As with all tax questions, the answer is: it depends.

First, the Colorado stimulus check refund being distributed is related to TABOR. This mandates that budget surpluses be returned to the taxpayers. In the past, this was done a multitude of ways: as a senior property tax exemption, a reduction in the CO income tax rate, or a sales tax refund. The Colorado Department of Revenue did not issue and distribute checks directly back to taxpayers in the past. But alas, it is an election year. And the one thing as certain as death and taxes is….. politicians try to buy votes.

So, the short answer to the original question is:

No, you do not have to file your state income tax return by June 30 to be entitled to the TABOR refund. As long as you file your tax return by the filing extension deadline October 15, 2022, and meet the other requirements, you will eventually receive your check.

The other requirements to receive your TABOR refund state that you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age on or before December 31, 2021.
  2. Be a Colorado resident for the entire of 2021 income tax year.
  3. File a state income tax return for the 2021 income tax year or receive property tax, rent or heat rebate credit.

So, why all of the publicity about the Colorado Stimulus Check June 30 deadline?

This is where the “it depends” part comes in. The June 30 deadline is merely the cutoff to be included in the initial wave of TABOR refund checks being sent out. Remember, those politicians want to make sure you have your money before you go the polls in November. Are we a tad cynical? Perhaps.

But the bottom line is that if you file after June 30, you will still get the TABOR refund. You will simply receive it after those who filed prior to June 30.