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February 18, 2016

What is the new California Earned Income Tax Credit—and who qualifies?


Starting with calendar year 2015 tax returns, California now offers its own Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) for working families. This new refundable tax credit puts cash back into working families’ pockets—cash they can use to pay for necessities like groceries, gas, and even insurance.

The CalEITC is available to families earning no more than $13,870 a year, though this amount varies based on a family’s size. Other eligibility factors include:

  • All qualifying family members each have social security numbers (SSN)
  • Family does not use the “married/RDP filing separate” filing status
  • Family has lived in California for more than half of the tax year

An estimated 600,000 families are eligible and the state has set aside $380 million. Combined with the federal EITC, a family could end up with credits as high as $9,000.

CalEITC4Me is a statewide campaign to spread awareness of this Earned Income Tax Credit for California’s working families. The campaign’s goal is, first and foremost, to ensure deserving families have access to this tax credit. CalEITC4Me offers resources like a free tax prep finder, a calculator to estimate an EITC amount (both state and federal), and printable materials to help families get the most money back this tax season.

If you have questions about how to help families file their income taxes and claim tax credits including the CalEITC, visit caleitc4me.org or visit your local tax professional.

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