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Claim Your 2018 Earned Income Tax Credit

Claim Your 2018 Earned Income Tax Credit

Click here to visit the California Earned Income Tax Credit Calculator to estimate your EITC amount

For the fourth year in a row, California is offering an Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) for working low-income families and individuals. Last year, more than 1.4 million households claimed it, putting more than $350 million back in their pockets.

If you qualify for the CalEITC and the amount of the credit is greater than the tax you owe, you will receive a refund. Here's a calculator to help you see if you qualify:

The credit is available to California households with adjusted gross incomes of up to $16,750, if there are no qualifying children, and up to $24,950 for households with up to three qualifying children.


  • You must file a state tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not otherwise required to file.
  • You must have earned income from W-2 wages, self-employment, salaries, tips, or other employee compensation subject to California withholding. The limits are:
    • $15,008 if there are no qualifying children
    • $24,950 if there are up to three qualifying children
    • Did not have investment income of more than $3,699 for 2018
  • You, your spouse, and any qualifying children must each have a social security number
  • You must file using the single, married/registered domestic partner (RDP) filing jointly, or head of household filing status. The "married/RDP filing separately" status may not be used.
  • Your principal residence must be in California for more than half the tax year.

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

You can always file your tax return on your own here.

If you already filed your 2015, 2016 and 2017 state returns and didn’t claim your CalEITC even though you qualified, you may amend your return. Consider contacting your professional tax preparer, or follow these instructions (20152016, 2017) to fill out a Form 540X (20152016, 2017) and Form 3514 (20152016, 2017) to claim the credit.