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How to check if you got a surprise cheque from the B.C. government

The one-time tax credit captured about 85 per cent of B.C. residents.
Further "enhancements" are on the way next year.

The provincial government has sent out larger carbon — or so-called “climate action" tax credits — this month to help with the cost of living and says it will be boosting the BC Family Benefit for three months in 2023.

While the Bank of Canada is poised to increase interest rates again on Oct. 26 to curb consumer spending, B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson has put up to an additional $164 per adult and $41 per child into bank accounts of low- and moderate-income residents.

The bump in payment was announced in September. If you're set up for direct deposit, completed your 2021 tax return and meet the criteria, the money should be in your bank account. It was deposited through the Canada Revenue Agency on Oct. 5. Anyone not registered for direct deposit should get a cheque in the mail. For those who haven't yet filed their 2021 tax return, once they do file, they will receive the credit.

"Life is more expensive for people and families right now, and some are experiencing the weight of inflation on their household budgets more than others," said Robinson in a statement Thursday.

"This enhanced payment is one of the best ways we can get money into the pockets of people who need it most, right now, so they have some extra help with the increased costs of essential items like groceries or gas,” said Robinson.

On Thursday, the U.S. consumer price index rose 8.2 per cent over the last 12 months — higher than the previous report and many expectations; Canada's last CPI report in August showed a rise of seven per cent.

This month’s one-time “enhanced” credit captured about 85 per cent of B.C. residents, as the government more than doubled the maximum net income threshold for recipients.

The credits work on a scale where normally any family of four earning more than $68,051 did not receive the normal credit. This month’s net income threshold to receive the credit for that same family was $150,051.

Further enhanced credits are on the way next year, for the first three months, according to the government.

“The B.C. government is also providing a temporary benefit enhancement of up to $175 per child for the period January 2023 to March 2023 (up to $58.33 per month),” for net incomes at or below $25,806.

“For eligible families with an adjusted family net income between $25,806 and $82,578, the minimum enhancement is $150 per child ($50 per month)”

So, in total, any family earning less than $25,806 will now get $191.66 per month for the first child, $141.67 per month for the second child and $125.00 per month for each additional child.

If your adjusted family net income for the 2021 taxation year is more than $25,806 but less than $82,578, the monthly enhanced benefit for January to March 2023 is reduced by 0.33% of the portion of income over $25,806.