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VERIFY: No, Maine's $850 relief checks will not factor into your 2022 state or federal taxes

The Mills administration announced the checks to help people dealing with rising costs of gas and everyday goods due to inflation and the pandemic.

AUGUSTA, Maine — When Gov. Janet Mills signed the supplemental budget into law, more than 858,000 Mainers became eligible for $850 inflation relief checks.

The Mills administration launched a website in April to help answer people's questions about how to get those checks.

The website, Maine.gov/reliefchecks, aims to answer a series of frequently asked questions, including who is eligible, when will I receive my $850, how will I receive my $850, and what if I need help filing my taxes, among others.

Maine people have until Oct. 31 to file a 2021 Maine individual income tax return and claim their $850 relief payment.

Richard Turcotte of East Waterboro asked NEWS CENTER Maine's Verify team if those relief checks are subject to federal taxes.

THE QUESTION

Are Maine's $850 relief checks subject to federal income taxes?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, the $850 relief checks are not subject to federal or state income taxes.

WHAT WE FOUND

The FAQ page of Maine.gov/reliefchecks states the Pandemic Relief Program was designed "not to be subject to Federal taxation or included in Federal Adjusted Gross Income calculations."

A spokesperson from Maine DAFS confirmed that intention.

In order to be eligible, you have to file a Maine state income tax return, even if you do not normally file.

Janet Smith, program manager of CA$H Maine said more than 5,000 Mainers have already made appointments to get help with filing state returns, and that many are learning they qualify for additional tax credits.

"There's a lot of people living on very little income and they've been missing out on some of the benefits they could have been getting through these tax credits for a number of years," Smith said. "People are in tears when they learn about these additional funds they're getting because sometimes people are getting an additional $1,000 that they didn't know they were going to get when they walked through that door."

You can track your relief check here.

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