Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect new information provided by the New Mexico Tax & Revenue Department on June 8, 2022.
NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Roughly 730,000 New Mexicans have already received the first of two rounds of economic relief payments from the state. Meant to help pay for high fuel costs and inflationary pressure, the payments, which started going out May 18, have paid out an extra $250 for single tax filers or $500 for joint tax filers.
But what if your tax rebate hasn’t hit your bank account or mailbox yet? Should you be worried that something went wrong?
Not yet, according to the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department. There are roughly 40,000 New Mexicans who have yet to get their cash payment, and there could be several reasons for the delay. Those include possible problems with your direct deposit, the slower speed of printing paper checks or tax processing issues, among others. Here are the most likely reasons you’re seeing a delay in your first economic relief payment, according to the state.
Tax preparer advances or rejected direct deposits
While people who’ve received a refund on their 2021 state taxes via direct deposit have most likely already received their first $250 or $500 payment, there is a small group of possible exceptions for that group. A spokesman for the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department (TRD,) Charlie Moore says rebates may be delayed for tax filers who opted to get an advance on their 2021 tax return through a tax preparation service.
An advance is when a tax preparer (for example, those big, flashy websites that file your taxes) offers to pay you your expected return immediately. In return, you didn’t have to wait for a week or two to get your return from the state.
So, if you got an advance, there could be a delay in the $250 or $500 relief payment getting sent to you. “In those cases, the [payment] is first sent to an account set up by the preparation service and has to be forwarded on to the taxpayer’s account,” Moore said.
There could also be an issue with your direct deposit information. If it changed, or something else happened, and the direct deposit was rejected by your financial institution, according to the state, you’ll get a printed check in the mail.
According to TRD, as of June 8, about 547,000 people have already received rebates via direct deposit. The state began processing rebates about two weeks ahead of time, starting in mid-May instead of June, according to TRD. By law, the state has until no later than July 31, 2022 to send out the first “stimmy” payments.
Paper checks are slower than direct deposit – a lot slower
If you’ve opted to get your tax returns through a paper check in the mail, you’ll get your rebate check the same way. More than 200,000 tax payers are in this category, according to TRD. As of June 8, the state has issued 183,000 paper checks and has about 39,000 more to go.
The state is only able to print roughly 14,000 checks per day, and that printing started around May 18. With that, TRD Spokesman Charlie Moore says the state is expecting to be about halfway done with printing out paper checks by the end of the week, June 10. The state says printing and mailing out the paper checks should take another couple weeks, assuming things go smoothly.
Another fun fact: paper check rebates are being processed in the order that tax returns were finalized. So the later you filed, the further back in the line you are. “Early bird gets the worm,” if you will.
Taxes due? Your rebate might be sent to the state, instead
If you owe taxes in 2021 and you haven’t paid what you owe, your rebate might be the property of the State of New Mexico. According to Moore, a rebate payment will offset any taxes owed by individual or joint tax payers.
If you think you’ve got a situation where you owe the state taxes, you can check online. The state says people can log in to the New Mexico Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) system at the following web address: https://tap.state.nm.us/TAP/_/
Your tax return may still be processing
TRD says if your tax return is still processing, or you filed for an extension, your economic relief payment will be delayed. Again, you can check your tax status on the state’s TAP system website.
If you don’t have to file taxes, you can still get a rebate
Taxpayers who don’t file taxes are still able to access rebates on a first come, first served basis. The deadline to apply for those rebates for so-called “non-filers” has been extended to June 10, 2022. The state estimates around 30,000 people qualify for these non-filer rebates.
It may have already hit the cap for those payments, as well. In an interview with KRQE News 13 Wednesday, Tax and Revenue Department Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke said, “As of [June 7,] we believe that we’ve hit the cap on that $20 million, which was allocated to go out on a first come first serve basis. So HSD is maybe still taking applications for another couple of days, but I do think that that funding source is about tapped out.”
Remember, all of the economic relief or tax rebate payments are planned in two rounds of $250 for individuals, and two rounds of $500 for joint filers or “households.” The first round of payments started in mid-May, while the second round is expected in August. The rebates will go to everyone, regardless of earned income.
My situation doesn’t apply. What can I do?
There’s a chance we didn’t cover every possible scenario. In that case, it may be worth checking out the state’s online FAQ page for tax rebate questions. Click here to visit tax.newmexico.gov.
Got a question for TRD? You’re not alone. The department says they recently received closed to 8,000 calls in one day from people asking when they will receive their checks.