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New E-Government Services

Unveiled at FTB '2EZ Direct' Provides Free, Direct E-File for Simple Tax Forms

Taxpayers filing their 2001 California income tax return on extension and who qualify to use the state's simplest and shortest tax form, the 540 2EZ, can e-file it for free on the Franchise Tax Board's Website, announced State Controller and FTB Chair Kathleen Connell.

“The new e-file functionality of the 540 2EZ will greatly reduce the tax filing burden for millions of Californians,” stated Connell. “This new e-government initiative is part of the FTB's effort to improve customer service by making the tax system more taxpayer friendly.”

The new “2EZ Direct” service is geared towards taxpayers who self prepare their own tax returns. With about a month to go before the extended due date of October 15 for 2001 tax returns, taxpayers can e-file the 540 2EZ by following these three easy steps

1. Access FTB's Website at www.ftb.ca.gov and download the 540 2EZ worksheet.
2. Simply fill out the worksheet off-line at your own convenience.
3. Log back onto the FTB's Website to transmit the tax return directly to the FTB.

The benefits of this e-file service include quick refunds within five to seven days, direct filing without going through a third party intermediary, and confirmation that the FTB received the tax return.

More than four million Californians qualify to file using the 540 2EZ, created by Controller Connell in 1999. Barely bigger than a postcard, the 540 2EZ has gained wide appeal for its simplicity in reducing the required lines of tax information needed and eliminating several math calculations. It is available to single taxpayers earning $50,000 or less and married taxpayers earning $100,000 or less who do not itemize deductions and have three or fewer dependents.

Controller Connell also announced two new e-government services that will debut later this month:

  • Non-resident withholding. Non-resident taxpayers wishing to get a reduced rate or exemption from withholding can apply electronically.
  • Electronic installment arrangement. Taxpayers with a balance due of up to $10,000 may apply online for an installment payment arrangement.