As the April 18th tax filing deadline approaches, millions of working families in California are eligible for billions of dollars in state and federal tax credits. Any delay in filing could prevent crucial funds from reaching the families and individuals who need it most – and all they have to do is file their taxes, even if they have no earned income.
“Research proves that earned income tax credits and child tax credits are some of the most effective ways of defeating poverty — they put money directly in the pockets of working families, and help them ride out the financial uncertainty currently hanging over millions of households,” said Pete Manzo, United Ways of California president and CEO. “With quick, safe, no-cost tax filing programs like MyFreeTaxes.org, all eligible Californians should claim these life-changing tax credits. United Ways throughout California have dedicated resources to ensure that hardworking families and individuals receive every penny they deserve — we know that this money can make the difference in putting food on the table, paying utilities, and covering other basic needs.”
The IRS is currently backlogged, with six million unprocessed individual returns for 2021, a far higher number than the typical one million. With 60% of parents unable to afford enough food for their families without child tax credit payments, the smallest delay in receiving your tax return could mean no longer being able to afford groceries, pay rent, and cover other daily expenses.
United Ways of California and its local partners are leading the way to ensure Californians are aware of the different tax credit programs available and how easy it is to file their taxes:
- California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) ranges from $255 to just over $3,000 and is available to families and individuals with incomes up to $30,000
- Tax filers who qualify for the CalEITC AND have a child under the age of 6 can file for the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC), which provides up to $1,000 per child
- The second half of the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) is now available but can only be claimed if a family files a 2022 tax return, regardless of if they made an income last year
- The full CTC can still be claimed by caregivers with children under the age of 18 who have not yet done so – families can receive up to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17
- Californians are also eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (up to $6,728) if they made less than $57,414
Californians are encouraged to visit myfreetaxes.org to see if they qualify for United Ways’ free tax filing program and for further assistance in claiming these tax credits. People may also text “taxes” to 211-211 to find a free tax filing site near them.