Franchise Tax Board 2023 tax season begins
For Immediate Release
Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) kicked off the 2023 tax filing season this month. With the start of the new tax season, the FTB is offering Californians tips on avoiding scams, claiming valuable cash-back tax credits, filing a return for free, and calculating state tax deductions for losses incurred from natural disasters.
“To help alleviate some of the stress many Californians have endured due to recent storms, the FTB has extended the filing and payment deadlines for some affected individuals and businesses,” said State Controller and FTB Chair Malia M. Cohen “We encourage Californians to use FTB’s online services, including free e-filing, and to file as soon as possible for a faster refund.”
FTB began accepting state tax returns on January 17.
Tax Relief for Disasters
The IRS announced tax relief for Californians affected by recent winter storms. Taxpayers affected by these storms qualify for an extension to May 15, 2023, to file individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments.
Taxpayers affected by a presidentially declared disaster may claim a deduction for a disaster loss. Taxpayers may claim a disaster loss when filing either an original or amended tax year 2022 tax return.
Disaster victims can receive free copies of their state returns to replace those lost or damaged. To do so, they should use form FTB 3516 and write the name of the disaster in blue or black ink at the top of the request.
For a complete list of all disasters declared in California, see the chart on FTB’s disaster loss webpage.
California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) expansion, and the new Foster Youth Tax Credit (FYTC)
Californians with income up to $30,000 may qualify for CalEITC. Those eligible for CalEITC and with a child under the age of six may receive up to $1,083 from the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC). In addition, people earning less than $59,187 may also qualify for the federal EITC. Between CalEITC, YCTC, and the federal EITC, a family can receive up to $11,438. Furthermore, the Foster Youth Tax Credit (FYTC), a refundable tax credit, like CalEITC and YCTC, may also reduce taxes owed or offer cash back. FYTC is available for the tax year 2022 forward.
CalEITC, YCTC, and FYTC are claimed by filing a state tax return, while the federal EITC is claimed on a federal return filed with the Internal Revenue Service. For more information about these credits, visit www.ftb.ca.gov/caleitc.
Health Care Coverage Penalties
Californians who did not have qualifying health insurance throughout the year are subject to a penalty of $800 or more when they file their state tax returns. The penalty for a dependent child is half that of an adult; an uninsured family of four could face a fine of $2,400 or more. If you had health coverage in 2022, check the “Full-year health care coverage,” box 92, on your state tax return to avoid penalties.
You can get health coverage and financial help at CoveredCA.com. It is crucial to get health coverage to avoid penalties when filing your tax return next year. For information, visit ftb.ca.gov/healthmandate.
Beware of Scams
FTB encourages taxpayers to protect themselves from scams. Scammers often prey on taxpayers by impersonating IRS or FTB employees. They may attempt to trick taxpayers into sending money not owed or providing personal information that could be used to file fraudulent returns and steal refunds. If you receive a letter from FTB or the IRS that appears suspicious, contact FTB at 800-852-5711 or IRS at 800-829-1040. Concerned taxpayers also may check the FTB Letters page or Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter.
Free Tax Help and FTB Services
Taxpayers can get help with their taxes for free. For a list of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program locations throughout California, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for free tax help. FTB offers free electronic filing for state tax returns through CalFile, an easy-to-use tool that allows taxpayers to file directly with FTB and receive instant confirmation. CalFile will be available starting January 17. Taxpayers can check if they qualify for CalFile and find a list of other filing options at ftb.ca.gov. Taxpayers also can use FTB’s MyFTB service to view their tax documents, check balances due, send secure messages to FTB staff, and more.
One-Time Penalty Abatement Relief
A new tax law gives FTB authority to grant California individual taxpayers a one-time penalty abatement. To request this penalty relief taxpayers must be compliant with all tax return requirements, have not previously been granted abatement, and have no outstanding tax liabilities. The relief applies for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022. FTB will begin accepting one-time penalty abatement requests on April 17, 2023. For more information visit ftb.ca.gov.
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.