DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Revenue will be sending 2.4 million checks in early August to Coloradans who have filed state tax returns and plans to have finished distribution by the middle of the month.
These checks are mainly thanks to the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which basically means Colorado can’t spend more taxpayer money than it generates. Every time the state has a tax surplus and brings in more taxes than it plans to spend, that money is refunded.
Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill that tweaks this year’s TABOR refund, which creates an even amount for every taxpayer instead of a proportional refund and sends that refund out earlier than the spring of 2023.
Who is eligible and how much to expect
Individual filers can expect checks worth $750 and joint filers should receive $1,500 checks. To be eligible for the checks you must have been 18 years old on Dec. 31, 2021, and filed a state income tax return for the 2021 tax year before the deadline.
You are also eligible if you applied and qualified for a Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit (PTC) Rebate. Those rebates are only for Coloradans who are 65+ or at a certain income level.
You must be a full-year resident of the state of Colorado in 2021 to be eligible.
If you are recently divorced and filed jointly, the check will still be sent to the last known address on the 2021 tax return. The department can’t split checks if you filed jointly but want those payments individually.
When will checks come in?
The Department of Revenue says it will start mailing checks on Aug. 1, and will continue mailing out the 2.4 million payments through the middle of the month.
“By law, we have to start transmitting the data on August 1, and then it’ll take a few days and some time to print and get through the mail,” said Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue Mark Ferrandino.
The department is giving a window that all checks should be received by Sept. 30, knowing that some people may have forwarding addresses and the process may take a little longer through the U.S. Postal Service.
Coloradans should be able to use USPS’s informed delivery service to track the checks and time when they should be hitting mailboxes. They will not be direct deposited into accounts.
If you filed for an extension with the Internal Revenue Service, you have until Oct. 17 to file your state income taxes. If you are filing with the extension, you may not receive your TABOR check until Jan. 31, 2023.
Make sure your address is up to date
To make sure your check gets delivered to your current address if you moved since filing your tax return, update your address with the Colorado Department of Revenue. You can create an account online, or fill out an address change form and submit it to the department.
You can always set up a forwarding address with USPS, but the department advises Coloradans to update the address with DOR instead of relying solely on USPS forwarding.
The Department of Revenue will be setting up a call center to help Coloradans with questions or issues receiving the TABOR checks. Ferrandino said the department will start that process in late September.
“If you didn’t get the check, we’ll have a process where you can sign an affidavit, submit it back to us either electronically or through mail, and then we will issue another check,” Ferrandino said.
The department will be able to look into if you check was cashed by someone other than yourself and will investigate fraud on a case-by-case basis.
What if you’re on Social Security?
Just because you don’t pay any income taxes to Colorado, doesn’t mean you are ineligible for this refund. Coloradans on fixed incomes still pay property and sales taxes and are eligible for TABOR payments if they meet the requirements mentioned above.
Coloradans who are on fixed incomes from the federal government, like Social Security, may still be eligible to receive a TABOR refund if they file a state tax return and show zero income.
“You have to file a tax return with the state, that’s how we identify who you are and getting you those funds,” Ferrandino said. “If you haven’t filed you still have until October 17 to go in and file a return.”