ANOTHER batch of stimulus checks worth up to $1,200 is set to go out to thousands of Americans this month.
Under California’s Golden State I (GSS 1) and Golden State Stimulus II (GSS II) programs launched in 2021, eligible residents are getting up to $1,100 and $1,200 respectively.
In March, the state sent out a batch of almost 62,000 combined stimulus checks under these initiatives.
In total, California has issued a total of 12.9million stimulus checks since last year.
To qualify for either program, your income must be less than $75,000 and generally have filed 2020 taxes before October 15, 2021.
Read our stimulus check live blog for the latest news and updates…
Final chance to claim check passed
Americans who have not received their $1,400 stimulus check had a final chance to claim it.
To get the funds, they had to file a 2021 tax return, which was due April 18th for most people.
If you think your stimulus check was lost or stolen, you can ask the IRS to trace your payment.
NY undocumented workers receive checks
New York also sent out payments to residents who didn’t qualify for federal aid, such as undocumented workers.
To qualify for this payment in New York, you had to have been a resident of the state and have made less than $26,208 in the year before April 2021, The City reported.
New York aid to artists
The New York City Artist Corps (CAC) program handed out one-time grants to 1,800 artists, with the payments set to go out by the end of last October.
It was aimed at helping artists sustain their practice and engage the public in what’s said to be thousands of cultural programs. The cash was given out to New York City-based artists who suffered financially during the coronavirus crisis.
NY governor on stimulus money
New York Gov Kathy Hochul said about the Excluded Workers Fund: “The Excluded Workers Fund is a critical lifeline to thousands of New Yorkers who were an integral part of keeping our state running during the worst moments of the pandemic.”
“This is an important first step – payments are going out ahead of schedule to provide these individuals with the financial relief they need and deserve.”
NY stimulus ‘just the beginning’
A report outlining New York City’s recovery plan stated the measures are “just the beginning”.
It said: “The City’s decisions to invest these funds now will help keep New Yorkers safe, restart the economy, rebuild the tax base, increase equity and enable greater economic growth in future years.”
Officials are also investing $52.5million in a bid to bring tourism back to pre-pandemic levels.
NYC bolsters aid for homeless
More than $125million has been allocated to support New York City’s homeless population.
A 2021 report outlining New York City’s recovery plan stated the measures are “only the beginning”.
It read: “The City’s decisions to invest these funds now will help keep New Yorkers safe, restart the economy, rebuild the tax base, increase equity, and enable greater economic growth in future years.”
How many people have signed the petition?
Over 3million people have signed the Change.org petition.
At 4,500,000 signatures, the petition would become one of the top signed ones on Change.org.
Update to Change.org petition
Bonin recently added an update to her petition as it neared 3million signatures.
“**UPDATE: Our country is still deeply struggling. The recovery hasn’t reached many Americans – the true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20% and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part five
“For our team and other Americans who can claim unemployment, even the maximum payments will not be enough for most people to continue paying their bills – and avoid slipping into poverty,” Bonin wrote.
“The facts are, even successful small businesses can’t go months with their doors closed.”
“But supplying Americans with monthly support until they can get back on their feet can save our communities from financial ruin.”
“We need immediate checks and recurring payments so that we can keep our heads above water. Congress needs to make sure that we won’t be left financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part four
“Our talented and cherished team, some of whom have been with us since we opened our doors 15 years ago, are now without an income,” Bonin noted on the petition she started.
“Like our team, my family has lost all of the income from our restaurant, and business owners and the self-employed can’t claim unemployment. This is the story of America right now.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part three
“My husband and I own a restaurant in Denver and these past two weeks have been a blur,” Bonin wrote.
“Our restaurant community is wrestling with seeing everything we all have worked so hard for irrevocably changed.”
“Our hearts were breaking as we watched our staff divide the ingredients in our kitchen to bring to their homes: a dismal token for employees who worked tirelessly every day.”
What does the Change.org petition say, part two
“This is catastrophic for working families like mine,” Bonin added.
“I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis.”
“Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table.”
What does the Change.org petition say?
The petition was created by restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin.
