How to Get the Golden State Stimulus – What You Need to Do

The Golden State Stimulus check is an opportunity to receive a one-time $600 or $1200 COVID-19 relief payment. Anyone who gets a stimulus check needs to be a low-income California resident who is facing hardships due to the ongoing pandemic. If this is you, read on!

How to Know if You Qualify for the Golden State Stimulus

Before we get into the details of how to get this stimulus check, it’s important to gauge whether you qualify. In most cases, you don’t need to jump through any hoops to receive this payment. 

According to the California Franchise Tax Board, these are the requirements to qualify for the Golden State Stimulus:

  • File your 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021
  • Be either a CalEITC recipient OR an ITIN filer who made $75,000 or less
  • Be a California resident on the date payment is issued
  • Be 18 years of age or older as of the last date of the tax year
  • Not be eligible to be claimed as a dependent

What You Need to Do to Claim the Golden State Stimulus

Step 1: File Your Tax Return

The most important thing you can do is file your 2020 tax return! The easiest way to get it done is through an online tax filing service like MyFreeTaxes. It’s completely free to use any of their tax filing options! All you have to do is sign up on MyFreeTaxes and answer a series of guided questions on the secure website.

Step 2: Claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)

If you qualify for CalEITC, make sure you claim it on your tax return. To get a detailed breakdown of the qualifiers for this tax credit, you can review the “Check if You Qualify” list on the California Franchise Tax Board website. A benefit of using MyFreeTaxes is that the service simplifies the process and automatically checks if you can claim this credit. If you’d like to get an estimate of how much you could get back, try out our Free Tax Prep Cashback Calculator.

Remember, you don’t need to qualify for CalEITC if you are filing your taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and made $75,000 or less. You only need to fall into one of these categories. 

Step 3: Wait for Payment

That’s really all there is to it! You could net an extra $600 or $1200 just for filing your taxes by October 15, 2021! So, we bet you’re wondering how much you’ll get and what determines that number. We’ve got you covered.

How Much is the Golden State Stimulus Payout?

The amount of your check is determined by a few different factors. It hinges on how many of the criteria you fit, and this crosses over into whether you are filing independently or with someone else. In general however:

  • ITIN filers making $75,000 or less get $600
  • ITIN filers making $75,000 or less and qualifying for CalEITC get $1,200

It really all comes down to filing your tax return, so mark your calendar, set a reminder, and do whatever you need to make that October 15th deadline! For more information on  how to file, take a look at our article detailing your various Tax Filing Options, or watch this video to learn how you can file your taxes for free through OC Free Tax Prep.

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