IRS tax forms with tax refund check

It’s official: Colorado taxpayers can expect to receive at least $500 in the mail by September, thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Jared Polis on Monday.

The new law, Senate Bill 233, will refund up to 85% of excess state revenue collected last year. This expedites the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights refund — originally scheduled for the spring of 2023 — to mere months before the November election.

The refund amounts will depend on state revenue, though current estimates say the checks will be at least $500 for individual tax filers and $1,000 for joint filers. Taxpayers will receive equal payments, regardless of income.

“We are helping Coloradans deal with inflation by getting people back their hard-earned money this summer,” Polis said. “We are providing immediate relief for hardworking Coloradans by sending rebate checks back quickly because there’s no reason the government should hold onto your hard-earned money any longer than it has to.”

Polis said 3.1 million Coloradans will receive the refund directly in the mail in August or September. The refund is available for full-time residents who file their 2021 tax returns by June 30. If filing after June 30 but by the extended filing deadline on Oct. 17, they’ll get their check in January.

The governor and Democratic leaders said the expedited refund will help Colorado families afford basic necessities such as gas and groceries amid skyrocketing prices and inflation.

Republican critics have called the refund an effort to buy votes before the November election, an accusation Polis’ spokesman Conor Cahill called an "intellectually dishonest and cynical view."

“Coloradans are feeling the pain of inflation because of the pandemic, and they need our help,” said Sen. Nick Hinrichsen, D-Pueblo, who sponsored SB-233. “That’s why we’re taking action to provide immediate support to families and individuals in the form of direct relief to taxpayers.”

Despite the accusations, the bill passed the legislature with comfortable bipartisan support, receiving a 54-11 vote in the House and a 24-11 vote in the Senate earlier this month.

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