Joseph Rocca, a resident of San Clemente and his wife, filed their 2020 taxes electronically on March 19, with their refund arriving via direct deposit into a bank account shortly after.
In the summer, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that a new pandemic stimulus payment would go to eligible taxpayers by the fall.
All you had to do was file taxes on time, earn a certain amount of income and wait for the money to come in.
Check, check and check, went the Roccas.
So far, the couple has yet to see their $600 incentive payments promised by the state of California.
Rocca said a representative of the Franchise Tax Board recently told him that he will likely receive his payment in the mail by the end of the year.
“Another great program from our state government,” he said in an email on Wednesday.
The FTB said it will make an additional 784,000 payments as of Friday, Nov. 12. Since the end of August, payments totaling $4.1 billion have been distributed biweekly, according to Andrew LePage, a media liaison at the agency.
While most of the upcoming payments will be for eligible residents who have filed paper tax returns this year, several thousand direct deposits are also planned, LePage said.
The payments come from the Golden State Stimulus II program, funded by federal and state pandemic aid.
For those on qualifying income, the state is sending $600 in payments to help meet the challenges of the pandemic. Newsom said in July that two-thirds of state taxpayers are likely eligible for GSS II or a similar program called Golden State Stimulus I.
The latest program, GSS II, is for those who earned less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income as stated on their 2020 tax returns. GSS I is for low-income residents earning less than $35,000.
An additional $500 will go to GSS II recipients who have eligible dependents. (It’s $600 for GSS I receivers.)
To date, 5.7 million GSS II payments have been sent, LePage said via email on Wednesday.
Check your numbers
Here are some things to consider for anyone who hasn’t received payment:
Unemployment benefits: According to the Franchise Tax Board, unemployment benefits are not taxable in California. Those who received unemployment benefits last year may have to adjust their California returns if a tax attorney accidentally tucked benefits into wages, pushing the AGI threshold above $75,000. Excluding UI benefits from your taxable income may mean a GSS II qualifying amount.
Check your AGI: The IRS reminds us that the IRS and California have different adjusted requirements to qualify for gross income for incentive payments. “Therefore, there are many instances where a taxpayer can receive the federal stimulus but not the California stimulus,” the FTB said.
Have you moved or changed banks? If any of these scenarios apply, you’ll likely get a paper check. See the postcode distribution list below for important dates.
Did you owe the state money (or break even)? The state notes that if you don’t get a refund, you probably didn’t provide bank account information for a direct deposit. In this case, eligible residents will receive their GSS II payment by post.
What’s coming this week – and next week?
As of Friday, around 34,000 direct deposits will be sent out. On Monday, November 15, 750,000 GSS II checks will be delivered to the US Postal Service. The FTB says it can take up to three weeks for checks to arrive in mailboxes.
LePage said these latest checks and direct deposits have a combined value of nearly $555 million.
The state has so far distributed $4.1 billion in 5.7 million GSS II payments — about 3.7 million direct deposits and about 2 million checks sent by mail. (LePage noted that this does not include the planned distribution later this week/early next week.)
Recipients expecting a paper check can use their zip code to check the state’s distribution schedule:
–000-044: 10/06/2021 to 27/10/2021
–045-220: 18-10-2021 to 11/05/2021
–221-375: 1/11/2021 to 19/11/2021
–376-584: 15/11/2021 to 12/03/2021
–585-719: 29-11-2021 to 17-12-2021
–720-927: 13/12/2021 to 31/12/2021
–928-999: 27/12/2021 to 1/11/2022
Here’s the fine print
To qualify for the benefits, residents must:
- Submit tax 2020 by October 15, 2021;
- An adjusted gross income of $1 to $75,000 for the 2020 tax year;
- Be a resident of the state for more than half of the 2020 tax year;
- Be a resident of the state on the date the payment is issued;
- Cannot be claimed as dependent by another taxpayer;
- A dependent is an Eligible Child or Eligible Family Member.
As previously reported, the payments exclude those whose income is derived solely from benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and State Supplementary Payment (SSP) and the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), Social Security, CalWorks, Unemployment, State disability insurance (SDI) and VA disability.
Visit ftb.ca.gov for an estimate of your California stimulus payment