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State Tax Returns Done and Ready to File for Many Californians

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Public Affairs Office Brenda Voet

For Immediate Release


Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced that many of the state’s taxpayers may have a completed tax return ready for review and to file – – all for free.

“ReadyReturn offers a simple, fast, and free way to take care of your state tax return,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. “This innovative program takes the burden out of the tax return with a few mouse clicks.”

ReadyReturn reduces the tax-filing burden by using wage and tax withholding data already provided by employers to complete taxpayers’ returns. The program offers taxpayers the flexibility to accept the tax return as presented, change any information on the return, or disregard it for another way of filing. Approximately 2 million California taxpayers qualify to use ReadyReturn.

Taxpayers can check to see if they qualify by visiting FTB’s website at and clicking on ReadyReturn. All that is needed is their name and social security number.

Taxpayers qualify for ReadyReturn if they:

  • Filed a 2008 state resident tax return with a filing status of single or head of household.
  • Had no more than five dependents, claimed no special credits other than the renter’s credit, and took the standard deduction on the 2008 return.
  • Had only one employer in 2009.

Taxpayers who married, entered into a registered domestic partnership (RDP), had a child, received additional income, or qualify for a tax credit, can easily update their ReadyReturn online.

For taxpayers not eligible for ReadyReturn, FTB offers CalFile; a free e-file program that accommodates more complicated tax filings, and takes about 15-30 minutes to complete. CalFile guides the taxpayer to answer basic questions and automatically completes the taxpayer’s state tax return. More than 6 million taxpayers who file a 540 2EZ, 540A, and, to a limited degree, the 540 tax forms can use CalFile. Key benefits of e-file are that tax returns are more accurate, taxpayers get confirmation that FTB received their return, and the state saves paper-processing costs. Taxpayers who file online and have their refunds issued by direct deposit often get refunds within one week.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit

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