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Franchise Tax Board Provides Last Minute Tax Tips

With the April 15 tax deadline only a few days away, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) offers quick tips to those who still need to file their returns and hope to receive their refunds fast.

“Taxpayers can still take advantage of electronic filing options to cut back on the paperwork and deliver refunds within days,” said Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang.

Last minute tips taxpayers should keep in mind include:

  1. Check to see if your taxes are already done! Try ReadyReturn, FTB’s completed tax return program. Taxpayers who used the single filing status last year, had one employer, claimed no dependents, and took the standard deduction generally qualify. Check FTB’s website at www.ftb.ca.gov to see if FTB has one waiting for you.
  2. Use e-file and direct deposit to save time, paper, and stamps, and get your tax refund back fast - generally within seven days. FTB’s ReadyReturn and CalFile programs are the state’s no- cost, easy-to-use e-file options. CalFile is now available in Spanish.
  3. April 15 is not the last day to file. California taxpayers get an automatic extension until October 15 to file their tax returns. However, taxes owed must be paid by Tuesday, April 15.
  4. If you owe tax, consider using Web Pay, which allows you to authorize a payment from your bank account to satisfy a return balance due or extension payment. Pay on or before April 15 to avoid penalties and interest. You can also schedule your estimate payments up to a year in advance with Web Pay.
  5. If you owe tax and cannot pay, visit FTB’s website to set up a payment plan. Most taxpayers who owe less than $25,000 and can repay the tax within five years generally qualify.

Finally, after you file, be sure to keep a copy of your state tax return and all supporting records. FTB may request information from you regarding your tax return at any time within the California statute of limitations period, which is generally four years from the return’s due date.

Editor’s note: Link to b-roll of FTB’s processing facility: http://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/press/index.shtml#nr3 For a broadcast quality copy, please contact us.