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State of California Franchise Tax Board

Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day - Help Stretch Your Paycheck

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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 eligible California taxpayers to file their federal tax return and claim the federal credit. Free tax preparation sites are available to assist taxpayers in filing and receiving the credits they are owed.

“For millions of hard working Californians, these dollars are too valuable to leave on the table,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang.

EITC Awareness Day is a national grass roots 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. This means that when the credit amount exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund. People who earned less than $51,567 from wages, self-employment, or farming last year may qualify for the credit that can total up to $6,044.

EITC is a financial boost for working people. The local community also benefits from the added funds received by the families. Last year nearly three million Californians received more than $6.9 billion in refunds. The average EITC refund was $2,331.

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

  • 2012   $50,270 or less
  • 2011   $49,078 or less
  • 2010   $48,362 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.

FTB administers two of California's major tax programs: Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. FTB also administers other non tax programs and delinquent debt collection functions, including delinquent vehicle registration debt collections on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and court–ordered debt. Annually, FTB’s tax programs collect more than 65 percent of the state’s general fund. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit

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