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$300 Billion Budget Deal: Get Financial Relief With the Middle Class Tax Refund in California

Californians who file their 2020 tax returns by October 15, 2021, may be eligible for a one-time payment called the Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR) as part of a $300 billion budget deal aimed at providing relief to residents by offsetting the high cost of fuel and other inflation-related expenses, based on several reports.

The package will return a portion of California’s $97 billion budget surplus to taxpayers in the form of relief payments ranging from $350 to $1,050 for some families.

To be eligible for the MCTR payment, you must have filed your 2020 tax returns on or before October 15th, meet California’s adjusted gross income requirements, not have been claimed as a dependent in 2020, have been a California resident for at least six months of 2020, and still be a California resident when the payment is issued, according to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

Payments began being distributed on October 7th and are expected to continue through mid-January 2023. Most payments will be sent as either direct deposits or debit cards.

According to the latest update from the Franchise Tax Board on December 9, 2022, there are approximately 25,787,689 California taxpayers and their dependents who have benefited from the MTCR.

The FTB is distributing debit card payments through Money Network Financial and has set up a website,, to help individuals activate their cards and check their balances.

Taxpayers who have changed their banking information since filing their 2020 tax return will receive a debit card between December 17, 2022, and January 14, 2023. Information on how to use the debit card can be found on the Money Network FAQ page.

Most Californians who did not file their 2020 tax returns by October 15, 2021, will not be eligible for the MCTR payment. However, there are exceptions for individuals who applied for an ITIN but did not receive it by the October 15th deadline or who filed their complete 2020 tax returns on or before February 15, 2022.


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