It’s been nearly a month since President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which included economic stimulus checks for most American’s and tax benefits for the community. As we continue to forge through the pandemic and economic woes, Congressmember Karen Bass held a call geared towards helping navigate this tax season.
The telephone town hall included representatives from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), California Franchise Tax Board, and more. The call discussed what to do if you did not get the economic stimulus payments yet, taxes on payments, tax filing procedures, how to get help with preparing and filing taxes, and more.
Starting with a reassurance that vaccines are being made available for Californians at record rates, including allowing residents 16 years of age access to the vaccinations. As the focus of the call was the upcoming tax deadline, she redirected focus, “I want to make a note that we have been receiving calls regarding delayed payments for SSI filers. So I want everyone to know that the IRS and the Treasury Department announced recently that they anticipate payments will begin to be issued this week to Social Security recipients and other federal beneficiaries who do not normally file a tax return soon with the projection that the majority of these payments would be sent electronically and received April 7, or in the week following.”
The first speaker Anabel Marquez, the Congressional District Liaison with the IRS, alerted all in on the call that the tax deadline has been pushed to May 17, 2021, urging all to do so electronically. She also explained the difference between the three stimulus checks, advising all that as long as taxes were filed or if on social security the government is working to get all sent out. She shared information to find your refund using the IRS website at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment to check the status of your payment.
The next speaker, Marc Narlesky with the California Franchise Tax Board made clear, “The postponement applies to individual filers whose 2020 tax returns and payments were originally due April 15, 2021. It’s an automatic postponement.” He continued regarding the economic impact payments or stimulus, “They are not taxable for California income taxes.” Narlesky also spoke on the Golden State Stimulus, detailing those who qualify will receive either $600 or $1200 which should be sent out around April 15 for first round recipients. He also discussed how residents can file taxes for free with the Cal File option. More information can be found by visiting ftb.ca.gov.
The final speaker, Azusena Favela, Deputy Director with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs spoke about the Financial Navigators program. “The Financial Navigators program is designed to help residents deal with the financial impact of COVID-19,” she detailed. “By providing remote assistance in navigating critical financial issues, and making referrals to other social services and resources, trained financial navigators will provide structured guidance over the phone that will help you navigate and connect with other county residents.” She continued to share each session will be 30 minutes where questions will be addressed and discussed in depth. More information can be found by visiting dcba.lacounty.gov/financial-navigators.
The call was ended after a short question and answer where residents were able to voice certain concerns regarding their specific situation. Each speaker shared information on where to find help and assistance in either filing, finding our refund, and if you qualify. For more information on the call, visit bass.house.gov.