California Earned Income Tax Credit


California’s Earned Income Tax Credit (Cal EITC) is designed to put money in the pockets of working families and individuals. Claiming this credit is easy. Eligible taxpayers just need to file a state tax return.

If you do not owe taxes, Cal EITC will provide you with a tax refund when you file your return. If you owe taxes, Cal EITC reduces the amount of taxes you might owe and may allow you a refund when you file your taxes.

Signed into law in 2015, California’s new EITC is available for households with adjusted gross incomes of less than $6,717 if there are no qualifying children, less than $10,087 if there is one qualifying child, less than $14,161 if there are two qualifying children, or $14,161 if there are three or more qualifying children. To find out exactly if you qualify, use the EITC Calculator available here.

Free Tax Filing Assistance is Available

United Way continues to lead the San Diego Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition, offering free tax preparation to local families and individuals with low to moderate income. Free tax preparation is available in San Diego to most low and moderate income households*. There are two easy ways to see if you qualify to file for free:

File Online:

If your household* earned $62,000 or less in 2016, visit and file your taxes from the comfort of your home.

File in Person:

Most households* earning approximately $54,000 or less in 2016 qualify to file their taxes with a certified preparer. Call 2-1-1 or log onto to see if you qualify and make an appointment at a site near you. Tax preparation is available in multiple languages and throughout San Diego County.

*A household includes all individuals listed on your tax return

What to Bring:

  • Valid Photo ID
  • Social Security Card or ITIN for yourself and your dependents
  • Income documents, including W2s or 1099s
  • Bank account information for direct deposit
  • School tuition or student loan interest statements
  • Dates and Proof of health coverage for self and dependents
  • Proof of Health Insurance (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C)

Other Services:

In addition to tax preparation, several sites offer other services such as screening for CalFresh, child care, utility bill and other benefits; nutritional activities; Affordable Care Act enrollment information; and opportunities to enroll in financial education classes. Ask your tax preparer for further details.

For more information on the Cal EITC and to see if you qualify, visit