The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) Has Now Expanded

The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is a refundable tax credit that puts money back in the pockets of low-income people. Additionally, if you qualify for the CalEITC, and you have children under 6 you might also qualify for the Young Child Tax Credit. Prior to 2020, many people who worked were excluded from the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit because they or someone from their household filed with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Starting in 2021, taxpayers with ITINs will now be able to claim the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit regardless of whether they file their taxes with a Social Security Number of ITIN.

It is estimated that nearly We estimate that nearly half of the California tax filers who filed last year with an ITIN will now be able to claim these state tax credits.

Basic Facts about ITINs 

  • An Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) is a tax processing number available to certain immigrants who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN).
  • ITINs are issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS issues ITINs regardless of immigration status.
  • ITINs allow individuals ineligible for a Social Security Number to:
    • Report earnings to IRS for tax purposes
    • Open bank accounts with certain banks 
    • Conduct business in the U.S.

ITINS: Frequently Asked Questions 

Who qualifies for an ITIN? 

ITINs are issued by the IRS regardless of immigration status and for tax or business purposes. In order to be eligible for an ITIN must be eligible to pay or receive a refund of U.S. federal taxes and doesn’t qualify for a Social Security Number when filing a US tax return, or be the dependent or spouse of the taxpayer and not be eligible for a Social Security Number when filing a U.S. tax return. 

Do ITINs need to be renewed?

Yes. ITINs that have not been used on a tax return for tax years 2017, 2018 or 2019 will expire December 31, 2020. Additionally, ITINs with middle digits 88 (For example: 9NN-88-NNNN) will expire December 31, 2020. Those with middle digits 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 or 99, that were assigned before 2013 and have not already been renewed, will also expire at the end of this year.

ITINs with middle digits 83 through 87 expired last year. Middle digits 73 through 77, 81 and 82 expired in 2018. Middle digits 70, 71, 72, and 80 expired in 2017, and 78 and 79 expired in 2016. Taxpayers with these ITIN numbers who expect to have a filing requirement in 2021 can renew at any time. 

How do I apply or renew an ITIN?

To renew or apply for an ITIN you will need to download a W-7 Application For IRS ITIN Form. Download or view our Checklist for ITIN Renewal or Application to know what forms and documents you have to prepare. 

How do I avoid scams? 

Ideally, whenever possible we recommend filing with a free tax preparer at a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. These volunteers have strict requirements and have to annually train and pass certification tests with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If there isn’t a nearby free tax site to you, then we recommend that you use this list of resources to find a paid preparer.

These paid tax preparers have also gone through additional training and certification to allow them to review documents so that you can send a certified copy rather than the original.

Also note: some IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers are also able to provide this service free of charge if your taxes and W-7 (ITIN application) have been completed at another tax preparer. Click here for a list of CA IRS Offices.

Click here to view a checklist for 2020 tax filing.


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