With no new Montana stimulus checks coming in 2024, those in need of a little financial assistance may have to look for alternatives. The federal government offers a number of resources and benefit programs for Americans facing financial hardship. If you need help finding affordable housing, groceries, or healthcare, we recommend checking your eligibility for these programs.

Another option is to claim state-level tax credits to lower your tax bill and get a larger refund. Read on to learn more about credits eligible taxpayers can claim, eligibility requirements, and how much tax relief you can get.

Is There a Stimulus Check in 2024 for Montana?

The state government hasn’t shared any new updates about Montana stimulus checks for its citizens in 2024. The relief measures for Montana residents that were introduced through the American Rescue Plan and the CARES Act during the coronavirus pandemic have long since expired, and no new Economic Impact Payments are forthcoming.

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

Montana Stimulus Check 2024

Montana doesn’t have a state-level Child Tax Credit (CTC), but you can still claim the Montana State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC).

Governor Greg Gianforte proposed a state Child Tax Credit (CTC) as a part of the fiscal year 2025 budget to create a credit of up to $1,200/child under the age of six for eligible Montana taxpayers. However, the bill is not likely to pass.

How Do Montana Stimulus Checks Work?

Tax credits reduce your tax liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis, so they’re used by federal and state governments to provide tax relief to low-income taxpayers who qualify. However, tax credits are not stimulus programs in the traditional sense.

These credits can be refundable or non-refundable. With a nonrefundable credit, you won’t get a check for the surplus after your tax owed is reduced to zero. With a refundable credit, you’ll get a direct deposit or paper check for the surplus once your taxes due are reduced to zero.

“Tax credits are different from stimulus programs in the way they are distributed to taxpayers, but the government uses them in much the same way,” explains Brad Reichert, founder and managing director of Reichert Asset Management LLC.

“The funds for these stimulus payments come from the same place as direct payments do, which is Montana’s general tax account, managed by the state’s Department of Revenue,” adds Reichert.

Who Is Eligible for Montana’s Stimulus Checks?

You’re eligible for the Montana state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you meet these eligibility requirements:

  • You must be a Montana resident during the tax year.
  • You must have claimed the federal EITC on your federal tax return.

You must also meet the earned income and adjusted gross income limits set by the IRS to qualify for the federal EITC:

  • 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)

Montana’s CDCTC is otherwise known as the Child and Dependent Care Expense Deduction.  It allows you to deduct expenses related to the costs of caring for a child or adult dependent in the form of a direct offset against your taxes payable. 

You’re eligible for this deduction if you paid expenses for a dependent or paid for home care services necessary for employment to maintain a household that includes a qualifying individual.

A qualified individual is:

  • A dependent under the age of 15 that you claim as a dependent on your individual income tax return.
  • A dependent who is unable to care for themselves because of a mental or physical illness.
  • A spouse who is unable to care for themselves because of a mental or physical illness.

You can’t claim this deduction for any payments made to:

  • Any individual that you claim as a dependent on your state tax return during the tax year.
  • Your child, if your child is not aged 19 or more, by the end of the tax year.

How Much Do You Receive and When

The Montana EITC (which is refundable) is 10% of the federal credit. An expansion of the state EITC was included in the $1 billion tax cut package announced by Gov. Greg Gianforte in 2023. This expansion increased the state EITC from 3% to 10% of the federal credit. The federal credit amount depends on your filing status, number of dependents, and income.

The Montana Child and Dependent Care Expense Deduction is non-refundable and is $180 for two dependents or children and $192 for three or more dependents or children.

How To Track the Status of Your Montana Stimulus Checks

When you claim tax credits, you won’t get a separate Montana stimulus check. The credits will be applied to your state income tax liability, and you’ll receive a refund in your bank account for any excess tax credits that are left over if the credit is refundable and if you’re eligible.

In some cases, it may take the Montana Department of Revenue up to 90 days to issue these types of refunds. You may also be asked to verify your return. If you haven’t received a refund even after this due date, you can use the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the TransAction Portal (TAP).

How To Apply for Montana’s Stimulus Checks

You can claim tax credits by filing your Montana state income tax returns. You can either file taxes on your own with the help of tax preparation software or get help from a professional to maximize your refund.

If you’re a low-income filer, the IRS has a number of free tax preparation services, such as Free File, TCE, and VITA for state and federal income tax returns.

Apply for Financial Assistance in Montana

While there’s no new Montana stimulus check or individual income tax rebate check for 2024, you can get some tax relief by claiming federal and state tax credits. A larger tax refund can certainly provide temporary help if you need it.

If you need ongoing assistance or need help with basic necessities like food, housing, or healthcare, use the Benefit Finder tool to find a list of programs for which you can apply.