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State of California Franchise Tax Board

FTB Sees Sharp Drop in Paper

Paper tax returns filed with the Franchise Tax Board are running almost 40 percent behind last year's pace, according to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

Through March 23, taxpayers have filed 6,508,353 returns with the FTB. Of that total, 2,227,292 were filed by paper, a decrease of 39.2 percent from the same time in 2003. Meantime, the total number of e-file returns has increased to 4,226,236—a jump of more than 69 percent from the 2.5 million received through the same time last year.

E-filing saves the state money – it costs up to one dollar less to process an electronic return versus the traditional paper return

More taxpayers are also opting for a paperless refund process. Direct deposit refunds are up by more than 24 percent to a total of more than 1.8 million, with an average deposit of $782.

Taxpayers can access all e-services, including Netfile, FTB’s free, direct, online filing service, and links to commercial e-file Websites anytime at Other e-services include:

  • Make payments.
  • Get your refund status.
  • Check your balance due or payments made.
  • Apply for an installment payment plan.
  • Email your technical tax questions.

Web Pay allows you to pay your return or extension payments, estimated taxes, or delinquent taxes on our Website. The transaction works much like a debit card. You can also pay with a credit card. We accept your Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard, American Express, or VISA.

Chat with an FTB Representative