Federal Support

With fresh federal stimulus checks disappearing in 2022, the state inflation relief and other forms of payments have helped out residents in a year that has seen an unprecedented increase in prices that include everything from gasoline to groceries.

California is into its third month of payments that started on October 7. While most of the payments were paid out as direct bank transfers, a significant number of the 23 million Middle-Class Tax Rebates will go out through debit cards in the last round delivered by the US postal services.

The Golden State has assured that 95% of the payments will be processed by December and the rest will be dispatched by the second week of January 2023. The Franchise Tax Board of California has reminded that it will take around 2 weeks for the debit cards to be mailed to their beneficiaries across California.

The Colorado stimulus checks are not linked to pandemic relief or the rise in prices. The Colorado Cash Back instead is a relief to Coloradoans by sending a one-off refund of the state revenue from the fiscal year 2021-22.

The new law was signed by Governor Jared Polis on May 23, 2022, and gives residents a one-time tax rebate of $750 for individual tax filers and double the amount for married couples filing jointly.

The law provides immediate relief to residents by sending an advance stimulus check this summer, instead of spring of 2023. However, the payments have trickled into winter for filers who have availed of the extension. The Colorado Dept. of Revenue is hard at work to make sure that residents get the right tax refund amount as quickly as possible.

The payments have been given through paper checks and the Dept. of Revenue has recommended that more time be allowed for the processing and mailing process before residents should check their payment status.

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