FTB Offers Options for Tax Assistance

Taxpayers Encouraged to Use the Web During Budget Crunch

The Franchise Tax Board is encouraging taxpayers who need help with their tax returns to visit the FTB's Website or call its toll-free phone number during filing season. Online help is encouraged as field offices close due to budget cutbacks.

"Californians can find a range of e-services on FTB's Website,“ said State Controller and FTB Chair Steve Westly. ”Tax help is just a click or phone call away."

While Web and phone-based tax services are expanded, public counters at 10 field offices will be closed due to budget reductions. The closures will occur at FTB offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Long Beach, San Bernardino, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Van Nuys, Ventura, and West Covina. Six offices in the most densely populated areas of the state will remain open, including Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Ana.

For taxpayers using the paper filing method, the most commonly used tax forms will be available in all field office lobbies. In those offices where the public counter is closed, public telephones that connect directly to the Service Center will be provided.

Taxpayers can get information, order tax forms or booklets, by calling (800) 338-0505 anytime.

Free assistance is also available at more than 1,100 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites statewide. They offer free tax help to low-income, senior, and disabled individuals. Some sites offer bilingual service. For the nearest location, call FTB or visit the Website.

A variety of helpful e-services are available at www.ftb.ca.gov, including:

  • Online tax filing services, including the State's NetFile service
  • Tax forms to download
  • Check account balance, refund status, and payments made
  • Make a payment by debit card or credit card

FTB expects to process more than 14 million state income tax returns during the filing season. Last year, FTB's Website handled more than 56.8 million visits.

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