What is it?
Did you know that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is among the most effective tools we have to fight poverty? The EITC is a cash back tax credit that makes work pay better by putting money back in the pockets of working families and individuals. California established the Cal EITC in 2015 to work in tandem with the federal EITC. Since then, CalEITC4Me has helped to secure over $4 billion in state and federal EITC dollars for more than 4 million households across the state.
One way that we’re able to do that is through our back-to-school campaign. While the April 15 federal filing deadline passed, it’s not too late for parents to file and claim an EITC refund.
Why It’s Important
According to the IRS, only one in five eligible people claim the Earned Income Tax Credit — that means millions and millions are people are leaving billions of dollars on the table. As a result, many families who could receive $6,000 or more aren’t claiming the money they’ve earned. That’s money that could help families better afford life’s basic needs, thereby increasing the odds that their children, your students, will show up to school ready to learn and succeed. In fact, research has found children from families that receive an EITC refund have better health outcomes and school performance than those who don’t.
Our toolkit includes a sample letter in English and Spanish with information for parents about how file their taxes for free and claim a Cal EITC refund that we hope you will share with them, as well as sample posts and graphics to share on your social media channels. Your help, as trusted messengers, is is vital to reaching parents who haven’t filed their taxes and could be leaving money on the table. You can also visit your Helpful Materials page to find additional resources such as an estimated refund calculator, free tax prep finder, and more.
We hope you will take advantage of the tools presented here. And as always, if you ever have any questions, comments, or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out.