Due dates Personal
We must receive your tax return and any money you owe by the deadline. You’ll usually pay a penalty if you’re late.
Most people must file and pay their tax owed by April 15, 2021.
California grants you an automatic extension to file your state tax return. No form is required. You must file by October 15, 2021. Your payment is still due by April 15, 2021.
Personal income tax
File by mail
Use one of the following forms when filing:
Extension to file
Send us your payment if you are not ready to file your return.
Pay by April 15, 2021 to avoid penalties and interest.
We give you an automatic extension to file your return. The deadline is April 15, 2021. No application is required.
When making an extension payment by mail use Payment Voucher for Automatic Extension for Individuals (form FTB 3519).
Estimated tax payments are made once a quarter.
To pay your estimated tax, visit payment options.
For 2021, use Estimated Tax for Individuals (Form 540-ES) when paying by mail.
- 1st quarter payment deadline: April 15, 2021
- 2nd quarter payment deadline: June 15, 2021
- 3rd quarter payment deadline: September 15, 2021
- 4th quarter payment deadline: January 18, 2022
Visit Instructions for Form 540-ES for percentages due and more information.
Estates and trusts
If you are filing a return for an estate or trust, you must file the return and pay by either:
- Calendar year: April 15, 2021
- Fiscal year: 15th day of the 4th month after the taxable year ended
If you are filing a return for a bankruptcy estate, you must file the return and pay by either:
- Calendar year: April 15, 2021
- Fiscal year: Within a fiscal year period of receiving income, but this period cannot exceed 12 months
Allocate estimated tax payments
A trust or decedent’s estate (for its final year) may choose to distribute (allocate) estimated tax payments to beneficiaries.
To distribute the estimated tax payments to beneficiaries, the trust or decedent’s estate must file Form 541-T by the 65th day after the close of the current taxable year.
If a trust files by calendar year, it must file Form 541-T by March 8, 2021.
Outside of the USA
If you are living or traveling outside of the U.S. on April 15, 2021, file and pay your taxes by June 15, 2021.
If you need more time to file, we give you an automatic extension. The deadline is December 15, 2021. No application is required.
If you owe taxes, interest will accrue from the original due date. To avoid penalties and interest, you must pay by April 15, 2021.
Write Outside the USA on April 15, 2021 at the top of your tax return in red ink.
Farmers or fisherman
If you are a farmer or fisherman, and at least 2/3 of your 2019 and 2020 gross income is from farming or fishing, you may either:
- Pay all of your estimated tax by January 15, 2021
- File your tax return for 2020 on or before March 1, 2021, and pay the total tax due
- Use Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Farmers and Fishermen (form FTB 5805F), to know if you paid the required estimated tax.
- If you did not pay your required estimated tax, attach form FTB 5805F to the back of your tax return.
Visit Instructions for form FTB 5805F for more information.