Middle-Class Tax Refund | When to expect your debit card

According to the California Franchise Tax Board, debit cards will be mailed to eligible Californians between Oct. 24 and Jan. 14, 2023.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Some California residents may have already gotten their California Middle Class Tax Refund deposited into their accounts, but others are still waiting for their debit cards to show up in the mail.

According to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), debit cards will be mailed to eligible Californians some time between now and Jan. 14, 2023.

Debit card payments for Californians who received the Golden State Stimulus I and II are expected to be mailed between Oct. 25 and Dec. 10. The remaining debit cards will be mailed by Jan. 14, 2023.

Californians should allow up to two weeks from the issue date to receive the debit card by mail. Once residents receive the card, they have to activate it. See below for activation information.

The FTB expects about 95% of all payments — direct deposit and debit cards combined — to be issued by the end of 2022.

Determining Factors

You will receive the Middle Class Tax Refund in the form of a debit card payment if you meet the following criteria:

  • Filed a paper return.
  • Had a balance due.
  • Received your Golden State Stimulus (GSS) payment by check.
  • Received your tax refund by check regardless of filing method.
  • Received your 2020 tax refund by direct deposit, but have since changed your banking institution or bank account number.
  • Received an advance payment from your tax service provider, or paid your tax preparer fees using your tax refund.

Timeline for debit cards 

Golden State Stimulus check recipients will get their debit cards sooner than those who didn’t receive the stimulus. 

  • Last name beginning with A – E – 10/24/2022 through 11/05/2022
  • Last name beginning with F – M – 11/06/2022 through 11/19/2022
  • Last name beginning with N – V – 11/20/2022 through 12/03/2022
  • Last name beginning with W – Z – 12/04/2022 through 12/10/2022

Any remaining debit cards will be mailed by Jan. 14, 2023.

What do I do if I don’t get a debit card? 

The FTB says if you didn’t receive an MCTR payment by Jan. 15, 2023 and believe you qualify, visit mctrpayment.com for more information on how to get your refund.

How do I activate it? 

Californians who get the debit card will have to activate the card and add a security PIN number before they are able to access their funds.

To activate your debit card, follow these instructions: 

Can I withdraw the money? 

Yes. MCTR debit cards can be used in multiple ways to allow Californians to access the refund cash.

  • These debit cards are accepted: in-store, online or by phone.
  • You can get cash back at the register when making PIN debit purchases at participating stores.
  • You can withdraw money through a surcharge-free in-network ATM.

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