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Error on State Tax Form for IRA Income Phase Out Amount

Released April 8, 2008

Californians Encouraged to Check FTB Website for Updates and Corrections to Forms

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) advises taxpayers looking to make an IRA deduction to ensure that they are using the updated state tax forms. The deadline for contributions to a traditional IRA for the year is the due date of the tax return, generally April 15.

Specifically, FTB corrected instructions to Schedule CA (form 540) line 32 regarding the income phase-outs for traditional IRA deductions for joint and qualifying widow(er) tax filers. To find the corrected instructions, visit the FTB website at www.ftb.ca.gov and search using the key words “540 CA Instructions.”

Taxpayers who make IRA contributions can take a state tax deduction if they meet certain requirements. For individuals who are covered by an employer retirement plan, the IRA deduction is reduced (phased-out) when income exceeds certain limits. For the joint and qualifying widow(er) filing status, the correct adjusted gross income phase-out amount range is $80,000-$100,000. Prior to February 28, 2008, FTB mistakenly had the phase-out income range at $75,000-$85,000.

When FTB discovered the error in February, forms and instructions were immediately updated on the website, the error was noted on the forms update page, and all computerized tax processors who work with tax preparation professionals were alerted.

Taxpayers planning to take this deduction need to make sure to use the corrected form instructions, which shows a revision date of February 2008 or later, or check with their tax professional or preparation software. Anyone who filed and missed taking this deduction due to the error should file an amended state tax return.

FTB reminds everyone to check for updates or corrections to any form that pertains to you. As updates and corrections are made to California tax forms, FTB posts the changes on its website. To access updates, use keyword search “forms updates.”

For more information about state tax filing, FTB encourages taxpayers to visit its website to download up-to-date tax forms, get answers to frequently asked questions, and find information about e-file, including FTB’s no cost CalFile.