California Earned Income Tax Credit CalEITC

Overview

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

You may qualify if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You have earned income within certain limits

Filing your state tax return is required to claim this credit.

Visit CalEITC4me for helpful resources.

Check if you qualify

The amount 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, or any qualifying children
  • Not use “married/RDP filing separate” if married
  • Live in California for more than half the year

CalEITC4me can also help you find out if you’re eligible.

Sources of earned income
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 return.

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

You can also use the CalEITC4me calculator to estimate your credit.

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

How to claim

File a California income tax return.

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.