If you’re looking for a Maine stimulus check to get some temporary relief, tax credits may be a good alternative. Federal and state tax credits can lower your tax bill and may even help you get a larger refund.

Maine has state-level tax credits that can help put money back in the pockets of taxpayers facing financial hardship. Read on to learn more about which credits you can apply for, how they work, and eligibility requirements.

Is There a Stimulus Check in 2024 for Maine?

There are no new Maine stimulus checks coming in 2024. President Biden and Congress have not shared any new stimulus updates since the three Economic Impact Payments that were issued during the coronavirus pandemic.

The relief measures that were introduced through the American Rescue Plan and the CARES Act have since expired. Any social media posts you may come across about new pandemic relief programs, disaster relief payments, or stimulus payments from the Department of Administrative and Financial Services to help with the rising cost of groceries are false.  

You can still claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit if you file your tax return before April 15, 2025.

Maine Stimulus Check 2024

Maine doesn’t have a Child Tax Credit (CTC), but you can claim the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC).

These credits can lower your tax bill, and you may be able to get a larger refund, which can provide significant tax relief to those who qualify. This reduction in income tax obligation is essentially the same as the state government of Maine sending out a one-time stimulus payment to residents who qualify. The funds come from the same place–the state’s Department of Revenue.

How do Maine Stimulus Checks Work?

Tax credits can lower your tax bill on a dollar-for-dollar basis. They can be refundable or non-refundable. Non-refundable credits can lower your taxes due to zero, but no further.  You won’t get any additional money back in the form of a refund if the amount of the credit exceeds your income taxes due. With a refundable credit, you’ll get a check for any credit amount left over once your taxes owed are zero.

While these are not stimulus programs, they help put money back in the pockets of low and moderate-income taxpayers.

Who Is Eligible for Maine’s Stimulus Checks?

Maine’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is refundable only for residents and part-year residents. The credit for non-residents is not refundable. You’ll need to qualify for and claim the federal EITC to claim the state EITC. However, here are a few exceptions:

  • If you or your spouse (married filing jointly) were at least 18 years old on the last day of the tax year, had no qualifying children, and would have otherwise qualified for the federal EITC, you may be able to claim the Maine EITC even if you weren’t eligible to claim the federal credit.
  • If you or your spouse (married filing jointly) filed your federal income tax with an ITIN assigned by the IRS and would have otherwise qualified for the federal EITC, you may be able to claim the Maine EITC even if you weren’t eligible to claim the federal credit.

For all other cases, in order to qualify for Maine’s EITC, you’ll need to meet these basic eligibility requirements set by the IRS to qualify for the federal EITC:

  • You must have an earned income of less than $63,398 during the year.
  • Your investment income for 2023 must not exceed $11,000.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number when you file your 2023 return.
  • You must meet certain rules if you’re not filing a joint return.
  • You must not file IRS Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien in 2023.

You must meet these earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) limits set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

  • No qualifying children: $17,640 (single, head of household, widowed) $24,210 (married filing jointly)
  • 1 qualifying child: $46,560 (single, head of household, widowed) $53,120 (married filing jointly)
  • 2 qualifying children: $52,918 (single, head of household, widowed) $59,478 (married filing jointly)
  • 3 or more qualifying children: $56,838 (single, head of household, widowed) $63,398 (married filing jointly)

 All Maine taxpayers who qualify for the federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) are automatically eligible for the state credit.

How Much Do You Receive and When

The Maine EITC is 50% of the federal credit for taxpayers without qualifying children and 25% for all other eligible workers.

Here’s how much you can claim through the Maine CDCTC:

  • Refundable credit of 25% of the federal credit up to $500.
  • Non-refundable credit of 25% of the federal credit above $500.
  • The rate is 50% of the federal credit if the qualifying child attends a childcare facility certified through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

How To Track the Status of Your Maine Stimulus Checks

You won’t get a separate Maine stimulus check or relief payment when you claim the state-level tax credits. The credits will be applied to your state income tax bill as a direct dollar-for-dollar offset of your state income taxes due. If you’re eligible to receive a tax refund, you’ll get it in your bank account through direct deposit or as a paper check, depending on how you filed your return.

It may take four to eight weeks for Maine Revenue Services to process your returns and issue a refund. You can use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to check the status of your check online.

How To Apply for Maine’s Stimulus Checks

You can claim tax credits when you file your individual income tax returns. You don’t need to take any additional steps. While you can use tax preparation software to file taxes, a tax professional may be able to help you determine your eligibility for–and claim–federal and state credits to maximize your refund amount.

If you’re looking for free tax filing options, check to see if you qualify for the IRS’s Free File, VITA, or TCE services. The IRS offers these services to low-income filers.

Check If You Qualify for Financial Assistance in Maine

While there are no new relief checks coming in 2024 for Maine residents, you can take advantage of tax credits to get a larger tax refund. If you’re facing financial difficulties due to a job loss or medical emergency, we recommend applying for federal assistance programs for housing, healthcare, and food.

The Benefit Finder tool is a good resource for finding a list of benefits you may qualify for based on your current situation.