Who Gets The $850 Maine Stimulus Check? – Forbes Advisor

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In an effort to help residents deal with high inflation costs, Maine made $850 in stimulus payments this year to qualified taxpayers.

While 18 other states have approved stimulus plans, Maine offers one of the highest payouts for its residents. This aid was accompanied by a handful of other financial aid measures in the state’s supplemental budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 and is estimated to affect 858,000 Maine residents.

“As housing, food and energy costs have risen, the stimulus will be a big help to low-income households struggling to meet higher costs,” said Sarah Austin, director of policy and research at the Maine Center for Economic Affairs. Policy (MECEP). ).

What is the Maine Direct Relief Payment?

Maine’s aid plan offers direct payments of $850 to individuals and $1,700 to joint petitioners.

These payments are intended to help residents cover basic necessities such as groceries, gas and utilities, according to the governor’s office, but residents can use the money for any purpose they choose.

According to the governor’s announcement, Maine residents must meet the following requirements to qualify for the exemption:

  • Filed an individual Maine income tax return as a full-time resident by October 31, 2022.
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent on another resident’s tax return
  • Have a federal adjusted gross income (FAGI) of less than:
    • $100,000 if you file single or married and file separately
    • $150,000 if you file as Head of Household
    • $200,000 for couples filing jointly

When and how are payments made?

The Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) began issuing the first round of payments through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on June 1, 2022. This first delivery included 5,000 checks, and as many as 200,000 were sent each week thereafter.

More than 850,000 relief checks had been sent to Maine residents by early November, according to a press release from Governor Janet Mills. That accounts for 99% of those expected to be eligible for the benefits.

Remaining checks will be issued through the end of the year as paper tax returns are verified and processed. Residents can visit Maine.gov and provide some information, including your social security number, to check your Maine stimulus check status.

What if you have not received your payment?

Maine is still processing payments, so your check may be on its way. Unfortunately, if you have not filed a 2021 income tax return by October 31, 2022, it is too late to file and claim a check.

Austin of the Maine Center for Economic Policy points out that lower-income families often miss out on stimulus payments, child credits, and other tax breaks because they’re less likely to file taxes. “The state has taken a number of measures to remedy this, including funding for a free tax preparation site,” she says.

Even if you missed the October 31st deadline for direct compensation, it may still be worth filing for 2021. The DAFS advises that this could be an opportunity to claim other state tax benefits, such as property taxes and sales taxes. Filing a state return for this purpose does not require a federal return.

Update your address

If you have submitted your declaration within the deadline but have not yet received an exemption check, please check that your address is correct. Payment will be mailed to the address provided on your 2021 Maine individual income tax return and forwarded to forwarding addresses on file with the USPS.

If you need to update the address you registered with the Maine Revenue Services (MRS), you must submit written proof of your new address along with other identifying information, such as your SSN.

If you believe your stimulus check has been lost or stolen, please contact Maine Revenue Services at 207-624-9924.

Stimulus Check Scams

There have been many federal stimulus check scams during the pandemic, and some Maine residents have been targeted by similar scams.

In May, the Attorney General’s Office and the Maine Revenue Services issued an announcement warning that scammers had been posing as “Maine IRS” agents to solicit social security numbers and other sensitive information.

Consumers should note that Maine Revenue Services (MRS), which sends the Maine stimulus payments, is a separate agency from the IRS.

The IRS is a federal agency and will not contact taxpayers about their state stimulus payments. The IRS also advises that it will never “contact taxpayers by email, text, or social media to solicit personal or financial information,” and that communication errors, including spelling mistakes and poor grammar, are common red flags for fraud.

In a May statement, Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey advised consumers to be wary of such scams. “Do not share identifying information with anyone requesting such information over the phone without independently confirming their identity,” he said.

Will there be extra help for Maine residents?

After last year’s $285 payments from the state disaster relief program, Maine residents may be wondering if state-sponsored payments will become a recurring benefit.

According to Austin, Mainers have no reason to expect another such payout. While the stimulus check is a response to economic conditions, it was created for another practical purpose. “Maine has fiscal rules like almost every other state that require our budgets to be balanced,” she says.

More than half of the state’s budget surplus was earmarked for this year’s stimulus plan.

Other important one-off initiatives are also included in the supplementary budget. Budget highlights include:

  • A tax break for those receiving a retirement pension in Maine, including a gradual increase in their annual deductions, from the current limit of $10,000 to $35,000 by 2024.
  • An increase in Maine’s Property Tax Fairness Credit, which will give an estimated $1,000 a year in refundable tax credit to homeowners, and up to $1,500 a year to senior homeowners.
  • Two years of free community college for pandemic-affected students
  • Up to $2,500 per year, or $25,000 per lifetime, in refundable tax breaks for student loan debt relief

Austin says Maine has also permanently doubled its income tax credit (EITC).

“[This] will have an average family allowance of about $400 a year and help about 100,000 households in the state,” she says. “This is a benefit that low-income families should be able to expect in the future as long as they file income taxes.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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