Last minute tax tips: What you need to know for April 15 tax deadline

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts Only

Public Affairs Office

Sacramento - The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today reminded taxpayers that April 15 is the deadline for most Californians to file and pay their 2023 taxes to avoid penalties.

FTB provided guidance on tax relief related to natural disasters, claiming tax credits, filing a tax return for free, avoiding scams, and tax payments.

"With Tax Day less than a week away, I want to ensure Californians are aware of free filing services and valuable cash-back credits available to them," said State Controller and FTB Chair Malia M. Cohen. "Millions of taxpayers are expected to qualify for the California Earned Income Tax Credit, and many will also get the Young Child Tax Credit. These credits combined can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars to California taxpayers and their families."

Tax relief for San Diego county flood victims

FTB granted tax relief for San Diego County taxpayers impacted by severe storms and flooding that began on January 21, 2024. Individuals and businesses with their principal residence or place of business in San Diego County will have until June 17, 2024, to file certain California individual and business tax returns and make tax payments originally due between January 21, 2024, through June 17, 2024.

Visit FTB's Emergency tax relief page for more information.

Cash-back credits: California earned income tax credit (CalEITC), young child tax credit (YCTC), foster youth tax credit (FYTC)

Californians with an income up to $30,950 may qualify for CalEITC, which can provide cash back or lower any tax owed. Those eligible for CalEITC and with a child under the age of six may receive up to $1,117 from YCTC, which, beginning with tax year 2022, does not require income if all other CalEITC and YCTC requirements are met. In addition, those earning less than $63,398 may also qualify for the federal EITC. Between CalEITC, YCTC, and the federal EITC, an eligible family could receive up to $12,076. FYTC provides up to $1,117 for tax year 2023. CalEITC, YCTC, and FYTC are claimed by filing a state tax return.

The federal EITC is claimed on a federal return. For a calculator to estimate your credits, and more visit

File for free, free tax help and FTB pay online services

Most taxpayers can file their state tax returns electronically and free of charge by using FTB's CalFile program. CalFile and other free or fee-based e-file services are available on FTB's website. FTB recommends taxpayers opt for direct deposit to their bank accounts to ensure a timely and safe refund. E-filing provides faster refunds, increased accuracy, and immediate confirmation that FTB has received a return.

Taxpayers are encouraged to use FTB's electronic payment option, Web Pay. Web Pay allows users to authorize a tax payment from a bank account. Individual taxpayers can use their MyFTB account to schedule payments and securely access and view their tax information.

Free in-person tax preparation is available for low- to moderate-income taxpayers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Visit FTB's Get free tax help page to find the closest VITA location.

Automatic tax filing extension

California taxpayers get an automatic extension to file until October 15 this year. However, any taxes owed must be deposited or postmarked by April 15, 2024. Taxpayers who are unsure of whether they will owe money can refer to FTB's Tax Calculator.

Beware of scams

FTB urges 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 the IRS at 800.829.1040. Concerned taxpayers can also visit FTB's Notices/letters and the IRS's Understanding your IRS notice or letter pages.

Visit FTB's Scams page for more information on common types of scams.

Help with tax payments

FTB encourages taxpayers who cannot pay their tax bill in full to file on time and pay as much as they can as soon as they can to limit penalties and interest. Payment plans are available on the FTB website for taxpayers facing financial hardship. People who owe $25,000 or less and can repay within five years generally qualify.

One-time penalty cancellation relief

A new law allows FTB to grant individual taxpayers a one-time cancellation of a penalty for filing or paying their taxes late. To receive this relief, taxpayers must comply with all tax return filing requirements, have not previously been granted a one-time abatement, and have no outstanding tax liabilities (other than the timeliness penalty the taxpayer wants cancelled). The relief applies to tax year 2022 forward. For more information, visit FTB's One-Time Penalty Abatement page or call 800.689.4776.

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: