Your Guide to the Golden State Stimulus

The Golden State Stimulus check is a $600 or $1,200 payment that you can claim just by filing your 2020 tax return! Here’s what you need to know:

Eligibility Requirements

In order to claim the Golden State Stimulus, you must be a California resident that falls within the eligibility requirements of one of these two groups:

You File with a Social Security Number

  • Earned less than $30,000 in 2020
  • File a tax return and claim the CalEITC

You File with an ITIN

  • Earned less than $75,000 in 2020
  • File a tax return

If you are eligible to claim the Golden State Stimulus, you will fall into one of these three scenarios: 

taxes done

Scenario 1: You Filed Your 2020 Return

To claim the Golden State Stimulus, you must file your 2020 tax return by October 15th, 2021. If you have already filed your return and meet the eligibility requirements as listed above, you don’t need to do anything. You will receive your payment by direct deposit or paper check.


Scenario 2: You Filed Your 2020 Return but Did Not Claim the CalEITC

If you have already filed your 2020 taxes but did not claim CalEITC and you're eligible for CalEITC, don’t worry! You can amend your tax return in order to claim the Golden State Stimulus. Just be sure to do this by the October 15, 2021 deadline.

Scenario 3: You Have NOT Filed Your 2020 Return

If you have not filed your 2020 tax return, OC Free Tax Prep encourages you to file as soon as possible with MyFreeTaxes, a free and easy-to-use website. This website is approved by the IRS and will automatically populate all of your tax forms after you’ve answered questions about your filing status and income!

If you would like to calculate your payment amount, use our Golden State Stimulus Calculator.

How Will I Receive the Golden State Stimulus Payment?

The Golden State Stimulus payment will arrive the same way your tax refund does. If you opt for direct deposit when you file your taxes, you will receive the Golden State Stimulus by direct deposit. If you didn’t provide your bank information, you will receive it as a paper check by mail.

When Will My Golden State Stimulus Payment Arrive?

Keep in mind that waiting for a check in the mail means you will have to wait for your payment a bit longer. After your 2020 tax return is processed, you can expect your payment to arrive within 45 days if you’re receiving a direct deposit, and within 60 days if you’re waiting for a paper check to come in the mail.

Additional Resources

If you’d like more information about the EITC, take a look at How the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Can Put Money in Your Pocket. Or, if you’re wondering whether or not you need to file taxes this year, check out our article: Is There a Minimum Income to File Taxes in California. You may be surprised to learn that you can still benefit from filing a return even if you technically don’t need to file.

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