In partnership with Gov. Jerry Brown’s office and a broad coalition of leaders and advocates, CalEITC4Me launched California Earned Income Tax (CalEITC) Awareness Week (Feb. 19-25) with statewide events, social and traditional media promotion, and community outreach aimed at building awareness of the California earned income tax credit (CalEITC) program.
Brown issued a proclamation which recognizes “the importance of the Earned Income Tax Credit and encourages all Californians to spread the word about this important resource to those who need it most. We want every hard-working California family who earned this money to apply for it.”
CalEITC4Me is a campaign to get the word out to more than 600,000 eligible low-income working Californians about the state’s program. Many Californians struggle to provide for their families, and the EITC is designed to provide extra cash for basic necessities — education, food and housing — thereby boosting economic security for working families.
In its first year, CalEITC cash-back refunds to low-income working Californians totaled nearly $200 million. Add to that the billions of federal EITC available to working Californians, $1.8 billion of which goes unclaimed each year.
“CalEITC4Me extends beyond putting dollars and cents in people’s pockets. It is about something more fundamental: relieving the persistent economic anxiety that so many hard-working families experience,” said Joseph N. Sanberg, chair of CalEITC4Me.
Because working families receive much of their news and information on their digital devices, information about eligibility and nearby free tax preparation is available by texting words including MONEY, CASH, and DINERO to 1-760-970-8396.
CalEITC4Me.org is a one-stop shop for tools and resources to make claiming EITC easy, including:
• The multilingual (English, Spanish, Mandarin) Calculator allows individuals and partners to quickly assess eligibility, including the approximate amount of their potential refund. http://caleitc4me.org/earn-it/<http://caleitc4me.org/earn-%20it/>;
• The Free Tax Prep Finder is a map that connects families to free tax preparation services in their neighborhoods, featuring approximately 1,400 VITA sites. Individuals can go online and enter their address or zip code and find this information, which includes addresses, contact information, days and hours services are available, languages offered and whether an appointment can be made. http://caleitc4me.org/get-it/
• The CalEITC4Me Interactive Heat Map helps the campaign, non-profits, agencies and others identify key regions of eligible filers by ZIP code and other searchable criteria to maximize participation. http://caleitc4me.org/caleitc-heatmap/
Californians must file their taxes by April 18 to qualify for the California Earned Income Tax Credit.
For more information, visit CalEITC4Me.org.