Stimulus checks from the federal government ended a couple of years ago, but some states have provided financial relief through tax rebate checks or inflation relief payments. Last year, over twenty states distributed one-time payments to qualifying residents, and some states are continuing to offer rebates in 2023.
December 'Stimulus check' 2023 update
If you received one of those special state rebate payments (sometimes called "stimulus checks") last year, there's some news from the IRS that you need to know now.
- First, you may want to file an amended tax return if you received a special state payment and filed your federal income tax return last year. You may have overpaid your taxes if you counted your rebate payment as taxable income.
- Second, if you haven't yet filed your 2022 federal return (millions of people in several states received IRS tax deadline extensions due to severe weather), double-check to see if your state's stimulus payment is taxable or has to be reported as income.
The IRS has weighed in on state "stimulus" payments for the 2023 tax year, saying most special state payments won't be taxable on your federal return. However, there could be some exceptions in some state payments and in cases where taxpayers itemized deductions. Consult a trusted tax professional before you file your 2023 federal income tax return.
For more information, see the following Kiplinger stories on the taxability of special state stimulus and rebate payments.
- IRS Says Some Stimulus Check Recipients Should File Amended Tax Returns
- Is Your State Stimulus Payment Taxable?
But getting back to this year's special state payments, the eligibility criteria, payment amounts, and delivery timelines differ from state to state.
So, here's a breakdown of some states that are still issuing rebate payments and “stimulus checks.” It's possible that you too may be eligible to receive money.
Alabama Rebate Checks
- If your filing status was married filing jointly, you will receive a $300 tax rebate payment.
- If you filed as single, head of family, or married filing separately, you will receive a $150 tax rebate payment.
Who doesn’t qualify for the Alabama tax rebate? If you didn’t file a personal Alabama income tax return for the 2021 tax year, you won't qualify for the 2023 Alabama tax rebate check.
Estates and trusts are also not eligible to receive the payments. Additionally, you will not receive a rebate payment if you were claimed as a dependent on a 2021 federal or Alabama state income tax return.
Arizona Family Rebates
If you are a year-round resident of Arizona and claimed the state's tax credit for dependents on your 2021 tax return, you may be eligible for the Arizona Families Tax Rebate. To qualify, you must also have owed a minimum of $1 in taxes during 2019, 2020, or 2021.
The state will use recent tax information to identify Arizonans who qualify, so residents won't need to apply. The Arizona Department of Revenue is expected to distribute the rebates by Nov. 15, 2023
Qualifying taxpayers can receive the rebate for up to three dependents. So, in some cases, families with multiple dependents can receive up to $750. (The amount is $250 per dependent under age 17 and $100 for 17 or older.)
California's Middle Class Tax Refunds (MCTR) were generally available to California residents who:
- Filed a 2020 California tax return by October 15, 2021;
- Did not exceed certain income limits in 2020 (California adjusted gross income over $250,000 for single people and married couples filing separate tax returns or over $500,000 or others);
- Couldn't be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2020 tax year; and
- Were a California resident for at least six months in 2020.
The amount of MCTRs was from $200 to $1,050, depending on your income, filing status, and whether you have dependents. The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) offered an online tool to help estimate MCTR amounts.
You generally should have received your California MCTR payment from October of last year to mid-January of 2023 (generally via direct deposit or MCTR debit card). The majority of the California payments should have been received by eligible residents by mid-February of this year.
The California FTB reported that the "Middle Class Tax Refund benefited almost 32,000,000 California taxpayers and their dependents."
Note: If you received a California MCTR payment and haven't filed your 2022 federal income tax return yet because the IRS extended the tax deadline for some Californians, be sure to read about what the IRS has said about whether California MCTR payments are taxable.
Also, for general information on California taxes, see Kiplinger's California State Tax Guide.
