Did you get a refund? California inflation rebates top $5 billion, so far

With Thanksgiving costs up 20% this year amid record-high inflation, some readers are wondering where their inflation stimulus payment is from the state of California.

The Franchise Tax Board has been hustling to distribute one-time direct deposit and debit card payments for qualifying taxpayers. Distribution began in October.

As of Nov. 11, the state reports it has sent out $5,053,764,350 (yes, that’s billions).

The breakdown of payments goes like this: —Direct deposits issued to qualifying taxpayers: 6,739,880 —Debit cards issued to qualifying taxpayers: 2,556,729

The refunds are part of an inflation-relief package Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature agreed to in June, setting aside $9.5 billion from a $308 billion annual budget.

Instead of a gas rebate, the government settled on a plan to return some of the state’s $98 billion budget surplus to residents struggling with rising prices amid record-high inflation.

Depending on a taxpayer’s AGI, payments will range from $200 for certain high-income earners to $1,050 for married, joint tax filers with a dependent.

Recipients of the MCTR must be California residents and tax filers in order to qualify. The state will base relief payments on adjusted gross income found in 2020 tax returns.

If you were not a recipient of the previous state stimulus programs, expect the tax refund to land between Dec. 5 and January, according to a schedule posted on the tax board’s website.