GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECK

Second $600 Golden State Stimulus check: do I need to file another tax return?

Another round of Golden State stimulus will be sent in the coming weeks, here are the steps that you need to take in order to receive your payment. 

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Second $600 Golden State Stimulus check: do I need to file another tax return?
PATRICK T. FALLON AFP

Last week, the California legislature passed a bill that would allow for sending the second round of Golden State stimulus checks with an expanded income threshold. The first round of $600 checks was sent to residents making under $30,000 a year. The new bill will not send another check to those that received one during the first distribution cycle. Instead, those making under $75,000 a year will receive a check.

Very few details have been released on when the payments will be made. However, the entity tasked with its distribution, the California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB), has stated that they will release more information once they receive directions from state leaders.

The checks will be sent based on the information provided this year during tax filing season. For those who have not yet filed their taxes, the state recommends sending in a return to ensure eligible individuals receive their payments.

While taxes were officially due back in May, the state has extended the deadline to 15 October. If the CFTB receives a return by this day, they will send the check.

If you have already submitted your tax return, you do not need to file it again. The state has the information it needs to make the payment.

Why has the distribution plan not been released?

California law mandates that the Governor “submit a balanced budget proposal to the Legislature by January 10 of each year.” Then, the budget must be passed by 15 June.

After years of government shutdowns costing taxpayers millions because state leaders could not reach an agreement over the budget, the voters approved Proposition 25 in November 2010. Prop. 25 mandates that in the case a budget is not passed by the deadline, all  "members of the Legislature will permanently forfeit any reimbursement for salary and expenses for every day until the day the Legislature passes a budget bill.”

A placeholder budget was passed on 14 June, but negotiations over how to spend billions of the historic budget surplus have left the state without an official budget. One of the most significant points of contention is over the inclusion of a $1 billion allocation to local governments to combat homelessness. The historic investments were not included in the government's budget, and a compromise has not been reached over whether it will make it into the final budget. 

Until the budget is finalized, Gov. Newsom is expected to remain quiet over the pieces of the budget that have already been passed, including the second $600 stimulus check. Many believe that once the negotiations have wrapped up, details on the distribution of the checks will be made public.