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How to Get Money Back Through the California Earned Income Tax Credit

California parents of children under 6 years old might qualify to earn tax credits. If you qualify, these programs can boost your tax refund by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

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The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and Young Child Tax Credit are programs designed to put money directly back in the hands of families for their most immediate needs. Through these programs, you can increase your overall tax refund or reduce the amount of taxes owed. When you file your taxes this year, check if you qualify to earn money back through CalEITC and the state’s Young Child Tax Credit.

Who qualifies for CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit?

To qualify for CalEITC, you must be at least 18 years old with a taxable earned income of $30,000 or less. You need to have lived in California for more than half the year. A valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required for you, your spouse, and any qualifying children. Also, you can’t file using the statuses “married/RDP filing separately” if married.

If you qualify for CalEITC and have a child under the age of 6, you might qualify to receive money through the Young Child Tax Credit. The amount awarded increases with the number of children under 6 years old.

If you qualified for this credit in the past four years but didn’t apply, you can go back to claim CalEITC by filing or amending a previous state income tax return.

How do I claim the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit?

To apply, you must download and fill out the California Earned Income Tax Credit (FTB 3514) form and include it in your California tax return. This document contains helpful instructions for filling out the form. More information about CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit is available on this web page.

Why should I use these tax credit programs?

For qualifying families, these programs can provide well-earned money back that can be used to support your family’s day-to-day needs.

Do you need affordable assistance with tax preparation this year?

You can get free tax help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Visit their website to learn more.

First 5 California
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First 5 California
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