It reads “My name is Stephanie, and I am one of millions of Americans who fear for my financial future because of this coronavirus crisis.”
“With businesses and schools closing across the country to control the spread of this virus, many people have already lost their jobs. Others are being forced to stay home.”
More than 3million people have signed a Change.org petition that calls on lawmakers to pass legislation for recurring $2,000 monthly payments.
21 Democrat senators also previously signed a letter to President Joe Biden in support of recurring stimulus payments.
The letter read: “Almost six in 10 people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months.”
Newark, NJ providing payments, continued
Newark Mayor Ras J Baraka said: “At a time when our city still faces the challenges of COVID-19 and its economic impact, the biggest and most important institution that we should be investing in is families.”
“This will give our residents a much-needed boost and allow them to participate in the economy, regain their economic independence and strength, and move toward prosperity.”
“This type of intervention can support our economy and our future.”
Newark, NJ providing additional payments
An expansion of Newark’s guaranteed income pilot program means 400 residents will receive payments totaling $12,000 over two years.
Half of the program’s participants will receive $250 on a biweekly basis.
The other recipients will pocket two payments of $3,000 each year.
Durham, NC helping previously incarcerated residents
Previously incarcerated residents of Durham, North Carolina could be chosen for the city’s Excel pilot program.
The program will send monthly payments of $500 for a year to 115 residents.
Funds for the $700,000 pilot program will mostly be provided by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
The program is set to begin this year and continue through January 2023.
A pre-screening form is available to help determine eligibility.
Extra money in tax refunds
Some Americans should keep an eye out for an extra $656 in their tax refunds after millions of people received $1,400 stimulus checks last year.
The IRS says more than 35million tax returns had been filed as of February 18, with the average refund issued totaling $3,536.
That figure is up from $2,280 compared to last year, according to Motley Fool.
Of course, that’s an average, and families could receive more or less than $3,536 when they get their refunds.
About 2,500 low-income Americans will be randomly selected to receive direct stimulus payments worth $1,400 in a sort of stimulus lottery.
The Iowa county’s stimulus lottery, funded by President Biden’s $3.5million American Rescue Plan, was approved county-wide in one of the state’s counties recently to aid residents who have been directly affected by the coronavirus.
To be eligible, Iowa residents must have lived in Johnson County since March 2020 and have an income that is considered in the low to moderate range.
Social Security claimants stimulus check, continued
The group sent a letter to Congress last year, stating the cost-of-living adjustment, combined with inflation, will hit hard for many older Americans who are on a fixed income.
The proposal came after many seniors shared their hardships in the aftermath of the pandemic.
SS claimants may get fourth stimulus check
A petition urging Congress to give senior citizens a fourth stimulus check has been gaining popularity.
The Senior Citizens League, a non-partisan advocacy group, is calling for a one-time $1,400 stimulus check for Social Security claimants.
Mistakes to avoid: Car claims, continued
In order for you to file your taxes on time, you should have received your W–2 from your employer by now.
If your employer or former employer has not sent you a W–2 yet, be sure to reach out to the HR department.
If you were not able to meet the April 18 deadline, you had to apply for a six-month extension.
Mistakes to avoid: Car claims
If you used your car for work then it is fine to claim deductions for that.
What might result in an audit is claiming your vehicle is 100 percent business use.
It is unlikely your car is only for work and so the IRS might take a closer look.
The date for filing individual tax returns and making tax payments this year was Monday, April 18.
Mistakes to avoid: Round number estimates
You should try to avoid round number estimates when filing.
The IRS is more likely to flag your return if they see figures that look like guesses.
Add up your receipts exactly and make sure you report accurately.
Mistakes to avoid when filing taxes
Americans who have second jobs or side hustles need to ensure that all of their earnings are reported, according to one expert at The Motley Fool.
Any role where you earn more than $600 should come with a 1099 form to help you complete your return.
But even if you don’t get a 1099 form, the earnings still have to be filed.
The IRS focuses on income that’s work or business-related, regardless of how you earn it.
You’ll also need to report any income from a savings account or dividends that is not an IRA or 401(k).