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Last Minute Tips for California Taxpayers

Released: April 14, 2009

With the April 15 tax deadline only one day away, today the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) offers quick tips to those who still need to file their returns and hope to receive their refunds fast.

“Taxpayers still have time to use fast and simple e-file options that eliminate paperwork and perform all the heavy lifting,” said Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang.

Last-minute tips taxpayers should keep in mind include:

  1. Payment plans are available for taxpayers who face financial trouble. Those who owe less than $25,000 and can repay the tax within five years generally qualify.
  2. Check to see if their taxes are already done! Try ReadyReturn, FTB’s completed tax return program. Taxpayers who used the single or head of household filing status last year, had one employer, claimed no more than five dependents, and took the standard deduction generally qualify. Check FTB’s website at ftb.ca.gov to see if FTB has one waiting for you.
  3. Use e-file and direct deposit to save time, paper, and stamps, and get a tax refund back fast - generally within seven days. FTB's ReadyReturn and CalFile programs are the state's no- cost, easy-to-use e-file options. CalFile is now available in Spanish.
  4. To get one’s specific tax information, check MyFTB Account to find information about last year's wages, California withholding, estimated tax payments, and more.
  5. California taxpayers get an automatic extension until October 15, to file their tax returns. However, taxes owed must be paid by Wednesday, April 15.
  6. If you owe tax, consider using Web Pay, which allows you to authorize a payment from your bank account to satisfy a return balance due or extension payment. Pay on or before April 15 to avoid penalties and interest. You can also schedule your estimate payments up to one year in advance with Web Pay.

Taxpayers should keep a copy of their state tax returns and all supporting records. FTB may request information from you regarding your tax return at any time within the California statute of limitations period, which is generally four years from the return's due date.