Tax Refunds: Nearly 524k Homes Receive $581 Checks

by Josh Lanier

Surprise! Some of you are about to get an unexpected late Christmas gift. The Minnesota Department of Revenue will cut checks worth an average of $581. You’re eligible for the payout if you paid state taxes on unemployment benefits last year.

Minnesota officials told The Sun that 542,000 people will get a refund. Tax officials began re-examining state tax returns to locate eligible people. The state will start sending out checks soon.

“We know these refunds are important to those taxpayers who have experienced hardships over the last year and a half,” Department of Revenue commissioner Robert Doty said in September. “We made the decision to adjust nearly all of these returns on our end so that impacted taxpayers would not need to take the time and resources to file an amended return, which would further delay the refund they’re due.”

Minnesota is one of several states that decided to refund those taxes after Congress passed the American Recovery Plan earlier this year. The bill wiped away $10,200 worth of income if it came from unemployment checks. Some Americans got refunds for an average of $1,189. The IRS sent out notices earlier this year to eligible taxpayers. The agency refunded $10 billion to 8.7 million taxpayers so far. Those checks went out in batches this summer.

How to Qualify for a $1,400 Stimulus Payment in 2022

Most Americans qualified for some federal stimulus payment this year to help with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some states like California, Virginia, Tennessee, and New Mexico added state-level stimulus payments for some residents.

That’s not likely to happen again in 2022, but some people are eligible for a $1,400 federal payout next year.

The American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden signed into law in March promised $1,400 to most taxpayers and $1,400 per dependent. If you had a child this year or added a dependent that didn’t receive a stimulus check, you’re eligible to claim that on your 2021 federal income taxes.

To qualify you must make less than $75,000 a year or $150,000 if you file jointly on your 2021 income tax returns. If you make more that figure will shrink.

California Governor Considering Stimulus Payout Next Year

Two-third of California residents received a stimulus check this year as part of the Golden State Stimulus II program. The program was meant to boost the state’s economy through the pandemic.

State officials spent $12 billion on the program so far. But California has a $31 billion budget surplus. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’s considering using that money for another round of checks next year.

“How we framed that historic surplus last year, similarly, we will frame our approach this year,” Newsom said. “I’m very proud of the historic tax rebate last year, and I look forward to making the decision that I think is in the best interests of 40 million Californians.”