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Anne_C, Tax Attorney
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Experience:  Attorney, JD awarded with Certification in Tax Law
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If I am receiving cash aid from the state (California), do

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If I am receiving cash aid (Cal-works program) from the state (California), do I claim that on my 2009 tax return? I get $740 cash a month and food stamps but have not received anything from the state as far as reporting it on my tax return. I only made $1,308 in wages for the year, so I just wasn't sure if I added the $8880 I received from the state or not.

Edited by Anne_C on 2/23/2010 at 7:49 AM EST

This is what the IRS says about these kinds of benefits:


"Do not include in your income benefit payments from a public welfare fund based upon need, such as payments due to blindness. However, you must include in your income any welfare payments that are compensation for services or that are obtained fraudulently."


The payments should be reported, but they are not taxable.


By the way, you are probably going to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is described here:


Finally, since you receive Cal-Works, you can obtain free tax preparation assistance and electronic filing from VITA, which is described here:,,id=107626,00.html

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