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Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day Highlights Valuable Credit

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Public Affairs Office

For Immediate Release


Sacramento – In the spirit of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day,the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) encourages California taxpayers eligible for the Federal credit to file their federal tax return and claim it. Free tax preparation sites are available to help people file and claim the credit.

EITC Awareness Day is a national grassroots effort spotlighting this valuable federal tax credit. Joining the IRS are charitable organizations, elected officials, state and local governments, employers, and others in local communities nationwide to promote this credit.

The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit. When the credit amount exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund. People who earned less than $50,270 from wages, self-employment, or farming last year may qualify for the credit that can total nearly $5,900. Millions of taxpayers will qualify for the first time in 2012 because of changes in financial, marital, or parental status. EITC is a financial boost for working people. The local community also benefits from the added funds received by the families. This past year nearly three million Californians received more than $6.8 billion in refunds. The average EITC refund was $2,290.

FTB and the IRS have formed a working partnership to improve EITC delivery. Those eligible for the credit that missed it in prior years can still claim it. Income limits for the past few years are:

  • 2011 $49,078 or less
  • 2010 $48,362 or less
  • 2009 $48,279 or less

Taxpayers can file amended returns to claim past years’ credits. People who did not file a return because their earnings were less than the filing requirement may qualify for the credit as well. Taxpayers can find more information on credit eligibility at

Free tax preparation and EITC eligibility help is available throughout the tax season at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites. These volunteer programs staff more than 1,000 centers statewide. Some offer services in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. For information on locations throughout California, visit and click on the free filing assistance link.

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