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California Inflation Rebate Checks Start Going Out Today

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Debit card refunds will arrive in envelopes stating: “Not a bill or advertisement. Important information about your Middle Class Tax Refund.” (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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About 18 million qualifying California residents will begin receiving relief payments of up to $1,050 today to soften the blow of inflation.

State lawmakers grappled with the best way to deal with California’s sky-high gas prices before Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Democratic-dominated Legislature settled on the relief checks.

The relief checks will total $9 billion, according to the state.

The one-time payment — officially titled the Middle Class Tax Refund by the state — will be automatically delivered to residents through Jan. 15, 2023, the Newsom administration says.

State officials anticipate that 95% of the payments will be made by year’s end.

“We know it’s expensive right now, and California is putting money back into your pockets to help. We’re sending out refunds worth over a thousand dollars to help families pay for everything from groceries to gas,” Newsom said in a news release.

Check Your Mail Carefully for Refunds

Relief payments will be issued by direct deposit or debit card.

It’s important to note that debit cards will be mailed in an envelope prominently displaying the words: “Not a bill or advertisement. Important information about your Middle Class Tax Refund.”

The rebates range from $400 to $1,050 for couples filing jointly and $200 to $700 for all other individuals depending on their income and whether they claimed a dependent.

How Big Will Your Rebate Be?

The size of the rebate varies by income level. Here’s the breakdown:

Married or joint filers get:

  • $700 if they make up to $150,000
  • $500 if they make $150,001-$250,000
  • $400 if they make $250,001-$500,000

Head of household or qualifying widow(er) filers get:

  • $350 if they make up to $150,000
  • $250 if they make $150,001-$250,000
  • $200 if they make $250,001-$500,000

Single or separate filers get:

  • $350 if they make up to $75,000
  • $250 if they make $75,001-$125,000
  • $200 if they make $125,001-$250,000

Who Qualifies?

To receive your payment, you must have filed a complete 2020 tax return by Oct. 15, 2021. However, if you applied for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number but did not receive it by Oct.  2021, you must have filed your complete 2020 tax return on or before Feb. 15, 2022.

Learn more at the state’s Middle Class Tax Refund website.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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