A new tax credit will help the lowest-income workers in California – even if they don’t have to pay any taxes.
The California Earned Income Tax Credit can be taken for the first time this tax season, for year 2015 wages. To qualify, state residents must be between the ages of 25 and 65, have earned W-2 wages and have a valid Social Security Number.
“It’s designed to put hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars back in the pockets of California’s low-income families. The great thing is it can be taken in addition to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit,” California Franchise Tax Board spokesman Daniel Tahara explained.
Qualifications depend on income and number of children. A Californian with no children has to earn less than $6,850 to qualify for the state tax credit. But with two or more kids, the maximum income goes up to $13,870.
In previous years, Californians making less than $15,000 would not have had to file state taxes, Tahara says. But in order to claim the new credit, they’ll have to file taxes, even though they won’t owe any payments.
California’s Franchise Tax Board has created a website with a calculator that helps people figure out how much they might earn from the credit. There’s also a tool that helps people connect to free tax preparers in their area, including those specializing in languages besides English.