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Less Than Three Weeks To File State/Federal Income Taxes

John Chiang, Chair of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) and member of the Franchise Tax Board, reminds Californians you have less than three weeks left to file your taxes. This year you have two extra days to file your taxes. Since April 15 falls this year on a Saturday, the final deadline is Monday, April 17.

“Filing taxes can be frustrating and confusing,” said Chiang. “To assist taxpayers, the FTB offers free tax help online, over the phone, or in person at 1,800 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations across the state. My downtown Los Angeles and Sacramento offices are VITA sites, and people can contact the office at (213) 239-8506 to set up an appointment.”

Chiang added that beginning March 27 and continuing through April 15 FTB representatives are available at (800) 852-5711 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions.

At this late date in the tax season, Chiang also recommended that those who qualify file online, particularly if they anticipate receiving a refund. The FTB’s CalFile program is available to some 6.4 million taxpayers who file the 540 2EZ and the 540A tax forms. CalFile accepts income up to $287,682, itemized deductions, and some tax credits.

“Late in the tax season it can take six to eight weeks to get a refund,” said Chiang. “However, e-filers receive their refunds in seven days or less. “In addition, the state saves approximately $1 in processing costs for every return submitted electronically as opposed to through the mail. This provides California more money to spend on parks, roads, and schools.”

Chiang added that he is pleased with preliminary statistics indicating there has been an 8 percent increase in the number of individual taxpayers filing electronically this year as opposed to last year. The increase is nearly 5 percent among tax professionals.

To date, tax refunds are averaging $630. According to the FTB, nearly two-thirds of taxpayers receive refunds.

John Chiang was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998, and re-elected in 2002. In December 2004, he was named by his colleagues BOE Chair. He also serves as a member of the Franchise Tax Board.

Chiang represents the BOE’s 4th District, which includes 73 cities in Los Angeles County, including Los Angeles, and contains more than 8.5 million people.