There is both a California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and a federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

If you have low income and work, you may qualify for CalEITC and/or the federal EITC. These credits give you a refund or reduce your tax owed.

 

CalEITC

You may qualify for the CalEITC if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old or have a qualifying child 
  • You have earned income of $30,000 or less

The amount of CalEITC you get depends on your household status, income, and family size.

No Social Security number? No problem! For the first time, taxpayers with an ITIN — Individual Taxpayer Identification Number — are eligible for the CalEITC and the YCTC when paying their 2020 taxes.

Number of qualifying children
California maximum income
CalEITC (up to)
IRS EITC (up to)*
YCTC (up to)*
None
$30,000
$243
$538
$0
1
$30,000
$1,626
$3,584
$1,000
2
$30,000
$2,691
$5,920
$1,000
3 or more
$30,000
$3,027
$6,660
$1,000

 

As a parent, you may qualify for other credits, too, such as the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Note: ITIN holders only qualify for the CalEITC and the state YCTC, not the federal EITC or CTC.

Good to know: It does not work to add up the maximum CalEITC, YCTC and federal EITC to get the maximum amount you can get between all three credits in total, because the credits phase in and out at different income levels. Use our CalEITC calculator to see if you qualify and estimate the amount of your credit.

Was I eligible last year? Did you know you can amend tax returns up to three years back if you find out you are eligible for tax credits you didn’t originally claim? Good news; you can still get this refundable credit. Review the chart below to see if you may be eligible and how much you may have qualified for in 2019.

Number of qualifying children
California maximum income
CalEITC (up to)
IRS EITC (up to)*
YCTC (up to)*
None
$30,000
$240
$529
$0
1
$30,000
$1,605
$3,526
$1,000
2
$30,000
$2,651
$5,828
$1,000
3 or more
$30,000
$2,982
$6,557
$1,000

 

 

Federal EITC

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax credit for working people who have earned a low-to-moderate income. Unlike the CalEITC, only people with Social Security numbers qualify. If you qualify, you may see a reduced tax bill or a bigger refund.

And because so many people have been hit hard economically by the pandemic, the federal government is allowing taxpayers to use their 2019 earned income to qualify for the federal EITC in the 2020 tax year if that 2019 income is more than their 2020 income.

You qualify for the federal EITC if:

  • You (or your spouse if filing a joint return) are at least 25 but under 65 years old at the end of the tax year; AND
  • You (or your spouse if filing a joint return) and any qualifying children have a Social Security number; AND 
  • You (and your spouse if filing a joint return) have your main home in the United States for more than half of the tax year; AND
  • You (and your spouse if filing a joint return) cannot be claimed as a dependent or qualifying child on anyone else’s return; AND
  • You are not married filing separately; AND
  • Your tax year investment income is $3,650 or less; AND
  • You earned at least $1 of income and no more than:
Qualifying Children Claimed
If filing
Zero
One
Two
Three
Single, Head of Household, or Widowed
$15,820
$41,756
$47,440
$50,954
Married Filing Jointly
$21,710
$47,646
$53,330
$56,844

Learn more about the federal Earned Income Tax Credit here. 

Note: