Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Stimulus check Maryland: who is eligible?

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has now signed a bipartisan stimulus bill worth $1.2 billion called the RELIEF Act. Find out what's in it and who's eligible.

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Stimulus check Maryland: who is eligible?
ZACH GIBSON AFP

On Monday, the Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan has now signed a bipartisan stimulus bill worth $1.2 billion called the RELIEF Act. So what’s in it and when could checks be sent out?

The Maryland RELIEF Act 2021: who is eligible?

The Maryland Governor’s office say that the bill includes immediate payments of $500 for families and $300 for individuals who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Marylanders would qualify for these payments who annually earn:

  • $50,954 ($56,844 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $47,440 ($53,330 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $41,756 ($47,646 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $15,820 ($21,710 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

The payments are set to provide $178 million in relief to 400,000 Marylanders. In addition, the legislation increases the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit to 45% for families and 100% for individuals.

The RELIEF Act also enhances the Earned Income Tax Credit for these same 400,000 Marylanders by an estimated $478 million over the next three tax years.

The Governor’s office have not yet indicated when the stimulus checks will be sent out, but similar to federal stimulus payments, no application for relief is necessary.

Maryland stimulus bill: what else is in the bill?

Support for small businesses

The RELIEF Act sets aside nearly $200 million to support small businesses with sales tax credits of up to $3,000 per month for three months - for a total of up to $9,000. Governor Hogan says that this relief will directly help more than 55,000 Maryland small businesses.

This relief is automatic and based on a sliding scale up to $3,000. For example, if you are a business with $100,000 in monthly revenue and you collect $6,000 in sales taxes, you only remit $3,000. If you have $50,000 in monthly revenue and you collect $3,000 in sales taxes, you keep all $3,000.

Loan and Grant forgiveness and additional relief funds

According to the Governor's office The RELIEF Act’s loan and grant forgiveness plan aims to safeguard Maryland business owners against any tax increase triggered by the use of state loan or grant funds. This relief could save businesses an estimated $36 million.

The RELIEF Act also includes an additional $500 million in new funding for programs and grants for businesses and nonprofits, housing, health, unemployment insurance, energy assistance, education, and human services.

Scope of Maryland stimulus checks expanded

A recent amendment changed the eligibility requirements of the package so that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) wouldn’t be the only deciding factor in eligibility.

Since taxpayers need a Social Security number to qualify for the EITC, thousands of immigrants wouldn’t see any of that relief, so the amendment ensures that checks will also be sent to ITIN filers who meet the EITC income requirements.

ITIN filers represent a broad group of taxpayers, including undocumented immigrants and “some people who are lawfully present in the U.S., such as certain survivors of domestic violence, Cuban and Haitian entrants, student visa–holders, and certain spouses and children of individuals with employment visas,” according to the National Immigration Law Center.