COVID-19 frequently asked questions

General

How does FTB define who is “affected by the COVID-19 pandemic”? How would they need to demonstrate this?

All California taxpayers are considered affected taxpayers if they have an income tax return filing or payment due date between March 12, 2020 and July 15, 2020.

Can I visit one of your Field Office Public Counters to make a payment or for tax help?

At this time, all of our Field Office Public Counters in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana, Oakland and Sacramento are closed. If you need help, use our website to find your answer online.

If you need to make a payment, visit Pay by bank account (Web Pay). If you have a MyFTB account, you can also log in and make a bank account payment through Web Pay.

Thank you for your patience during this challenging time.

Filing tax returns and income tax payments

Will my scheduled payment automatically be rescheduled to the tax deadline?

Scenario: You e-filed your 2019 personal income tax return. You scheduled a payment for 4/15/2020 through your bank account. Will your payment be automatically rescheduled to the new tax payment due date, 7/15/2020?

Answer: No, your payment will not be automatically rescheduled to 7/15/2020. Unless you cancel it, the payment will still be processed on the scheduled payment date.

To cancel the payment, contact us:

Phone
e-file Help Desk
(916) 845-0353
Weekdays, 8 AM to 5 PM

You must cancel your payment at least 2 business days before your scheduled payment. If your scheduled payment is on April 15, you must cancel the payment by April 13. We suggest you call us even sooner to cancel your payment.

Visit Pay by bank account (Web Pay) to reschedule your payment. If you have a MyFTB account, you can also log in and make a bank account payment through Web Pay.

Note: If you meet the mandatory e-payment requirement, you must pay electronically.

How do I postpone my scheduled estimated tax payments to the new tax deadline?

Scenario: I already e-filed my 2019 business income tax return. I have scheduled automatic payments from my bank account on the standard due dates. How do I postpone my 1st and 2nd quarter payments to the new deadline on 7/15/2020?

Answer: You must cancel your payments and reschedule new payments.

To cancel the payment, contact us:

Phone
e-file Help Desk
(916) 845-0353
Weekdays, 8 AM to 5 PM

You must cancel your payment at least 2 business days before your scheduled payment. We suggest you call us even sooner to cancel your payment.

Visit Pay by bank account (Web Pay) to reschedule your payment. If you have a MyFTB account, you can also log in and make a bank account payment through Web Pay.

Note: If you meet the mandatory e-payment requirement, you must pay electronically.

What business entities qualify for the July 15, 2020, extended deadline to file and pay taxes?

The new extensions apply to any business entity with a California return or payment due between March 12 and July 15. This includes Corporations, S-Corps, LLCs, Partnerships, and other entity types with returns or payments due during this period.

Visit COVID-19 Extensions to file and pay for more information.

I mailed a check that hasn’t been processed yet. Can I cancel my payment?

We recommend that you do not cancel your check – you may incur fees. We can't return any checks you've sent.

Information returns, extensions to file, and postponement period

Scenario: Does the July 15, 2020 extension to file for any return due during the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020, apply to information returns?

Answer: Yes, the extension applies to the filing of information returns for any person or entity that made reportable transactions during 2019. This extension does not apply to the filing of FTB Form 593, for the reporting of real estate withholding.

If your original due date to file precedes the first day of the March 12, 2020 postponement period but your extended due date falls within the postponement period of March 12, 2020 to July 15, 2020, is the extended due date now July 15, 2020?

Yes, the filing will be considered timely if you file your return on or before July 15, 2020 , the end of the postponement period. If you did not timely pay the tax by the original due date that preceded March 12, 2020 (first date of the postponement period), you will be subject to applicable penalties and interest that continue to accrue during the postponement period.

Traveling or living outside of the United States

Scenario: I will be traveling or living outside of the United States on the original due date of April 15, 2020, which means my tax return and payment are due June 15, 2020. Do I qualify for the July 15, 2020 extension to file and pay taxes for 2019?

Answer: Yes. If you file and pay by July 15, 2020, it will be considered timely. If you need more time to file, the automatic extension due date for taxpayers traveling or living outside of the United States as of April 15, 2020, remains December 15, 2020.

COVID-19 Economic impact payments - CARES Act

Are the payments that individuals receive from the federal government (i.e., $1,200 [$2,400 for individuals filing a joint return] and $500 per qualifying child) under the recently enacted federal CARES Act subject to California income tax?

No, these payments are not subject to California income tax.

Is the emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits (in the amount of $600 per week) that individuals receive under the recently enacted federal CARES Act subject to California income tax?

No, these payments are not subject to California income tax.

Are the modifications for net operating losses (NOLs) in the recently enacted federal CARES Act applicable for California income and franchise tax purposes?

No, these modifications for NOLs do not apply for California income and franchise tax purposes.

Does California conform to the federal early withdrawal penalty waivers for distributions from qualified retirement accounts under the recently enacted federal CARES Act?

Yes, the federal early withdrawal penalty waivers for distributions from qualified retirement accounts under the federal CARES Act also applies for California income tax purposes.

Statute of limitations, postponements, and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, will FTB still require taxpayers and/or tax representatives to provide statute of limitations waivers containing original signatures?

We will temporarily accept statute of limitations (SOL) waivers with e-Signatures.