Colorado TABOR Refunds
Colorado TABOR refunds (also known as "Cash Back" payments) were sent to Coloradans 18 years of age or older (as of Dec. 31, 2021), who were residents of the state for all of 2021, and who filed a 2021 Colorado income tax return or applied for a Colorado property tax/rent/heat credit (PTC) rebate.
The amount depended on the filing status on your 2021 Colorado state tax return. However eligible single filers generally received $750. Eligible Joint filers generally received $1,500.
Most Colorado cash-back payments were issued by the end of September last year. Most payments were issued by Jan. 31, 2023. However, more TABOR payments could be coming in 2024 since the refunds are based on whether the state exceeds a certain surplus revenue threshold.
For Colorado taxes in general, see Kiplinger's Colorado State Tax Guide.
Georgia Tax Rebates
Georgia tax rebates of up to $500 have come thanks to legislation known as House Bill 162. The bill provides a one-time tax credit (i.e., surplus tax refund) for individual Georgia taxpayers who filed state income tax returns for the 2021 and 2022 tax years.
To be eligible for the refund, you should have filed by the April 18, 2023, tax deadline Or, if you were granted an IRS tax deadline extension, you had to file by Oct. 16, 2023. You also must have had a tax liability for the 2021 tax year. According to information on the state's surplus tax refund website, Georgia residents (including part-year) and Georgia nonresidents can potentially receive a refund.
The exact amount of your Georgia surplus tax refund for 2023 is based on your tax liability from the 2021 tax year.
Maine Relief Payments
To be eligible for a Winter Energy Relief Payment from Maine, you must have filed a 2021 Maine personal income tax return as a full-time resident by October 31, 2022, and not have been claimed as an independent on another person's tax return.
There were also income limits. To receive a payment, the federal adjusted gross income (AGI) reported on your 2021 Maine state tax return must have been:
- Under $100,000 for single filers and married taxpayers filing a separate return.
- $150,000 for head-of-household filers.
- $200,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return.
Each eligible Maine resident will receive a $450 payment ($900 for eligible married couples).
Maine began sending payments in mid-January. If you didn't receive a payment, you needed to contact the State Tax Assessor by June 30, 2023, to provide documentation showing that you're eligible for one. The State Tax Assessor had until Sept. 30, 2023, to send a relief payment to each eligible resident who contacts it before the deadline.
For Maine taxes in general, see Kiplinger's Maine State Tax Guide.
Massachusetts 62F Refunds
Massachusetts 62F tax refunds are available to anyone who paid 2021 Massachusetts personal income taxes and filed their 2021 return by Oct. 17, 2022.
The Massachusetts 62F tax refund program is a little different than other states' “stimulus” programs because each eligible Massachusetts taxpayer received a different amount of money in their tax refund check. Massachusetts mailed a check or provided a direct deposit that amounted to about 14% of each eligible taxpayer’s state income tax liability from their 2021 tax return. (Massachusetts so-called "62F tax refunds" can be reduced if you have an unpaid tax liability, unpaid child support, or certain other debts.)
Most of the Massachusetts refunds have already been distributed.
For more information on Massachusetts taxes in general, see the Massachusetts State Tax Guide.
Related: 62F Massachusetts Tax Refunds
Minnesota Rebate Checks
Minnesota rebate checks were sent beginning in mid-August to about 2.5 million Minnesota households. The one-time payments of up to $1,300 (sometimes called “Walz checks” or Minnesota stimulus checks) are thanks to a $3 billion tax relief bill passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Tim Walz earlier this year.
Married couples filing jointly in 2021 with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $150,000 or less are eligible for up to $520. For each dependent in an eligible household, to a cap of three dependents, another $260 is added to the rebate amount. Eligible single filers with AGIs of $75,000 or less will receive $260 rebate payments.
Minnesotans don’t have to do anything to receive the payments. The state’s Department of Revenue will automatically send the rebate money via direct deposit or mail based on information provided on taxpayers' 2021 state income tax returns.
