California Competes Tax Credit Credit code 233
This credit is available for businesses that want to:
- Come to California
- Stay and grow in California
Tax credit agreements are negotiated by the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and approved by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee.
Through this 5-year agreement, businesses commit to meeting yearly milestones for full-time employment, salary levels, and project investment.
You must meet milestones for each taxable year to earn the allocated credit for that year.
You may claim the credit on your tax return only if you have earned it.
This credit is not refundable and can be used to reduce tax below tentative minimum tax. If your credit amount exceeds your tax liability, you may carry it over for up to 6 years.
This credit can also be assigned. See Credit assignments.
Check if you qualify
Visit GO-Biz-California Competes Tax Credit to apply for your credit agreement and more information.
How to claim
- File your income tax return
- Attach California Competes Tax Credit (FTB 3531)
- Visit Instructions for FTB 3531 for more information
- Credit assignment
Our role and review process
If you received the credit, we may review your records once or multiple times over the allocation and maintenance period of the credit.
If you are a small business (less than $2,000,000 gross receipts less return and allowances), we will review your records when it’s appropriate. We focus on verifying the yearly milestones for full-time employment, salary levels, and project investment.
The review for this credit is not an income tax audit and your business tax return remains subject to audit.
We will send you a contact letter to begin a review along with the reviewer and supervisor contact information. When we finish the review, we will send you a letter that states whether your business is in compliance with the credit agreement or if there’s a possible breach.
In the event that we determine that your business is not in compliance with the credit agreement, we will provide GO-Biz and you with information that explains the basis for our determination.
Our review includes verifying the following:
Employment and Compensation Levels
Payroll reports and records to support:
- Hire dates, hours, or weeks worked
- Wages and salary levels for new employees and compensation paid
- Authorization for expenditures, invoices, deeds, contracts, lease/rental agreements, etc.
- Project documents, timelines, capitalized costs, schedule of project costs etc.
- Summary analysis of changes in property, plant, and equipment
- Depreciation records
- General ledger records
The above is not all inclusive. Acceptable records depend upon the specific project. We may also consider alternative documents.
Go-Biz has defined a material breach as 1 or more of the following:
- Failure to furnish us or GO-BIZ with information
- Material misstatements in information provided to GO-Biz as part of the application process
- Failure to materially satisfy or maintain the milestones
If the Committee makes the decision to recapture a credit:
- GO-Biz will notify you and us about the recapture and the amount
- You must report it on your tax return for that tax year
- We’ll review your tax return and send you a bill if necessary
Review process questions, email GEDI@ftb.ca.gov.