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September 23, 2023

It’s not too late to file your taxes

Thousands of families are leaving money on the table in Santa Cruz County. That’s cash that could pay for much-needed food, rent and more. The latest numbers show that 19,343 Santa Cruz County residents have claimed $5,496,402 from the cashback tax credits like the California Earned Income Tax Credit in 2022. That’s less than last year and the year before. Don’t let your family miss out on these tax credits.

Every year, thousands of Santa Cruz County residents miss out on cash back from tax credits because they don’t file their taxes. Some people think that, since Tax Day has come and gone, they have missed out. We have good news: you haven’t! You can still claim cashback tax credits. All you have to do is file your taxes.

Both the state of California and the federal government offer thousands of dollars to maximize tax refunds and help working families thrive. There’s no penalty for filing late, and you can claim tax credits for the last three years.

Here in the Golden State, the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) helps working families earning less than $30,000 a year get more cash back. Parents who qualify for the CalEITC may also qualify for the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC), which provides a state tax credit of up to $1,000 for children under 6 years old. These credits are both available to immigrants who pay taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), including undocumented immigrants. 

The IRS also has tax credits for people with Social Security numbers including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit. The EITC is for workers who earned up to $57,414 last year while the Child Tax Credit provides between $3,000 and $3,600 per child, even if you don’t have recent earnings.

Remember: the easiest way to claim your money is to file your taxes, even if you don’t normally file. 

If you’re confused about how to file your taxes or worried about paying for a tax preparer, we’re here to help. For information, call 724-2606.

Clay Kempf is executive director of Seniors Council of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Amy Everitt is president of Golden State Opportunity. Their opinions are their own and not necessarily those of the Pajaronian.


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