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Many States Are Sending Checks to Help Residents With Inflation

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Tens of millions of Americans received stimulus checks from the federal government in the course of the depths of the pandemic. This yr, many states have a budget surplus and are using a few of it to assist taxpayers cope with high inflation.

As many as 20 states — depending on who’s counting — are offering one-time rebates or expanded tax credits. That’s up from only a handful last yr, said Richard Auxier, a senior policy associate with the Tax Policy Center.

Some states have already distributed the payments, but others will likely be sending checks well into next yr. You could wish to contact your state tax agency to see for those who should be eligible — particularly for those who don’t usually file an income tax return, Mr. Auxier said.

Many states can afford to be generous. They’ve benefited from federal Covid-19 relief money and have seen higher tax revenue as their economies have rebounded from pandemic closings. At the identical time, high inflation — while easing somewhat recently — continues to burden consumers. That has led states to supply “inflation relief” in addition to general tax cuts and expanded sales tax holidays.

“This lets states play Santa Claus,” Mr. Auxier said.

The state payments are sometimes smaller than the stimulus checks sent by the federal government in 2020 and 2021, but could be substantial, leading some economists to fret that they might fuel inflation by encouraging spending. Latest Mexico, as an example, offered as much as $1,500 in rebates and direct relief. Some residents can file a 2021 state tax return as late as May 31 of next yr and still be eligible for a payment.

Inflation F.A.Q.

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What’s inflation? Inflation is a loss of buying power over time, meaning your dollar is not going to go as far tomorrow because it did today. It is often expressed because the annual change in prices for on a regular basis goods and services reminiscent of food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

What causes inflation? It may well be the results of rising consumer demand. But inflation may also rise and fall based on developments which have little to do with economic conditions, reminiscent of limited oil production and provide chain problems.

Is inflation bad? It will depend on the circumstances. Fast price increases spell trouble, but moderate price gains can result in higher wages and job growth.

Can inflation affect the stock market? Rapid inflation typically spells trouble for stocks. Financial assets typically have historically fared badly during inflation booms, while tangible assets like houses have held their value higher.

Some states, including California, base payments on a taxpayer’s income (as much as $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married couples, in 2020). They should have filed a state tax return by Oct. 15, 2021. The state’s “middle-class tax refund” credit ranges from $200 to $1,050, and payments began in October and are continuing through January.

Still others — like South Carolina — limit rebates to individuals who had a tax liability for 2021, meaning individuals who ended up owing no tax last yr won’t get a rebate. The rebates are price as much as $800.

Some states must send rebates. A Massachusetts law requires that tax revenue over the state’s annual tax revenue cap be returned to taxpayers, and a state audit determined that the cap was exceeded. Taxpayers will receive refunds equal to about 14 percent of their tax bill for 2021. Taxpayers who’ve already filed their 2021 returns should get their refund by mid-December, based on the state’s website. In the event you haven’t filed yet, you may still get a refund for those who file by Sept. 15, 2023.

Latest York is paying rebates to homeowners through a recent, one-year program based on aspects like income and where they live. The state can be sending checks to families and staff who claim the state’s child tax credit or earned-income tax credit, and the typical payment is $270, the governor’s office has said. Most eligible Latest Yorkers must have received them by the top of October.

Latest Jersey expanded eligibility for property tax rebates with its ANCHOR tax relief program. Residents who owned or rented their fundamental home within the state on Oct. 1, 2019, and had 2019 household income as much as $250,000 (for owners) and $150,000 (renters) are eligible. Homeowners will get $1,000 or $1,500, depending on their income; renters get $450. Residents have until Dec. 30 to use for the credit. Payments are expected to be made no later than May. (The rebates are intended as an annual program, reasonably than a one-time offering, said Danielle Currie, a spokeswoman for the state’s Treasury Department.)

Other states offering some style of rebate or credit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Listed here are some questions and answers about state relief payments:

Tax matters are typically handled by state tax agencies or revenue departments. The Federation of Tax Administrators’ website offers an inventory of agencies with contact information.

It varies, so check your state’s program for details. In lots of states, you don’t must submit an application, but it’s essential to have filed an income tax return for a selected yr to qualify.

Some states may subtract amounts for past-due tax bills, unpaid child support or other debts from the rebates.

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