California Earned Income Tax Credit and Young Child Tax CreditCalEITC and YCTC

Overview

If you have low income and work, you may qualify for CalEITC. This credit gives you a refund or reduces your tax owed.

If you qualify for CalEITC and have a child under the age of 6, you may also qualify for the Young Child Tax Credit.

Together, these state credits can put hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your pocket.

Filing your state tax return is required to claim both of these credits.

Check if you qualify for CalEITC

You may qualify for CalEITC if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old or have a qualifying child
  • You have earned income within certain limits

The amount of CalEITC you may get depends on your income and family size.

You must:

  • Have taxable earned income
  • Have a valid social security number for you, your spouse, and any qualifying children
  • Not use “married/RDP filing separate” if married
  • Live in California for more than half the year

Earned income can be from:

  • W-2 wages
  • Self-employment
  • Salaries, tips
  • Other employee wages subject to California withholding

What you'll get

Review the chart below to see how much you may get when you file your tax year 2019 return.

2019 CalEITC credit
Number of qualifying children California maximum income CalEITC (up to) IRS EITC (up to)
None $30,000 $240 $529
1 $30,000 $1,605 $3,526
2 $30,000 $2,651 $5,828
3 or more $30,000 $2,982 $6,557

The Young Child Tax Credit was introduced in tax year 2019. If you qualify for CalEITC and have a child under the age of 6 as of the end of the tax year, you may qualify for up to $1,000 through this credit.

You can also use the CalEITC4Me calculator to estimate your CalEITC, and use the CalEITC4Me tax prep finder to locate a location to get your returns done for free.

You may go back up to four years to claim CalEITC by filing or amending a state income tax return. Review the charts for past years below to see how much you could get.

2018 CalEITC credit
Number of qualifying children California maximum income CalEITC (up to) IRS EITC (up to)
None $16,750 $232 $519
1 $24,950 $1,554 $3,461
2 $24,950 $2,559 $5,716
3 or more $24,950 $2,879 $6,431
2017 CalEITC credit
Number of qualifying children California maximum income CalEITC (up to) IRS EITC (up to)
None $15,008 $223 $510
1 $22,322 $1,495 $3,400
2 $22,309 $2,467 $5,616
3 or more $22,302 $2,775 $6,318
2016 CalEITC credit
Number of qualifying children California maximum income CalEITC (up to) IRS EITC (up to)
None $6,717 $217 $506
1 $10,087 $1,452 $3,373
2 $14,161 $2,406 $5,572
3 or more $14,161 $2,706 $6,269

2015 CalEITC credit
Number of qualifying children California maximum income CalEITC (up to) IRS EITC (up to)
None $6,579 $214 $503
1 $9,879 $1,428 $3,359
2 $13,869 $2,358 $5,548
3 or more $13,869 $2,653 $6,242

Claim your credit

You can file your tax return and claim CalEITC using CalFile for free.

Get free tax preparation help

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Prior year credit information

Tax professionals

Verify if your client qualifies

Complete and keep copies of the:

You may be subject to a $500 penalty if you don’t comply with CalEITC requirements.

Partner with us

You can help your clients by telling them about CalEITC. Get free brochures and posters from our partner CalEITC4me or email PublicAffairsOffice@ftb.ca.gov with your name, address, and the number of copies.

Why you got a letter

You may have received a notice from us if:

  • We require additional documentation to process your claim
  • You didn’t qualify
  • We adjusted your claim

Follow the instructions on your notice or contact your tax preparer.