EITC logo with icons of a car, graduation cap, house, and money coin beneath

Earned Income Tax Credits

There are several Earned Income Tax Credits available. One is the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the other is the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC). Both credits are available to individuals who had some earnings in 2021. The Earned Income Tax Credits have no effect on your public benefits.

CalEITC:

The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is a cash back tax credit that puts money back into the pockets of California workers who earn up to $30,000 per year.

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

You must:

  • Have taxable earned income
  • Have a valid social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) for you, your spouse, and any qualifying children
  • Not use “married/RDP filing separate” if married

Young Child Tax Credit:

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

The YCTC reduces the amount of state income tax California families and individuals owe based on how much they earn from work and how many qualifying children they live with. Since the credit are refundable, people who qualify for a credit that exceeds the amount of income tax they owe can receive the balance as a tax refund. This means that families and individuals who do not owe any state income tax can get the full credit that they qualify for as a refund.

Federal EITC

For the first time, adults without kids at home who work could get money from the federal government to boost their income through the Earned Income Tax Credit. To qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), must:

  • Earn money from a job or certain disability benefits
  • Be 19-23 years old and not enrolled in school for more than 5 months in 2021 or be 24 years or older. There is an exception for homeless and former foster youth. Homeless and former foster youth can be 18 or older and enrolled as a student and still qualify for this credit
  • Make $27,380 or less without kids or $57,414 or less with kids in 2021
  • Have a Social Security number for everyone listed on their tax return, including a spouse or child

Available Credit Amounts

Number of qualifying children CalEITC (up to) Federal EITC Young Child Tax Credit
None $255 $1,502 $0
1 $1,698 $3,618 $1,000
2 $2,809 $5,980 $1,000
3 or more $3,160 $6,728 $1,000

Resources

Free resources to help you file your tax return.

  • EITC Brochure in Spanish/English: This printable brochure provides information about the Federal and California Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) along with the eligibility requirements.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): For more information about the Federal EITC, please visit the EITC web site or call 1-800-829-1040.
  • Franchise Tax Board (FTB): File your state tax return directly to FTB for free with CalFile. For more information, please contact FTB at 1-800-852-5711 or visit the FTB web site.
  • CalEITC: California joins 24 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting a state EITC to supplement the federal EITC. For more information visit CalEITC4Me. In addition to the CalEITC Calculator to determine how much money eligible filers can get back, and a  Free Tax Prep Finder to help people find convenient free tax preparation sites in their neighborhoods