Below is a list of credits that are available on your California return:
Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit – Nonrefundable
If you paid someone in California to care for your child/dependent while you were working or looking for employment, you may qualify to take a credit on your tax return.
- Nonresidents must have California source income to claim the credit.
- The state credit is a percentage of the federal credit.
- Your federal AGI must be $100,000 or less.
Credit for Joint Custody Head of Household -
To claim the credit:
- You must be unmarried and not a RDP at the end of the tax year. If you are married, you lived separately from your spouse or RDP for the entire year and are filing a Married filing separate return.
- You must have furnished more than half of the expenses for the main home of the child/step-child/grandchild for at least 146 days but not more than 219 days of the year.
- The custody agreement for the child must be part of a decree of dissolution or legal separation or a written agreement between the parents where proceedings have been initiated but not yet issued.
See the California Instructions for the worksheet to calculate the credit.
Credit for Dependent Parent
To claim this credit, you must:
- File a Married Filing Separate or RDP Return
- Did not live with your Spouse/RDP during the last six months of the year
- Furnish over half of the household expenses for your dependent parent's home (living with you or not)
- Complete the worksheet in the California Instructions for the credit amount. Cannot claim both the Dependent Parent Credit and the Credit for Joint Custody - choose the one that offers the largest credit amount.
Senior Head of Household
This credit is available to:
- Taxpayers age 65 years or older on the last day of the tax year
- Taxpayers that qualified as Head of Household in either of the two previous tax years by providing a home for a qualifying individual that died during either of the two previous tax years, AND
- Taxpayers that did not have an AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) over $79,539 for the current tax year
If all of the above conditions are met, you do not need to qualify to use Head of Household on the current year return to claim the credit. Use the worksheet in the CA Instructions to figure the credit.
Child Adoption Costs - Rollover Credit (limited to $2,500)
If you adopt a child that is both a citizen or legal resident of the US and in the custody of a California public agency or political subdivision, you can claim a credit for 50% of the adoption costs in the year the adoption is finalized.
- If you have an unsuccessful adoption before a successful adoption, treat the expenses as one event (even when the costs were incurred in a prior year). This credit is not available when adopting from a different state or country or if the child was not in the custody of a California public agency or political subdivision.
- Complete the worksheet in the California instructions to figure the credit.
- The maximum credit is limited to $2,500 per minor child.
Renter's Credit – Nonrefundable
If you paid rent for six months or more on your main home located in California, you may qualify to claim the credit on your tax return. See the California instructions for the worksheet to determine eligibility.
Available from 2014 to January 1, 2030 to businesses that wish to relocate to California or stay and grow in California. Credit applies to state income or franchise tax only. Any credit not used can be carried forward for six years.
Available from 2017 to January 1, 2023. The credit is 50% of the amount the taxpayer contributed to the College Access Tax Credit Fund.
For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014 and before January 1, 2021. Available to taxpayers that hire a qualified Full Time employee to perform work in a designated area.
Credits that need additional information:
Expired Credits may need to be printed and mailed with state return
- Lambra Hiring - hiring credit for a local agency military base recovery area (cannot be E-filed) -FTB 3807
- Prison Inmate Labor -10% of wages paid to prison inmates (cannot be E-filed)- FTB 3507
- TTA Hiring (cannot be E-filed)- FTB 3809
- California Competes - FTB 3531
- New Employment - FTB 3554
- College Access - FTB 3592
- Enterprise Zone Hiring (cannot be E-filed) - FTB 3805Z
The expiration dates for the credits listed below have passed. However, these credits had carryover provisions. You may claim these credits only if you have an unused carryover available from prior years. If you are not required to complete Schedule P (540), Alternative Minimum Tax and Credit Limitations – Residents, get form FTB 3540, Credit Carryover and Recapture Summary to figure your credit carryover to future years. For EZ, LAMBRA, MEA, or TTA credit carryovers, get form FTB 3805Z, form FTB 3807, form FTB 3808, or form FTB 3809.
- Agricultural Products - 175
- California Motion Picture and Television 223
- Commercial Solar Electric System -196
- Commercial Solar Energy -181
- Community Development Financial Institutions Investment – 209
- Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables 224
- Employer Childcare Contribution 190
- Employer Childcare Program 189
- Employee Ridesharing - 194
- Employer Ridesharing: Large employer 191
- Small employer 192
- Transit passes 193
- Energy Conservation - 182
- Enterprise Zone Hiring 176
- Enterprise Zone Sales or Use Tax 176
- Environmental Tax 218
- Farmworker Housing - 207
- Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area Sales or Use Tax - 198
- Low-Emission Vehicles - 160
- Manufacturing Enhancement Area Hiring - 211
- New Jobs 220
- Orphan Drug - 185
- Political Contributions - 184
- Recycling Equipment - 174
- Residential Rental & Farm Sales – 186
- Ridesharing - 171
- Salmon & Steelhead Trout Habitat Restoration - 200
- Solar Energy - 180
- Solar Pump - 179
- Targeted Tax Area Hiring - 210
- Targeted Tax Area Sales or Use Tax 210
- Water Conservation - 178
- Young Infant - 161
For more information, see California Instructions.