California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)

What Is It?

CalEITC is a California tax credit program established in 2015 by Governor Brown and the California Legislature that puts money directly back in the hands of qualifying low-income families, with or without children, to use for their most immediate needs. CalEITC can increase an overall tax refund, or if taxes are owed, can reduce the taxes owed and possibly provide a refund.

First 5 California is a partner in this public/private partnership on the CalEITC program, along with many other organizations and public entities.

Who Qualifies?

California taxpayers who meet specific income and other eligibility criteria qualify for CalEITC. For example, in 2016, a family of three or more making less than $14,161, and meeting all other eligibility criteria qualified.

According to the CalEITC4me website, for the 2016 tax year specifically, individuals may be eligible for the CalEITC if:

  • They have earned income within certain limits (see specific income link), AND
  • They, their spouse, and any qualifying children each have a social security number (SSN), AND
  • They do not use the “married/RDP filing separate” filing status, AND
  • They lived in California for more than half the tax year

CalEITC4me also has an easy-to-use EITC calculator criteria to help determine eligibility.

From 2015, the first year of the program, through 2017, about 1.1 million Californians have received benefits totaling approximately $600 million dollars with the average benefit received averaging over $500 dollars.

Additional Information

CalEITC is a tax benefit separate from the federal EITC, which this program is designed to supplement.

For more specific information and details, visit:

California Franchise Tax Board