Residents

Am I a resident?

You’re a resident if either apply:

  • Present in California for other than a temporary or transitory purpose
  • Domiciled in California, but outside California for a temporary or transitory purpose

There are more factors for determining residency. Visit Guidelines for Determining Resident Status (FTB Publication 1031) for more details.

Do I need to file?

You are taxed on all income regardless of source.

Sourced income includes, but is not limited to:

  • Wages
  • Goods
  • Services
  • Property

Visit FTB Pub 1031 for more information.

Filing requirements

Match your filing status, age, and number of dependents with the 2018 tax year tables below.

If your income is more than the amount shown, you need to file a tax return.

California gross income

Single or head of household
Age as of December 31, 2018* 0 dependents 1 dependent 2 or more dependents
Under 65 $17,693 $29,926 $39,101
65 or older $22,593 $32,768 $40,108
Married/RDP filing jointly or separately
Age as of December 31, 2018* 0 dependents 1 dependent 2 or more dependents
Both are under 65 $35,388 $47,621 $56,796
One spouse/RDP is 65 or older $41,288 $50,463 $57,803
Both are 65 or older $47,188 $56,363 $63,703
Qualifying widow(er)
Age as of December 31, 2018* 0 dependents 1 dependent 2 or more dependents
Under 65 N/A $29,926 $39,101
65 or older N/A $32,768 $40,108

California adjusted gross income

Single or head of household
Age as of December 31, 2018* 0 dependents 1 dependent 2 or more dependents
Under 65 $14,154 $26,387 $35,562
65 or older $20,054 $29,229 $36,569
Married/RDP filing jointly or separately
Age as of December 31, 2018* 0 dependents 1 dependent 2 or more dependents
Both are under 65 $28,312 $40,545 $49,720
One spouse/RDP is 65 or older $34,212 $43,387 $50,727
Both are 65 or older $40,112 $49,287 $56,627
Qualifying widow(er)
Age as of December 31, 2018* 0 dependents 1 dependent 2 or more dependents
Under 65 N/A $26,387 $35,562
65 or older N/A $29,229 $36,569

If you turn 65 on January 1, 2019, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2018.

Dependent filing requirement

If you can be claimed as a dependent, you have a different standard deduction. It cannot be more than the normal standard deduction. Your standard deduction is the larger of:

  • Your earned income plus $350, or
  • $1,050 for the taxable year

What form to file

Full year residents with a filing requirement must file either:

Use Form 540 2EZ if:

  • Your filing status is single, married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, or qualifying widow(er)
  • You have 0-3 dependents
  • Your taxable income is:
    • $100,000 or less (single or head of household)
    • $200,000 or less (married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow[er])
  • Your income is from:
    • Wages, salaries, and tips
    • Taxable interest, dividends, and pensions
    • Capital gains from mutual funds (on Form 1099-DIV, Box 2a)
    • Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants (only if reported on Form W-2)
    • Unemployment
    • Paid Family Leave Insurance
    • U.S. Social Security
    • Tier 1 and tier 2 railroad retirement payments
  • No adjustments to total income
  • You only use standard deduction
  • Your payments are only California income tax withheld shown on Form(s) W-2 and 1099-R
  • Your exemptions are:
    • Personal exemption
    • Senior exemption
    • Up to three dependent exemptions
  • Your only credits are the nonrefundable renter’s credit and refundable California earned income tax credit

You cannot use Form 540 2EZ if you or your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer and:

  • You have a dependent of your own
  • You are single and your total income is less than or equal to $14,551
  • You are married/RDP filing jointly or qualified widow(er) and your total income is less than or equal to $29,152
  • You are head of household and your total income is less than or equal to $20,652
  • You are required to use the modified standard deduction for dependents

Otherwise, use Form 540.

Visit 540 2EZ Booklet or the 540 Booklet for more information.

Withholding

Withholding is tax previously withheld from your income.

Visit Resident and Nonresident Withholding Guidelines (FTB 1017)

Deductions

Deductions are certain expenses which may reduce your taxable income.

Visit the Deductions page for more information.

Credits

A tax credit will help reduce the amount of tax you may owe.

Visit Credits for more information.

Community property

California is a community property state. If one spouse is a resident of California and the other is not, you may be required to report income earned outside of California.

Visit Guidelines for Determining Resident Status (FTB Publication 1031) for more information.