Free State Tax Assistance Available Online
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Public Affairs Office
For Immediate Release
Sacramento – Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Chair Betty T. Yee is reminding taxpayers that FTB offers a variety of free services online, from electronic filing to requesting a payment plan.
“Tax season can be a stressful time,” said State Controller and FTB Chair Yee.” FTB offers an array of online services to make the process of filing a state income tax return as easy as possible.”
The tax agency recently launched an enhanced version of its MyFTB service. More than 125,000 taxpayers and tax professionals have signed up since the enhanced service was launched on January 2. Once registered, taxpayers can use the program to:
- Initiate a secure chat with an FTB representative during office hours.
- Send a secure message to FTB staff anytime.
- Skip a personal income tax payment required by an installment agreement.
- Protest a proposed assessment.
- Access personal income tax calculators.
- File a Power of Attorney declaration.
Taxpayers can use other services on FTB’s homepage without registering for MyFTB. The state’s free filing tool CalFile, is an easy-to-use e-file option available to more than 6.4 million taxpayers who have incomes of as much as $357,417, itemized deductions, and are eligible for certain tax credits.
CalFile guides taxpayers through the filing process with simple questions that take 15 to 30 minutes. Taxpayers can save their work and return later to complete the form. CalFile can be used for tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Taxpayers can check on the progress of their refunds in Spanish or English. Generally, taxpayers who file electronically and set up direct deposit can expect the refund to be issued in seven to 10 days. Those receiving refunds by mail can expect the check to be sent within two weeks. For those who file paper returns, the refund can take eight to 12 weeks, depending on the time of year.
Taxpayers can use the online payment options to pay a balance, make an estimated payment, schedule estimated payments for the year, and save bank account numbers for future use.
FTB offers monthly payment plans to taxpayers experiencing a financial hardship. Generally, taxpayers will qualify if they owe $25,000 or less and can repay the balance within five years. More information can be found by searching for installment agreement at ftb.ca.gov.
Try Live Chat, a service that connects taxpayers with an FTB representative for general tax questions and help with FTB’s website. Registered MyFTB users have the option to discuss confidential tax matters through Secure Chat.
FTB administers two of California's major tax programs: the Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. FTB also administers other non-tax programs and debt collection functions, including delinquent vehicle registration on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and court–ordered debt. Annually, FTB’s tax programs collect more than 70 percent of the state’s General Fund. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit taxes.ca.gov.
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