University of California

Rural Latino families in California are missing earned income tax benefits


Karen P. Varcoe
Nancy B. Lees
Martha L. López

Authors Affiliations

K.P. Varcoe is Program Leader and Consumer Economics Specialist, UC Riverside; N.B. Lees is Researcher, Department of Health Services, Sacramento; M.L. López is Nutrition, Family and Consumer Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County. This research was supported in part by USDA/CSREES/NRICGP Grant-2001-35401-10215. Data was collected in conjunction with the cooperative multistate research project NC-223, Rural Low-income Families: Monitoring Their Well-being and Functioning in the Context of Welfare Reform. Cooperating states are California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Wyoming.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 58(1):24-27. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n01p24. January 2004.

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When properly accessed, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can boost a family's yearly income by more than $4,000. A study in Kern and Madera counties indicated that many, perhaps most, qualified low-income Latino families living in rural California communities may not be receiving the EITC. About 80% to 86% of eligible households nationwide receive the EITC, compared with about 36% of eligible California families in the study. The primary reason appears to be lack of accurate information and limited access to tax-preparation assistance. UC Cooperative Extension advisors and staff are well situated to provide information about the EITC.


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Varcoe K, Lees N, López M. 2004. Rural Latino families in California are missing earned income tax benefits. Hilgardia 58(1):24-27. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n01p24
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