The California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) and its local Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) partners want to put hard-earned dollars back in the pockets of working Californians by recognizing national Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, a campaign to increase awareness of EITC and no-cost tax preparation services available to low and moderate-income families. “EITC puts real money in the pockets of workers that can go towards everything from life’s daily necessities, to savings for a rainy day,” said CSD Director Linné Stout. “Californians living paycheck-to-paycheck have the opportunity to invest hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in their family’s future with EITC.” EITC is a refundable income tax credit that has been shown to be one of the most effective tools to reduce poverty and help low- to moderate-income workers get ahead. When the federal and California EITC are combined, qualifying families can receive hundreds, or even thousands back just by filing their taxes. This year, more families than ever are eligible for the California EITC, including the self-employed. California families earning less than $53,930 can receive cash back by claiming the federal EITC on their tax return, and those earning less than $22,300 can also qualify for the California EITC. In 2016, the combined credits returned over $6,000 to some families and the average California EITC benefit was $531. Federal EITC in California The economic impact of EITC for families and California’s economy also cannot be understated. The newly updated “ Left on the Table " Report, commissioned by CSD, shows that federal EITC dollars claimed in California in 2015 generated $9.6 billion in business sales, supported more than 62,000 jobs and created more than $3.3 billion in labor income. However, many eligible Californians are still not taking advantage of EITC. Currently, the IRS estimates one in five eligible workers do not claim the EITC they earned. This means that in 2015 an estimated 1.1 million Californians left a total of $1.9 billion in federal EITC payments on the table. These are dollars that left unclaimed don’t get to Californians struggling to make ends meet, and federal funds left untapped that can’t benefit the state’s economy. This year, with the expanded eligibility of the California EITC, it’s more important than ever to spread awareness of EITC. Free Tax Preparation Services Whether required to file taxes or not, Californians must file their tax returns to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. To help you keep every cent of your cash back EITC, local CSBG agencies are here to help with no-cost IRS certified tax preparation services. A list of CSBG agencies offering no-cost tax preparation can be found below, or search for the no-cost tax preparation site near you by visiting CalEITC4Me.org/Get-It /. Remember: It’s Your Money. Get It! For more information about EITC, visit CalEITC4me.org .