Tax Day Countdown: Over One Million Workers Have Already Claimed Their CA Earned Income Tax Credit


Sacramento, CA: With Tax Day less than one week away, an unprecedented number of Californians have already claimed their earned CA Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), an effective anti-poverty program in the state with the highest poverty rate in the nation. CalEITC4Me, the statewide outreach and education campaign, has worked to expand the cash back credit so that additional families including self-employed workers are newly eligible this year. Those outreach efforts are proving successful: According to data released by the Franchise Tax Board, over 1 million people have already claimed their earnings, including 225,000 self-employed, far surpassing the total number of claims in 2017 of nearly 400,00 individuals. And nearly $300 million has already been put back into the pockets of California’s working families and individuals – already significantly more than the $200 million total last year.

CalEITC4Me has enrolled hundreds of thousands of hard-working individuals through its statewide ‘surround-sound’ outreach campaign. The campaign entails an innovative texting program, free tax prep events, digital and print materials in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Spanish and English, a digital calculator to determine eligibility, as well as effective coordination with many partners. Since 2016, CalEITC4Me has helped over a million families claim over $2 billion in state and Federal EITC.

“California has the highest rate of poverty in the nation. We are committed to turning that reality around, one family at a time, through an innovative, multi-layered outreach campaign,” said Josh Fryday, President of CalEITC4Me. “The Earned Income Tax Credit is effective because it puts cash back into the hands of the workers who have earned it, so they can afford basic needs such as health care, food, transportation, housing, and education. Yet the majority of those eligible are not required to file taxes, so the success of the program is entirely based on effective outreach. This new data shows that our work is literally paying off for the Californians who need it most.”

Facts on the Cal EITC:

• Over 90% of all money from California’s EITC goes to families with children.
• California has the highest rate of unclaimed Earned Income Tax Credit nationally, leaving $2 Billion of unclaimed EITC money on the table.
• In 2018, Californians who make $22,300/year or less are eligible.
• Self-employed income is now eligible.
• 4 out of 5 children benefiting from the tax credit are children of color.
• 75% of people who filed for the CalEITC in 2017 were new filers.
• 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.
• Many people who qualify for the credit and are eligible for up to $6,000 are not required to file taxes because they make below the required income threshold.