Update: Approximately 150,000 Minnesota tax rebate checks went uncashed and have expired since being sent over the summer. However, there’s good news for Minnesotans who accidentally tossed their checks in the crash. The state’s Department of Revenue has reissued expired payments, and they are now on the way.
Montana Tax Rebates
One-time Montana income tax rebate checks of up to $2,500 began going out in July. The actual amount Montana residents will receive depends on the details of their 2021 tax return.
Montana is also sending a property tax rebate of up to $675 to eligible residents. The property tax rebate is for the years 2022 and 2023. To qualify, you must have owned and used the property as your primary residence for at least seven months of each of those years. You must also have paid property taxes for 2022 and 2023.
For Montana taxes in general, see the Montana State Tax Guide. For detailed information on Montana Individual income tax rebates, which are expected to be sent between July 2023 and Dec. 31, see Kiplinger's report on the Montana 2023 rebate payments.
New Mexico Rebate Checks
New Mexico rebate checks of up to $1,000 began hitting the bank accounts of eligible residents in mid-June. The state is expected to return more than $673 million to New Mexico taxpayers due to a fiscal year surplus from high oil prices.
The amount of the New Mexico rebate payment depends on your filing status for the 2021 tax year. Most New Mexico residents won't have to apply to receive the payment.
- If your 2021 filing status was head of household, married filing jointly, or qualifying widow(er), you can expect a payment of $1,000.
- If you filed as a single filer or as married filing separately on your 2021 tax return, you will receive a payment of $500.
- If your 2021 filing status was married filing jointly, the rebate payment will be sent to the primary taxpayer listed on your 2021 New Mexico state tax return.
For general tax information, see Kiplinger's New Mexico state tax guide.
To be eligible for a payment under Pennsylvania's "Property Tax/Rent Rebate" program, you must be at least 65 years old, a widow(er) at least 50 years old, or a person with disabilities at least 18 years old. There's also an annual income limit: $35,000 for homeowners and $15,000 for renters (50% of your Social Security benefits are excluded).
The standard Pennsylvania rebate amount depends on your income and whether you own or rent your home. For eligible homeowners and some exceptions for older adults over age 65 who might receive a higher amount, the rebate amount can generally be up to $650.
Delivery of the rebate checks began in August 2022. Eligible residents initially had until the end of 2022 to apply for a rebate. But the program has been extended, so payments will continue into 2023.
For additional information on Pennsylvania taxes, see the Pennsylvania State Tax Guide.
South Carolina Tax Rebate
You are eligible for a South Carolina tax rebate if you file a 2021 South Carolina state income tax return by Feb. 15, 2023, and you owe state income tax for the 2021 tax year (i.e., you have a state tax liability). The rebate amount can be up to $800 and will be based on your 2021 South Carolina income tax liability, minus credits.
South Carolina issued rebates in two phases, depending on the date your 2021 South Carolina tax return was filed. Rebates have been issued for people who filed a return by Oct. 17 of last year. For those who file after Oct. 17 but before Feb. 15, 2023, a rebate check should have been issued by March 31, 2023.
Virginia Tax Rebate 2023
Some Virginians are receiving 2023 tax rebates due to a massive surplus in the Commonwealth. Since a new Virginia budget was agreed to by the legislature and signed by Gov. Youngkin, those 2023 Virginia tax rebate payments are up to $400 for eligible joint filers and up to $200 for eligible single filers.
Note: To qualify for last year's 2022 Virginia tax rebate, you must have filed a 2021 Virginia income tax return by November 1, 2022. Rebate amounts of up to $500 were based on your 2021 Virginia tax liability.
Eligible Virginians who filed their state tax return by September 5, 2022, should have received their payment by Oct. 31 of last year. If you filed your return between September 6 and November 1, 2022, your payment should arrive within four months from the date you filed your return, which could have been as late as February 2023.
For more information on Virginia taxes, see Kiplinger's Virginia State Tax Guide.
As the senior tax editor at Kiplinger.com, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.
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