California Earned Income Tax Credit Outreach Letters

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June 29, 2016

Purpose of Bulletin

By the end of June, we will send notices to taxpayers who filed a 2015 tax return, and did not claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but may qualify.

Background

California EITC was implemented in January 2016 for the 2015 tax year. To date, we have processed over 350,000 claims for the credit and allowed over $180 million in credit. We have identified approximately 60,000 other tax returns for the 2015 tax year that may qualify to claim the California EITC.

Additional Information

We are sending letters with a 2015 Amended Tax Return – Special Worksheet for Earned Income Tax Credit for taxpayers to fill out and send back to us. We will process these worksheets as amended returns, determine if they qualify for the EITC, and issue any necessary refunds. These worksheets will not show up in TI because it is not an official amended return. However, the taxpayers’ completed worksheet will be retained as correspondence, and will be viewable in the Taxpayer Folder.

Taxpayer Inquiries

For additional information about the credit advise taxpayers to go to ftb.ca.gov and search for EITC. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions about EITC

  1. What is EITC?

    California now offers its own Earned Income Tax Credit (Cal EITC) starting with calendar year 2015 tax returns. This is a new refundable tax credit that puts money back in the pockets of California’s working families and individuals this tax season.

  2. How do I know if I qualify?

    This credit is available to California households with adjusted gross incomes of less than $6,580 if there are no qualifying children, less than $9,880 if there is one qualifying child, or less than $13,870 if there are two or more qualifying children. You qualify for Cal EITC if you meet all of the following requirements:

    • You have wages and adjusted gross income within certain limits.
    • You, your spouse, and any qualifying children each have a social security number issued by the Social Security Administration that is valid for employment.
    • You do not use the “married/RDP filing separately” filing status.
    • You lived in California for more than half the tax year.
  3. Why did I get this letter?

    We processed your 2015 tax return and found you may qualify for EITC. This letter is to inform you that you may qualify and give you the opportunity to apply for the credit.

  4. Do I have to file an amended return or a 540X?

    No, simply complete the worksheet attached to the letter, sign it, and mail it back to:

    FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
    PO BOX 1570
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95741-1570

  5. What is the due date for the Special Worksheet for Earned Income Tax Credit?

    We recommend that you file it as soon as possible.

  6. How long will it take to get a refund?

    Amended returns can take up to several months to process depending on workloads and complexity of the return. The Special Worksheet for EITC will be processed as an amended return.

  7. I already claimed EITC on my federal return, is this same thing?

    This is for the California EITC which is separate from the federal EITC.

  8. Can I amend other tax years to claim EITC?

    The EITC is for tax years 2015 and forward only.

  9. Can I get assistance with this form?

    There are line by line instructions with the form to assist you.  However, if you paid a tax preparer to file your taxes you can bring it to the preparer for help.

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