Tax Credits and Free Assistance

The California Earned Income Tax Credit

The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is available to more families this year. This cash-back credit is designed to put money in the pockets of low-income working families and individuals.

California also established a Young Child Tax Credit for working parents with children under the age of 6 who qualify for CalEITC. If you qualify, you may receive an additional $1,000 per child under the age of 6.

Claiming this credit is easy – eligible taxpayers just need to file a state tax return.

Visit the CalEITC4Me website to see if you qualify.

New for 2020 Tax Returns:

For the first time, California workers who use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) can claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and Young Child Tax Credit on their 2020 tax return.

This new expansion was made possible when California signed Assembly Bill 1876 into law last year, and means that ITIN filers are now eligible to receive up to $3,027 for the CalEITC and up to $1,000 for the Young Child Tax Credit if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Earned less than $30,000 in 2020
  • Lived in California for more than 6 months in 2020
  • Are not filing as ‘married filing separately’
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return
  • Have a child or children younger than 6 years old in 2020.

Get Free Help with Filing Your Taxes

Free help is also available at free tax return prep sites around the state, beginning in late January and running through Tax Day (April 15). Find a free tax prep location near you at CalEITC4Me.org or YourFreeTaxPrep.org.

OC Free Tax Prep is a community-trusted and IRS-backed program that provides free tax preparations services for low-income communities, as well as education and outreach on money-saving tax credits.

Beginning in February, OC Free Tax Prep is offering free tax preparation services for households earning less than $60,000. Tax assistance filing options include:

  • Virtual Tax Prep
  • Contactless Drop-Off Locations
  • Online Filing

Free tax filing services are offered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Learn more at OCFreeTaxPrep.com

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

VITA volunteer sites provide assistance for low-to-moderate income taxpayers, regardless of age. TCE volunteer sites provide special attention to those taxpayers 60 years of age or older.

Both of these resources are great opportunities to receive individualized help when filing your taxes. Below is a list of local VITA locations. For more information or to see a full list of both VITA and TCE locations near you, please visit the Franchise Tax Board’s website here.