The IRS late yesterday announced (IR-2023-23) that it will treat most rebate payments made in 2022 by state governments as non taxable. From the announcement:
The IRS has determined that in the interest of sound tax administration and other factors, taxpayers in many states will not need to report these payments on their 2022 tax returns.
During a review, the IRS determined it will not challenge the taxability of payments related to general welfare and disaster relief. This means that people in the following states do not need to report these state payments on their 2022 tax return: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Alaska is in this group as well, but please see below for more nuanced information.
In addition, many people in Georgia, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Virginia also will not include state payments in income for federal tax purposes if they meet certain requirements. For these individuals, state payments will not be included for federal tax purposes if the payment is a refund of state taxes paid and either the recipient claimed the standard deduction or itemized their deductions but did not receive a tax benefit.
The IRS last week had asked taxpayers receiving such payment to hold off filing tax returns while the agency determined how it would tax them. Some states have issued 1099s reporting them to the IRS. The announcement does not specifically address whether those states should amend 1099s, or whether the IRS will just ignore them.
The announcement doesn't state that such rebates will always be tax free in the future, explaining in a very long sentence (emphasis added):
The IRS has reviewed the types of payments made by various states in 2022 that may fall in these categories and given the complicated fact-specific nature of determining the treatment of these payments for federal tax purposes balanced against the need to provide certainty and clarity for individuals who are now attempting to file their federal income tax returns, the IRS has determined that in the best interest of sound tax administration and given the fact that the pandemic emergency declaration is ending in May, 2023 making this an issue only for the 2022 tax year, if a taxpayer does not include the amount of one of these payments in its 2022 income for federal income tax purposes, the IRS will not challenge the treatment of the 2022 payment as excludable for income on an original or amended return.
The IRS supplies a helpful chart on the payments covered by the announcement.