Taxpayers and/or their representatives may submit signed SOL waivers to us by one of the following methods:

  • Fax the SOL waiver to us with a handwritten signature
  • Email a copy of the SOL waiver with a handwritten signature to us from a verified email address
  • Upload a scanned copy of the SOL waiver with a handwritten signature to the taxpayers’ MyFTB accounts
  • Upload a scanned copy of the SOL waiver with a handwritten signature to cloud storage and provide our staff the link to download the waiver
  • New: Utilize a third party service, such as DocuSign, for their Electronic Signature solution

The e-Signatures option is temporary through June 20, 2020. As the June 20, 2020 deadline approaches, we will reevaluate these options.

Statute of limitations and claim for refund

Scenario 1: The statute of limitations for filing a timely claim for refund expires during the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020. Will the FTB consider a claim filed on or before July 15, 2020, timely?

Answer: Yes. In cases where an applicable statute of limitations expires during this period, we will consider a claim for refund timely if filed on or before July 15, 2020.  This extension applies to a letter claim or an amended return claiming an overpayment of tax.     

Scenario 2: The statute of limitations to claim a refund of payments made within one year of the date of the claim expires between the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020. Does a taxpayer have an extension to file the claim?

Answer: Yes, if the actual statute of limitations to claim a refund under the one-year look-back period expires during this period, we will consider the claim for refund timely if filed on or before July 15, 2020. 

Notice of Proposed Assessment and Notice of Action

Scenario 1: FTB issued a Notice of Proposed Assessment (NPA) for additional tax and the 60 days to file a timely written protest expires during the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020. Does a taxpayer have an extension to file a timely protest? 

Answer: Yes, if the period to file a timely protest of an NPA expires during the postponement period, the FTB will consider the protest timely if filed on or before July 15, 2020. 

Scenario 2: FTB issued a Notice of Action (NOA) either denying a claim for refund or affirming a tax deficiency and the time to file a timely appeal with the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) expires between the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020. Does a taxpayer have an extension to file a timely appeal with OTA?

Answer: Yes, if the time period to file a timely appeal from an NOA providing appeal rights to the taxpayer expires during the postponement period, the appeal will be considered timely if filed with OTA on or before July 15, 2020. 

Scenario 3: The statute of limitations for FTB to issue a Notice of Proposed Assessment (NPA) expires during the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020. Is an NPA issued to a taxpayer on or before July 15, 2020 considered timely under the applicable statute of limitations?

Answer: Yes, the statute of limitations to issue an NPA is one of the time-sensitive acts that may be extended whenever there is a Governor declared state of emergency or a presidentially declared disaster. That means if the applicable statute of limitations to issue an NPA expires during the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020, FTB has until July 15, 2020, to issue a timely assessment. 

Rehearing with the Office of Tax Appeals

Scenario: The taxpayer or FTB disagrees with a written opinion of the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) and wants to file a petition for rehearing but the 30-day time period to file the petition expires during the postponement period of March 12, 2020, through July 15, 2020. Does a taxpayer or FTB have an extension to file a timely petition for rehearing with OTA?

Answer: Yes, if the time period to file a timely petition for rehearing with OTA expires during the postponement period, the petition for rehearing will be considered timely if filed with OTA on or before July 15, 2020. 

Nonresident nonwage withholding

I submitted Form 588, Nonresident Withholding Waiver request and there’s been no response. What should I do?

Scenario: You submitted Form 588, Nonresident Withholding Waiver request to FTB. It’s been 21 days and you have not received a response. Does this mean FTB denied the waiver request and you should withhold?

Answer: If you have not received a response from us within 21 business days, this does not mean we denied your request. We’re working to complete them as quickly as possible.

If you have not heard back from us within 60 business days, call the Withholding Services and Compliance Section at (888) 792-4900.  If you wish to deem the request denied, please note these nonwage nonresident withholding forms and payments extensions:

Original nonwage withholding file and pay due dates Extensions on nonwage withholding file and pay due dates
April 15, 2020 (covering the period January 1 through March 31, 2020) July 15, 2020
June 15, 2020 (covering the period April 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020) July 15, 2020

As a general rule, withholding is required unless we issue a determination notice authorizing a waiver.

I have not received a response to my Form 589, Nonresident Reduced Withholding Request. How do I know if it’s been approved?

Typically, we respond to Form 589 requests within 10 business days for those filed online and 21 business days for those filed by mail. We’re working to complete them as quickly as possible.

If you have not heard back from us after 60 business days, call the Withholding Services Compliance Section at (888) 792-4900.

As a general rule, withholding on the full amount is required unless we approve your request.

Real estate withholding

Does real estate withholding have an extension to file and send in payment because of COVID-19?

No. Any amount required to be withheld and remitted for the transfer of real property is due by the 20th day of the month following the close of escrow. Similarly, you must file Form 593, Real Estate Withholding Statement no later than the 20th day following the month escrow closes.

Visit Real estate withholding for more information.

As a real estate escrow person, why do I not get an extension to file and pay?

As a real estate escrow person, you’re responsible for closing the transaction and are typically the withholding agent or the remitter.

If you’re able to conduct business and close escrow, then you’re still required to withhold on the sale of California real estate and file the applicable withholding forms.

Will I be penalized if I can’t submit forms or payments due to office closures, etc.?

We will review these on a case-by-case basis and determine whether reasonable cause has been shown.

If you’ve been penalized during this time and believe you qualify for penalty relief, please respond as indicated at the bottom of your notice or fax your request and substantiating documents to (916) 845-9512.

Can I make electronic payments for real estate withholding?

Right now, you cannot make electronic payments for real estate withholding.

If you have a CA corporation ID number, you may file by EFT through your bank using payment type code 01190. Visit Electronic funds transfers for corporations or call us at (916) 845-4025 for more information.