Better For Families Act

4 minute read

Background

Are you tired of hearing about the same old tax policies? Well, get ready for something unexpected. The Better for Families Act is a game-changer that's got California taxpayers and tax advisors alike talking.

The Better for Families Act is a bill that was proposed in California to provide tax refunds and grants to low and middle-income families in order to provide relief from the effects of inflation. The bill, also known as SB 192, was introduced by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review in the California State Senate. The proposed legislation aimed to create the Better for Families Tax Refund Fund, a new fund in the State Treasury, to make one-time tax refund payments to qualified recipients in a form and manner determined by the Franchise Tax Board.

The bill also intended to create the Better for Families Rebate Fund, which would provide rebates and grants to eligible individuals and families. The proposed legislation was designed to exclude the refunds and grants from the gross income of recipients for personal income tax purposes. The bill aimed to provide relief to Californians and their families who have been affected by inflation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the Better for Families Act?

The Better for Families Act is a bill that authorizes the California State Controller to make a one-time tax refund payment, known as the Better for Families Tax Refund, to qualified recipients who meet certain income criteria. The refund amount varies depending on income, with a maximum of $350 for individuals earning up to $250,000. The bill also creates the Better for Families Tax Refund Fund to facilitate the payments and makes them exempt from garnishment orders. The act is designed to provide relief to Californians who have been impacted by inflation.

The act provides an estimated $9.5 billion to approximately 17.5 million California families in the form of cash refunds. However, as millions of Californians are getting their Middle Class Tax Refund payment cards in the mail, there has been some confusion about the cards and the issuing bank. Some recipients have complained that the cards look like a scam and others say they are full of fees and restrictions. The debit cards are being issued by a bank in New York, which has left some Californians feeling skeptical about the legitimacy of the cards. Despite the confusion and skepticism, the Middle Class Tax Refund is a legitimate payment from the state of California, and eligible families should not be afraid to activate their cards and claim their refunds.

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Facts About The Better for Families Act

Here are some important facts about the Better for Families Act:

  1. The cash refunds are intended to help offset the higher costs caused by inflation and provide relief to families who are struggling to make ends meet.
  2. The refunds are one-time payments and range from $200 to $550 per person for those earning up to $250,000.
  3. To be eligible for the Better for Families Act, you must have filed your 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021, and met the California adjusted gross income (CA AGI) limits.
  4. The refund is not taxable income and will not affect your eligibility for other state benefits.
  5. The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) is responsible for issuing the refunds, and they anticipate that 95% of all refunds will be distributed by the end of 2022.
  6. If you filed your 2020 taxes electronically, you can expect to receive your refund by direct deposit. If you filed your 2020 taxes by mail, you can expect to receive your refund via a debit card sent to your address on file with the FTB.
  7. The Better for Families Act is separate from the Golden State Stimulus program and does not require any action on your part to receive the refund if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Am I Eligible for the Better for Families Act?

To be eligible for the Better for Families Act, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must have filed your 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021.
  2. You must meet the California adjusted gross income (CA AGI) limits. For single filers, your CA AGI must be $75,000 or less. For joint filers, your CA AGI must be $150,000 or less. The amount of the refund decreases as income increases and phases out completely for single filers earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning more than $500,000.
  3. You must not have been eligible to be claimed as a dependent in the 2020 tax year.
  4. You must have been a California resident for six months or more of the 2020 tax year.
  5. You must be a California resident on the date the payment is issued.

If you meet these criteria, you are likely eligible for the Better for Families Act and should receive a cash refund to help offset the higher costs caused by inflation. However, if you have any doubts about your eligibility or have not received your refund, you should contact the Franchise Tax Board's customer service representatives for assistance.

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