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Final California inflation relief payments are coming, with debit cards being sent by Jan. 14

A U.S. flag flies in front of the white dome of the California Capitol
California has paid out $8.4 billion of the $9.5 billion set aside for the Middle Class Tax Refund program, according to the Franchise Tax Board. Above, the state Capitol in Sacramento.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
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If you still have not received your California inflation relief payment, it could be on its way in the new year.

All direct deposit payments from the Middle Class Tax Refund program have been issued, according to the California Franchise Tax Board, and the remaining payouts will be sent as debit cards expected to be mailed out by Jan. 14.

The eligible residents yet to receive their debit cards are those who received their state-issued pandemic stimulus payments through direct deposit but changed their banking information after filing their 2020 taxes, according to the Franchise Tax Board.

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As of Thursday, the state has issued more than 7 million direct deposits and more than 8 million debit cards for a total of $8.4 billion — representing most of the $9.5 billion set aside for the tax refund program meant to help Californians with the soaring cost of gasoline, groceries and other goods over recent months.

Holiday sales rose as American spending remained resilient during the critical shopping season despite surging prices for food and rent.

Dec. 27, 2022

The payments range from $200 to $1,050, depending on filing status and claimed dependents.

California began sending funds in early October, and direct deposits were completed by mid-November.

1. Am I eligible to get money through the California Middle Class Tax Refund?

There are several important qualifications to keep in mind. According to the state Franchise Tax Board, eligible Californians must:

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  • Have filed a 2020 tax return by Oct. 15, 2021.
  • Meet California’s adjusted gross income limits of $500,000 or less, with tiers depending on AGI.
  • Not have been claimed as a dependent in the 2020 tax year.
  • Have been a California resident for at least six months in the 2020 tax year and be a resident on the date the payment is issued.

2. Am I supposed to receive a debit card?

It depends on how you filed your 2020 income tax return and whether you still have the same bank account.

If you filed your 2020 income tax return electronically but have since changed your bank or account number, then you will receive a debit card.

3. When should the money arrive?

  • Direct deposit payments were issued by Nov. 14.
  • Those who changed bank information since electronically filing 2020 income tax returns began to receive debit cards Dec. 17, and the final payments should go out by Jan. 14.
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