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Last Minute Tips for California Taxpayers

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cell 916.416.6931
Brenda.Voet@ftb.ca.gov

Public Affairs Office
Brenda Voet

For Immediate Release

04.13.2010

Sacramento – With the April 15 tax deadline only days away, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) reminds taxpayers that electronic filing is the fast, secure way to file and receive a refund quickly.

Last-minute tips taxpayers should keep in mind include:

  • Get your refund fast! Use e-file and direct deposit to save time and to get your refund fast - generally within seven days.
  • File online in minutes! ReadyReturn is for 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. ReadyReturn pulls data from wage reports and past tax returns, and then generates a completed return online. For more complex filing needs, CalFile is the state's other no-cost, easy-to-use e-file option that is available to more than 6.4 million taxpayers.
  • Pay your tax bill electronically. If you owe tax, consider using Web Pay to pay the balance due on your return or make an extension or estimate payment. If you make estimated tax payments, be sure to sign up for free automated reminders by email. You can schedule your estimated tax payments up to one year in advance.
  • Need help paying your taxes? 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.
  • Where’s my info? Check MyFTB Account to find information about last year's wages, California withholding, estimated tax payments, and more.
  • Filing a paper return? Double check your math, social security number(s), and the tax from the tax tables. You can also use the Tax Calculator to figure your 2009 tax by using your filing status and taxable income amount.
  • Can’t file by April 15? California taxpayers get an automatic extension until October 15 to file their tax returns, although taxes owed must be paid by Thursday, April 15.
  • Do you qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit? This is a federal incentive for low-income individuals and families. Taxpayers earning less than $48,279 can qualify for a “refundable” credit that can total up to $5,657. “Refundable” means that you do not have to have a tax liability to get a refund check from the government. If you think you might qualify, visit the IRS website at irs.gov and search for EITC Assistant. California has no comparable state credit.
  • Did you remember to report use tax? You may owe use tax on purchases you made from out-of-state or Internet sellers. Use tax can be reported on the income tax return instead of filing a use tax return with the State Board of Equalization. For more details, visit the BOE’s website at www.boe.ca.gov.

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

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