More families claiming California’s cash-back tax credit

Eligible families who file their taxes by April 18   may qualify for CalEITC, or the federal EITC.  Yuri Arcurs/Thinkstock photo
Eligible families who file their taxes by April 18 may qualify for CalEITC, or the federal EITC. Yuri Arcurs/Thinkstock photo

SACRAMENTO – On March 3, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced a significant jump in the amount of California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) dollars issued to low-income families compared to the same time last year.

As of Feb. 25, the state has issued $132.9 million worth of CalEITC, a 50 percent increase over this time last year. About $88.9 million was issued at this point in last year’s tax season.

“This uptick is encouraging. These cash-back refunds boost the income of working Californians on the lowest rungs of the pay ladder,” said State Controller Betty T. Yee, chair of FTB. “With Tax Day approaching, we are working to ensure eligible families file taxes and claim the refunds they have earned. Thanks to all our partners working to spread the word.”

The number of CalEITC claims has also jumped, with about 212,000 credits issued so far, a 42 percent increase. Approximately 149,000 credits were issued by the end of February 2016.

Los Angeles County saw the largest uptick, with 13,782 more claims than the same time last year. San Bernardino County returns jumped by 5,631, and San Diego County returns rose by 5,488.

CalEITC, a supplement to the federal EITC, is in its second year. Last year, a total of $200 million worth of CalEITC was shared among 385,000 families in the Golden State.

To claim the CalEITC and the federal EITC, eligible families need to file their taxes, which are due on April 18. Those earning less than $14,000 may qualify for CalEITC, while those with income less than $53,500 may qualify for the federal EITC.

To determine eligibility and find a free tax preparation site, visit CalEITC4Me.org.

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