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California Taxpayers Use e-File

Released: March 20, 2007

Individual, Business e-file show strong gains in 2007

Individual and corporate taxpayers in California are utilizing e-file in record numbers in 2007, according to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

With less than one month to go before the state tax filing deadline, more than 76 percent of individual state income tax returns filed have been received electronically. While the overall percentage is expected to drop by the April 17 deadline, FTB projects its e-file figures will hit a record this year.

“More Californians are using e-file because it's a fast and secure way to file their tax returns,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. “If you're owed a refund, e-filing can get your refund to you in seven days, even sooner if you choose Direct Deposit.”

As of March 15, there were 6.3 million state tax returns filed in 2007. Of that total, more than 4.8 million were received electronically. FTB's CalFile program, which offers free, direct, online filing was up 18.7 percent over 2006.

The biggest gain comes from business e-filers. As of March 15, there were 192,407 business returns filed. Business e-file, in just its second year, totals 8,084, a 271-percent increase from the same period in 2006. For 2007, FTB accepts Form 565 (Partnership), Form 568 (Limited Liability Company), and Form 100S (S-corporation) returns, along with current and prior year Form 100.

Not only are taxpayers filing their returns electronically, but more of them than ever are receiving their refunds electronically through Direct Deposit and paying their tax liabilities online. Through March 14 more than 2.3 million refunds, amounting to $1.9 billion, have been issued via Direct Deposit, an increase of 11 percent over last year.

Taxpayers who e-file and owe money can pay electronically with electronic funds withdrawal (EFW). An EFW can be authorized at the time an e-file return is filed and scheduled for payment by April 17. With EFW, taxpayers have the convenience of e-filing and paying at the same time, and they don't have to worry about mailing a check. Taxpayers can also use FTB's online payment application, Web Pay, to pay their taxes electronically. Web Pay allows taxpayers to pay their return balance due, extension payment, estimated taxes, billing notices, or prior year returns by authorizing FTB to debit their checking or savings account. Another option for taxpayers is to pay their state taxes with their Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard, American Express, or Visa cards. To charge it, check the Website or call (800) 272-9829. The vendor charges a convenience fee.

The FTB offers tax help at its six regional field offices in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Ana, including help in other languages to respond to the needs of California's diverse population. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs staff hundreds of centers statewide and offer free, easily accessible help with form preparation through April 17. For the nearest location, contact the FTB at (800) 852-5711 or go to www.ftb.ca.gov