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The Early Taxpayer Catches the TABOR Refund Worm

The Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) calls for extra tax revenue to be returned to taxpayers this year. Read on to see who qualifies.
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Approved in 1992, the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or the “TABOR” constitutional amendment, limits the amount of revenue Colorado can retain or spend from collected tax dollars.1 Extra dollars must go back to the taxpayers. On May 23, 2022, Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 22-233 into law to get that money back to Coloradans as soon as August 2022.
The Colorado Legislature predicts TABOR refunds for the 2021 tax year will be $500 for single filers and $1,000 combined for joint filers.2 Colorado had until June 30, 2022 to determine the actual state revenues for the year and may adjust the refund amount based on those final numbers.3 The final amount will be certified no later than August 1, 2022.4 Resident individuals who filed their income tax return before June 30, 20225 will receive their refund no later than September 30, 2022.6 Taxpayers under a valid extension to file and who do so after the June deadline will receive their refunds no later than January 21, 2023.7

Of course, the primary question is do you qualify? Below is a list of the criteria: 

  • The taxpayer must have been a Colorado resident for all of 2021.8
  • The taxpayer must have been 18 years or older as of December 31, 2021.9
  • The checks will be mailed rather than distributed through direct deposit. Taxpayers should make sure that the address on file with the state is their current address.10
  • The refund does not need to be reported as income on federal returns.11
  • TABOR refunds are still subject to debt collections as otherwise noted under Colorado Revised Statute Section 39-21-108(3).12

What if you don’t regularly file state returns?

  • Irregular filers, like veterans and seniors, are still eligible for the TABOR refund but must file a return for the 2021 tax year13 to receive it, even if the resident would normally not be required to file.
  • Seniors or disabled persons who apply and qualify for the Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit (PTC Rebate) for 2021 expenses are not required to file to get a TABOR refund.14 
    • This will be full-year residents, 65 years or older OR full-year residents of any age with a qualifying disability for the duration of the tax year.15
    • The program returns a grant to qualified applicants based on actual amounts paid on real estate taxes, heat, and fuel expenses, subject to certain limitations.16

The Colorado Department of Revenue has arranged a call center at 303.238.7378 for those seeking assistance or additional information. You also can reach out to a professional at FORVIS or submit the Contact Us form below.

  • 1Colo. Const. Art. X §20
  • 2Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(c)(I).
  • 3Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(2)(a), (d)(I), and (d)(II).
  • 4Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(2)(c).
  • 5Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(1)(b)(I).
  • 6Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(2)(b).
  • 7Id.
  • 8Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(1)(b)(I).
  • 9Id.
  • 10 Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(2)(c).
  • 11 Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(5)(a).
  • 12 Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(5)(b).
  • 13 Colo Rev. Stat. §39-22-2004(1)(b)(I).
  • 14 Colo. Rev. Stat. §§39-22-2004(1)(b)(I), 39-31-101 et. seq.
  • 15 Colo. Rev. Stat. §39-31-101(1)(a), (1)(c).
  • 16 C.R.S. §§39-31-101(2), 39-31-104.

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