Know It

Former Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature created the California Earned Income Tax Credit (Cal EITC) in 2015. California is among 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and some municipalities to supplement the federal EITC.

What is the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)?

  • The Cal EITC is a cashback tax credit that puts money back into the pockets of California’s working families and individuals.
  • In its first year, the Cal EITC boosted the income of about 385,000 families, who shared almost $200 million from the cash-back credit.
  • In 2019, more than 1.9 million people claimed the credit, totaling close to $360 million.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible for the CalEITC if:

  • You have earned income within certain limits (see chart below), AND
  • You, your spouse, and any qualifying children each have a social security number (SSN), AND
  • You do not use the “married/RDP filing separate” filing status, AND
  • You lived in California for more than half the tax year, AND
  • You are age 18 or older at the end of the tax year

Review the chart below to see if you may be eligible and how much you may qualify for when filing your 2018 tax return.

Number of Children Maximum Income CalEITC* Federal EITC*













3 or more




*Up to

Use our EITC Calculator for more exact results by clicking here.

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 cash-back credit. Click here to learn how.  

But first, review the chart below to see if you may be eligible and how much you may qualify have qualified for in 2017.

Number of Children Maximum Income CalEITC* Federal EITC*













3 or more




*Up to

How will the Cal EITC and the federal EITC work together?

  • Both credits will be available this tax season and may provide you with a refund or reduce the amount of money you might owe.
  • Californians that qualify for the Cal EITC will likely also qualify for the federal EITC. This will significantly boost household income for eligible families and individuals.
  • Not eligible for the Cal EITC? Check out the federal EITC.

How will Californians benefit from the state credit?

Working families have the chance to get ahead. Studies show that young children in households that receive the EITC do better in school, are more likely to attend college and earn more, brightening the future for the next generation.

Struggling families living paycheck-to-paycheck will have money to start a savings account, purchase a used car, catch-up on bills, or invest in education.

Revised August 19, 2019