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Who receives the Earned Income Tax Credit in California?

  • Author(s): Davis, Charles;
  • White, Evan
  • et al.

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and its state counterpart, the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), provided low-income Californians with a nearly $7 billion boost in 2018. This report provides an in-depth analysis of the approximately 2.8 million households who claimed the credits, including household size, which households are claiming both credits, the financial impacts, and a county-by-county breakdown, including the average amount of each credit claimed in each county. The California legislature and Governor Newsom approved a significant expansion to the CalEITC in 2019. The expansion is expected to double the amount of CalEITC credits claimed, and coupled with a new Young Child Tax Credit, the total value of the state credits is expected to reach $1 billion. This report provides an important roadmap for policymakers interested in understanding who this important anti-poverty program reaches in California.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant MRP-19-600774.

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