Free Tax Preparation & EITC

The Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a community partnership of United Way of Ventura County, County of Ventura Human Services Agency, and the IRS to provide preparation and electronic filing of federal and state tax returns free of charge for low and moderate-income earners. Last year, the program brought back over $2.8 million in tax refunds to Ventura County families, including $1,054,930 dollars in Federal Earned Income Tax Credits!

Father, mother and son smiling outside.

Households earning up to $56,000 are eligible to use the free services of a VITA site.

Tax returns are prepared and filed by trained volunteer tax preparers.

Call 2-1-1 to see if you qualify and make an appointment at a site near you.

If your household earned $66,000 or less in 2019, you may file your taxes for free at

*A household includes all individuals listed on your tax return.

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit for low- to moderate-income working families and individuals. The EITC can help you reduce your tax liability and, in many cases, put money in your pocket.

To qualify for the EITC, you must have worked during at least part of 2019 and meet certain income requirements.

You must file your taxes to receive the EITC, even if you did not earn enough money to be required to file.

The EITC benefit is retroactive for three years, so review whether you filed for the EITC in recent years. If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not filed for the previous three years you may be entitled to an even larger refund check!

Who Qualifies for CalEITC?

If you have low income and work, you may qualify for CalEITC. This credit gives you a refund or reduces your tax owed.

If you meet the CalEITC requirement and have a child under the age of 6 by the end of the tax year, you may also qualify for the new Young Child Tax Credit. The maximum filers may receive is $1,000 per family.

Together, these state credits can put hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your pocket. Filing your state tax return is required to claim both of these credits.

Check if you qualify for CalEITC

You may qualify for CalEITC if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old.
  • You have earned income within certain limits.

The amount of CalEITC you may get depends on your income and family size.

You must:

  • Have taxable earned income.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number for you, your spouse, or any qualifying children.
  • File jointly if married.
  • Live in California for more than half the year.

Sources of earned income

Income can be from:

  • W-2 wages.
  • Self-employment.
  • Salaries, tips.
  • Other employee wages subject to California withholding.

What you’ll get

Review the chart below to see how much you may get when you file your tax year 2019 return. The following income guidelines for the 2019 Tax Year will help you determine if you may be eligible for CalEITC. The threshold is based on tax year 2019 AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) limits.


2019 CalEITC credit
Number of qualifying childrenCalifornia maximum incomeCalEITC (up to)IRS EITC (up to)
3 or more$30,000$2,982$6,557

CalEITC Calculator

Will this Affect my Government Benefits?

Participation in free tax preparation or any other additional services will not impact CalWORKS, CalFRESH, or Medi-Cal benefits.

To schedule an appointment at a VITA site, please call 211.