The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) is available to help taxpayers file their state tax returns timely and accurately and pay the correct amount to fund services important to Californians. FTB can provide residents with resources for free tax help, answers to questions regarding the Middle Class Tax Refund, and 24/7 access to your tax account. The agency can also assist filers in identifying credits that may be applicable to a return.
Free Tax Help
Several state and federal tax resources exist for working families and individuals to boost their tax refunds, lower the amount of taxes owed, or provide free assistance in filing.
MyFreeTaxes.org can connect you with an IRS-certified tax volunteer for in-person or virtual assistance filing your taxes and pursuing credits.
The State of California Franchise Tax Board can also help you find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic near you for free tax prep assistance.
- Help with filling out forms
- What to do if you owe money
- If you qualify for the EITC tax credit
If you live in California, you can get free tax help from these programs:
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) if you:
- Make $60,000 or less, generally
- Have disabilities, or
- Speak limited English
- Are active duty or retired military personnel, or a dependent
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), if you’re at least 60 years old
Get free tax help at a location near you
VITA locations are generally open February through May, but others may be open year-round depending on the location.
What to bring with you
Before you go to your local tax help site, make sure you bring the correct papers and information.
Tax Credits and Resources
California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)
The CalEITC offers a cash-back credit for working low-income families and individuals with either a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The program expanded this year so that self-employed individuals may also qualify.
You could receive up to $3,417 in tax credits. You qualify for the CalEITC if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
- You are at least 18 years old or have a qualifying child.
- You earned an income of at least $1 but no more than $30,000 in 2022.
Young Child Tax Credit
- If you qualify for CalEITC and have a child under 6 (as of December 31, 2022), you may qualify for an additional $1,000 tax credit.
The Federal EITC is a similar federal cash-back tax credit for working low-income families and individuals.
You could receive up to $6,935 in tax credits from this program. You qualify for the Federal EITC if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
- You are at least 19 years old.
- You have a Social Security number.
- You have your main home in the United States for over half of the tax year.
- You cannot be claimed as a dependent or a qualifying child on anyone else’s return.
- You are not married and filing separately.
- Your tax year investment income is $10,000 or less.
- You earned at least $1 of income, no more than certain thresholds depending on your familial status.
Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR)
For detailed information regarding the MCTR, please visit the FTB’s landing page:
Is the MCTR taxable income?
The Franchise Tax Board states, “The MCTR payment is not taxable for California state income tax purposes. You do not need to claim the payment as income on your California income tax return.” Help with the Middle Class Tax Refund | FTB.ca.gov
The IRS “recommends they wait until additional guidance is available or consult with a reputable tax professional. For taxpayers and tax preparers with questions, the best course of action is to wait for additional clarification on state payments rather than calling the IRS. We also do not recommend amending a previously filed 2022 return.” IRS Statement — Taxability of State Payments | Internal Revenue Service