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Three Tips as Tax Day Approaches

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Public Affairs Office
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For Immediate Release

03.20.2018

Returns Due April 17

Sacramento – With Tax Day just under a month away, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today offered key tips to help Californians take charge of their taxes before the April 17 deadline:

Act now: The sooner you file your state return, the sooner FTB can issue any refund you have coming. If you lost your W-2 or other tax documents, now is the time to request duplicates. If you choose to hire a tax preparer, do a little research and ask for credentials. State law requires anyone who prepares tax returns for a fee to be either an attorney, certified public accountant, California Tax Education Council-registered tax preparer, or enrolled agent. Many taxpayers are eligible to file their state returns for free using FTB’s CalFile. Free in-person tax preparation is available for low- to moderate-income taxpayers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Protect yourself: Scammers are increasingly brazen in their efforts to commit identity theft and steal tax refunds, making it more important than ever for taxpayers to protect their personal information. Be suspicious of anyone who calls or sends an email threatening you with jail time if you do not pay immediately. Hang up the phone and do not respond to the email. FTB almost always communicates with taxpayers by letter several times before calling. FTB does not reach out by email. If contacted by a scammer, report it to FTB online.

Take advantage of CalEITC: The cash-back California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) has been expanded in a big way. Between CalEITC and a companion federal EITC, low-income families can boost their refund by as much as $6,500. Anyone earning $22,300 or less may qualify for CalEITC. And for the first time, those who work for themselves may be eligible. Anyone earning $54,000 or less may be able to receive the federal EITC. Learn more about these valuable credits at CalEITC4Me.org.

If you have questions about state income taxes, visit ftb.ca.gov or call 800-852-5711.


FTB administers two of California's major tax programs: Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. FTB also administers other nontax 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 65 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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Last Updated: 03/20/2018

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