EITC Facts

CalEITC4Me has been busy — here are some highlights!

  • In 2018, we more than tripled the number of households claiming the California Earned Income Tax Credit: over 1.4 million households up from 350,000 in 2017;
  • That means over $2 billion of state and federal EITC back in the pockets of working families;
  • Self-employed workers — a rising force in our economy — were eligible for the first time in 2018 and over 500,000 of them claimed the credit; nearly 30% of total Cal EITC recipients 
  • 96% of Cal EITC claims are from those who are not required to file taxes — thus their participation in this proven program is entirely dependent on effective outreach.

In 2018, CalEITC4Me’s surround-sound outreach campaign:

  • Sent over 1.5 million text messages to over 565,000 targeted workers in both English and Spanish;
  • Reached people in their communities via distribution of over 1 million pieces of collateral in 4 languages: Spanish, English, Mandarin and for the first time Vietnamese;
  • Partnered with 200 organizations, such as the United Way, training them on our texting program and providing them with multi-language materials;
  • Employed social media outreach via 2.7 million Facebook impressions, Twitter, video content, and a user friendly website with an estimated EITC refund calculator, and free-tax prep finder tool;
  • Our campaign is statewide and we doubled-down with on-the-ground trusted political organizers in the counties with the most eligible workers. For example, in Los Angeles County we quadrupled the number of households from 80,000 in 2017 to nearly 400,000 this year;
  • Participated in 152 events to reach people in their schools and community centers. 

Why the EITC is so important:

  • The EITC is one of the most effective tools in America to lift families out of poverty;
  • Last year, the Cal EITC put $346 Million directly into the hands of 1.4 million working Californians;
  • The Federal EITC delivers over $7 Billion to low-income Californians every year;
  • Research shows children whose families receive a boost in income from EITC perform better in school and have better health;
  • The EITC enjoys wide bipartisan support for encouraging work and continued employment;
  • Families use the EITC to buy shoes, put food on the table food, pay bills, and cover basic needs for their kids;
  • Governor Brown described the Cal EITC as one of his most important achievements.

Why EITC Outreach and Education Matters:

  • Every year California leaves $2 Billion of unclaimed EITC money on the table;
  • Research suggests outreach around state level EITC’s increase uptake of the Federal EITC;
  • About one-third of the EITC eligible population turns over each year;
  • Workers move into and out of eligibility based on changes in their marital, parental and financial status;
  • Three out of five who receive the credit use it temporarily, for one or two years;
  • You must claim the credit to receive it. Over 50,000 working people filed California taxes in 2017 and failed to claim the credit;
  • Many people who qualify for the credit and are eligible for, in some cases, more than $6,000 fail to simply file taxes because they make below the required income threshold.