What you need to know as tax day approaches

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts Only

Public Affairs Office


Sacramento — With Tax Day coming Monday, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today offered key tips to help Californians take charge of their taxes before the filing deadline.

“California taxpayers still have free services available going into the final weekend of tax season,” said State Controller and FTB Chair Betty T. Yee.

Free Tax Help: Many taxpayers are eligible to file their state returns for free online with FTB’s CalFile, an easy-to-use tool available to more than 6.4 million taxpayers. CalFile allows taxpayers to file directly with FTB and provides instant confirmation.

Free in-person tax preparation is available through April 15 for low-to-moderate-income taxpayers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Taxpayers can find a list of other filing options at ftb.ca.gov.

Take Advantage of CalEITC: The cash-back California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) has been expanded and is now available to those age 18 and over, even if they have no dependents. Between CalEITC and the companion federal EITC, low-income individuals and families can boost their refund by thousands of dollars. Anyone earning $24,950 or less may qualify for CalEITC of up to $2,879. Those earning $54,883 or less may be able to receive the federal EITC of up to $6,431. Learn more about these valuable credits at CalEITC4Me.org.

Check Refunds Online: Those who already filed and are expecting a refund can use the Check Your Refund Status tool at ftb.ca.gov. FTB also provides this service in Spanish.

Get Questions Answered: FTB's Live Chat allows taxpayers to ask an FTB representative general tax questions and get help with FTB’s website in real time. Live Chat is not a secure channel; do not offer personal information such as Social Security numbers or bank account information. Taxpayers may also call FTB at 800-852-5711.

Tax Filing Extension: California taxpayers get an automatic extension to file until October 15, although taxes owed must be postmarked by April 15. Those unsure of whether they will owe money can consult FTB’s Tax Calculator.

Access Your Account: The MyFTB service allows taxpayers to view their tax documents, check balances due, access tax calculators, send secure messages to FTB staff, and more.

Pay Online: Taxpayers can pay with Web Pay directly from their bank accounts with no fees. Payments are also accepted by MasterCard, VISA, American Express, or Discover for a service fee of 2.3 percent.

Get Help Paying Taxes: FTB recommends that taxpayers file returns on time and pay what they can to avoid penalties and interest. Payment plans are available for taxpayers who face financial trouble. Those who owe $25,000 or less and can repay within five years generally qualify.

FTB administers two of California’s major tax programs: Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. FTB also administers other non tax programs and delinquent debt collection functions, including delinquent vehicle registration debt collections 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.