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Employer EITC Notice To Employees – New CA Requirement!



Annette Nellen

Several states require employers to notify employees that they may be eligible for the federal (and perhaps also state) Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This year, California law was changed to require employers to also notify employees about the California EITC recently added to the law.

AB 1847 (Chapter 294, 9/12/16) – Expands the current employee notification requirement for the federal EITC to also include the California EITC, effective after 2016. Per the introduction to AB 1847: “This bill would require those same employers currently required to notify employees who may be eligible for the federal earned income tax credit to also notify these employees that they may be eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit under the same conditions.”

Amends R&T 19853, including as follows:

(a) An employer shall notify all employees that they may be eligible for the federal and the California EITC within one week before or after, or at the same time, that the employer provides an annual wage summary, including, but not limited to, a Form W-2 or a Form 1099, to any employee.

R&T 19854:

(a) The notice furnished to employees regarding the availability of the federal and the California EITC shall state as follows:

BASED ON YOUR ANNUAL EARNINGS, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (FEDERAL EITC). THE FEDERAL EITC IS A REFUNDABLE FEDERAL INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR LOW-INCOME WORKING INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES. THE FEDERAL EITC HAS NO EFFECT ON CERTAIN WELFARE BENEFITS. IN MOST CASES, FEDERAL EITC PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE USED TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAID, SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME, FOOD STAMPS, LOW-INCOME HOUSING, OR MOST TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES PAYMENTS. EVEN IF YOU DO NOT OWE FEDERAL TAXES, YOU MUST FILE A FEDERAL TAX RETURN TO RECEIVE THE FEDERAL EITC. BE SURE TO FILL OUT THE FEDERAL EITC FORM IN THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN BOOKLET. FOR INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE THE FEDERAL EITC, INCLUDING INFORMATION ON HOW TO OBTAIN THE IRS NOTICE 797 OR ANY OTHER NECESSARY FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS, CONTACT THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE BY CALLING 1-800-829-3676 OR THROUGH ITS WEB SITE AT WWW.IRS.GOV.

YOU ALSO MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE CALIFORNIA EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (CALIFORNIA EITC) STARTING WITH THE CALENDAR YEAR 2015 TAX YEAR. THE CALIFORNIA EITC IS A REFUNDABLE STATE INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR LOW-INCOME WORKING INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES. THE CALIFORNIA EITC IS TREATED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE FEDERAL EITC AND GENERALLY WILL NOT BE USED TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR WELFARE BENEFITS UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW. TO CLAIM THE CALIFORNIA EITC, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT OWE CALIFORNIA TAXES, YOU MUST FILE A CALIFORNIA INCOME TAX RETURN AND COMPLETE AND ATTACH THE CALIFORNIA EITC FORM (FTB 3514). FOR INFORMATION ON THE AVAILABILITY OF THE CREDIT, ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, AND HOW TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY CALIFORNIA FORMS AND GET HELP FILING, CONTACT THE FRANCHISE TAX BOARD AT 1-800-852-5711 OR THROUGH ITS WEB SITE AT WWW.FTB.CA.GOV.

Thus, AB 1847 modifies the required notice about the federal EITC and adds the information about the California EITC.

Effective 1/1/17.

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Annette Nellen, CPA, Esq., is a professor in and director of San Jose State University’s graduate tax program (MST), teaching courses in tax research, accounting methods, property transactions, state taxation, employment tax, ethics, tax policy, tax reform, and high technology tax issues.

Annette is the immediate past chair of the AICPA Individual Taxation Technical Resource Panel and a current member of the Executive Committee of the Tax Section of the California Bar. Annette is a regular contributor to the AICPA Tax Insider and Corporate Taxation Insider e-newsletters. She is the author of BNA Portfolio #533, Amortization of Intangibles.

Annette has testified before the House Ways & Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee, California Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee, and tax reform commissions and committees on various aspects of federal and state tax reform.

Prior to joining SJSU, Annette was with Ernst & Young and the IRS.

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