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State of California Franchise Tax Board

California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)


Tax year 2015

California will offer a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) starting with tax returns filed for income earned in 2015. For California’s EITC, the definition of earned income includes W-2 income such as wages, salaries, tips, and other employee compensation, that are subject to California withholding. Earned income would specifically exclude income from self-employment.

Taxpayers with adjusted gross income (or, if greater, earned income) of less than $13,870 may qualify for a credit up to $2,653, depending on the number of qualifying children. The state credit will be “refundable”, meaning that taxpayers do not have to have a tax liability to get a refund of the earned income tax credit from the state.

The California tax credit complements the existing federal EITC.

Tax years prior to 2015

California does not offer a state EITC for tax years prior to 2015.

The federal EITC is a refundable federal credit that can reduce the federal tax you owe or result in a refund to you. To find out if you are eligible to claim EITC on your federal return, you can:

Education and outreach

If you would like to partner with us to educate eligible taxpayers about the new California EITC, contact us at or call us at 916.845.4800.


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