What is the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)?
- CalEITC is a cash back tax credit that puts money back into the pockets of California’s working families and individuals.
- In its first year, CalEITC boosted the income of about 385,000 families, who shared almost $200 million from the cash-back credit.
- In 2019, more than 2 million people claimed the credit, totaling nearly $400 million.
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible for the CalEITC if:
- You have earned income within certain limits (check back in January for current income guidelines), AND
- You, your spouse, and any qualifying children each have a social security number (SSN), AND
- You do not use the “married/RDP filing separate” filing status, AND
- You lived in California for more than half the tax year
Use the CAL EITC CALCULATOR so see how much you may be eligible for
Was I eligible last year?
Did you know you can amend tax returns up to three years back if you find out you are eligible for tax credits you didn’t originally claim? Good news, you can still get this cash-back credit. Click here to learn how.
|Number of Qualifying Children||CA Maximum Income*||CalEITC (up to)**||Federal EITC (up to)**|
|3 or more||$30,000||$2,982||$6,557|
Use the EITC Calculator for more exact results by clicking here.
|Number of Children||CA Maximum Income||CalEITC (up to)*||Federal EITC (up to)*|
|3 or more||$24,950||$2,879||$6,431|
Top Questions About the Earned Income Tax Credit
You may be eligible and don’t even know it. Check back in January for income eligibility information to see if you qualify.
Yes! Check back in January for income eligibility information to see if you qualify.
In 2019, for the CalEITC, the most a family could get is $2,879. For the federal EITC, the most a family could get is $6,318. Check back in January for how much you can receive in 2020.
To find out the exact amount you may be eligible for use the CAL EITC Calculator at https://caleitc4me.org/earn-it/
The most important thing you need to do is file your tax returns! Claiming tax credits is a part of filing your taxes.
Yes! 1099 income counts for both the federal EITC and the CalEITC.
Yes! You’re still eligible for both the federal EITC and the CalEITC.
The only way to get the federal and/or state EITC is to file your tax returns. So yes, you need to file your taxes to get the EITC.
If you participate in DACA and applied for a Social Security Number that allows you to work, you can use that number when claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Yes! You qualify. Based on your age and if you have dependents. If you are 65 or younger by the end of 2017, do not have any dependents and met the income requirements, you are eligible. If you have dependents and meet the income requirements, your age is not a factor in eligibility. See questions one and two for eligibility facts.
If you want to claim your EITC, you must file your tax returns. The federal EITC lowers the amount of federal taxes you may owe so by claiming the federal EITC, if you owe federal taxes, the amount could be less than you think- thanks to the EITC.
Eligibility requirements change each year so it’s worth checking your eligibility before you file your tax returns each year.
Below are the documents you need to when you file your tax returns:
- Proof of income including W-2s and 1099
- Documentation of deductible expenses
- Form of Government Identification
- Social Security Card for each family member
- Account and routing numbers for checking or savings accounts for direct deposit and a faster refund
- Health Insurance Marketplace Statement (1095-A, B, and/or C)
- Copy of last year’s tax returns, if available
To protect yourself from fraud or paying more than you should to file your tax returns, you should get your taxes done at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) location for free, open in neighborhoods throughout the state starting February 1st.
If you qualify for the EITC, you are eligible to file for free, no-cost in-person tax help through the VITA program. Even if you aren’t eligible for the EITC, VITA is available for people with low to limited incomes! Check back in January 2020 for income eligibility.
For more information visit CalEITC4Me.org
Get Support Filing Your Taxes
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) volunteer programs provide free assistance to individuals who need help in completing federal and state income tax returns for FREE.
Schedule an appointment with an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer at your local VITA site who can work directly with you to file your 2019 Federal and California state income tax returns. Assistance is generally available from February 1 through April 15th. Services are available in multiple languages.
The VITA program specializes in assisting those with low to limited income (Check back in January 2020 for income eligibility), and non-English speaking taxpayers.
For a list and schedule of VITA tax preparation sites, check back in January 2020!
Can’t find a site in your area and earned $66,000 or less? File your taxes for free at www.myfreetaxes.org!
The TCE program provides free income tax assistance for middle- or low-income taxpayers, giving special attention to those aged 60 and older.
To find a local TCE site, visit AARP’S Tax-Aide Locator.