File by paper U.S. Postal Service

If you would like to file a paper tax return by mail, you’ll need to download and print our forms and instructions. To find out what form you need to use, visit our file page and select your filing situation.

Your return must be postmarked by the extended due date to be timely. It may take longer for us to process your tax return by mail. Electronically file for free online using CalFile.

If you owe taxes, interest will accrue from the original due date. To avoid penalties and interest, you must pay by your return due date.

Before you mail

Make sure you:

  • Sign your tax return
    • If you’re filing a joint return both people must sign the return
  • Make sure your name, address, and social security number(s) are correct
  • Check your math
  • Attach a copy of your federal return (if not using form 540 2EZ)
  • Attach a copy of your W-2
  • File your original return, not a copy

Mail your tax return

Visit our mailing addresses page to find out where to mail your return. The address will be different if you’re sending a payment with your tax return versus without a payment.

If you expect a refund, make sure your address is up to date. Visit how do I change my address for more information.

If you owe taxes, visit our payment options.

Original signatures for paper returns and other documents

Effective November 1, 2023, FTB will accept paper tax returns and other documents, except for Power of Attorney (POA) declarations and Tax Information Authorization (TIA) forms, with the following signature alternative methods:

For paper tax returns, we will accept:

  • A paper tax return with a photocopied, faxed or scanned copy of the signature page with original signatures.

There is no change to the filing method of paper tax returns; see File by Paper.

For other documents, except POA declarations and TIA forms, filed with us that require original signatures, we will accept:

  • A photocopied, faxed, or scanned copy of the signature page with original signatures.
  • You can also upload a document with original signatures into MyFTB, go to and search for myftb.  Please note that only PDF and Excel documents are currently accepted.

Follow the instructions on the form or document regarding how to submit the form or document to FTB (whether by mail, fax, online, etc.).

For more information, see PSB 23.16 Signature Options for Paper Tax Returns and Other Documents.

These methods do not apply to filing a POA or TIA.  If you need to submit a POA or TIA to us, go to, search for submit a poa or tia.

After you mail your tax return

Once you have mailed your return you can:

  1. Review our normal processing time frames
  2. Check your refund status

There may be a delay in processing your return if you did not attach your:

  • Federal tax return
  • W-2

We will notify you if we need you to provide them to us.