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Free money: How to get inflation relief in 2022


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This year has been financially difficult for many Americans, with the cost of gas, groceries and just about everything else rising amid inflation. If you’re feeling the pinch in 2022, you may also be dreaming of tapping your bank’s app on your phone and accidentally seeing your balance increase by a few hundred dollars.

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But if you live in one of the 16 states, it could actually — or has happened — happen to you this year. Some states are offering inflation relief to people who meet certain criteria, and the best part is that you don’t have to do anything unusual to get this free money. It will only come in the form of direct deposit or a paper check in the mailbox.

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How do you know if your state is on the remittance list this month and before the end of the year? Read on for an update on free money.

California

Californians will receive financial relief through a middle-class tax rebate program. This is a one-time payment of up to $1,050, depending on your income and family circumstances. According to the state franchise tax board, your eligibility depends on whether you:

  • Filed a 2020 tax return before October 15, 2021
  • Meets California Adjusted Gross Income Limits
  • Not eligible to be reported by someone else for the 2020 tax year
  • Lived in California for six months or more in 2020
  • Live in California after paying

If you are eligible for payment, you will receive payment between October and January. Visit the Franchise Tax Council website to estimate how much you may receive.

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Colorado

The state has begun issuing checks to taxpayers through the Colorado Cash Back Act, providing $750 for individual filers and $1,500 for joint filers. Colorado Cash Back is a one-time refund of state income for fiscal year 2021-22.

To be eligible, taxpayers must:

  • Be 18 years old on or before December 31, 2021
  • Live in the state all year 2021
  • Filed a state income tax return for the 2021 income tax year or applied for a property tax/rent/heating bill (PTC) refund

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As long as you file your state tax return by June 30, you should receive your check by September 30. If you submit before the October 2022 extension deadline, you should receive your payment by January 31, 2023.

Delaware

The 2022 Delaware Relief Rebate Program provides a one-time direct payment of $300 per adult (18 and older) in the state to help them cope with higher gas and food prices.

To be eligible, residents must submit their 2021 state personal tax return by the deadline. Checks are mailed throughout the summer.

hawaii

Under the state’s Bill 115, Hawaii will continue to issue checks of $100 to $300 per person based on application status and income. The amount to be paid is based on the information on the 2021 tax return.

Illinois

The state is expected to begin issuing tax refunds the week of Sept. 12. Individuals who earned less than $200,000 last year will get a $50 tax rebate; if couples file jointly, they’ll get $100 if they earned less than $400,000.

Indiana

Indiana is distributing checks to residents under its automatic taxpayer refund law. Overall, taxpayers with individual filing status will receive $325, double what a married couple would pay jointly. Printing and mailing of checks is expected to continue through early October.

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Maine

An estimated 858,000 Maine residents will each receive relief checks of $850, or $1,700 for married couples filing jointly. To be eligible, Maine year-round residents must file a 2021 income tax return by October 31, 2022. The taxpayer cannot be claimed as a dependent by anyone else and must have a federal adjusted gross income of less than $100,000 if filing as a single head of household or $200,000 if filing jointly as a married couple.

South Carolina

South Carolina will begin paying rebates of up to $800 this fall, with all payouts due by Dec. 31. In total, about $1 billion will be allocated. To be eligible, taxpayers must:

  • File your 2021 state personal tax return by October 17.
  • Has assumed state tax liability in 2021.
  • Be a South Carolina resident, part-year resident or non-resident.

Virginia

This fall, Virginia will pay up to $250 to individual filers and $500 to joint filers. To receive this money, the resident must have a tax liability. If you filed your 2021 tax return before July 1, your refund will be issued by October 17. The deadline for filing tax returns is November 1.

All told, nine states still have at least some free money to donate. If you live in a state that allows late filing, all you have to do is make sure your tax return is filed by the deadline.

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