Table of Contents

Important Dates

When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.

April 17, 2018**

Last day to file and pay the 2017 amount you owe to avoid penalties and interest.* See form FTB 3519 for more information.

* If you are living or traveling outside the United States on April 17, 2018, the dates for filing your tax return and paying your tax are different. See form FTB 3519 for more information.

**Due to the federal Emancipation Day holiday on April 16, 2018, tax returns filed and payments mailed or submitted on April 17, 2018, will be considered timely.

October 15, 2018 Last day to file or e-file your 2017 tax return to avoid a late filing penalty and interest computed from the original due date of April 15, 2018.

April 17, 2018*

June 15, 2018

September 17, 2018

January 15, 2019

The dates for 2018 estimated tax payments. Generally, you do not have to make estimated tax payments if your California withholding in each payment period totals 90% of your required annual payment. Also, you do not have to make estimated tax payments if you will pay enough through withholding to keep the amount you owe with your tax return under $500 ($250 if married/registered domestic partner (RDP) filing separately). However, if you do not pay enough tax either through withholding or by making estimated tax payments, you may have an underpayment penalty. See Form 540-ES instructions for more information.

*Due to the federal Emancipation Day holiday on April 16, 2018, tax returns filed and payments mailed or submitted on April 17, 2018, will be considered timely.

$$$ for You

Earned Income Tax Credit

  • Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) – EIC reduces your federal tax obligation, or allows a refund if no federal tax is due. You may qualify if you earned less than $48,340 ($53,930 if married filing jointly) and have qualifying children or you have no qualifying children and you earned less than $15,010 ($20,600 if married filing jointly). Call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 800.829.4477 and when instructed enter topic 601, see the federal income tax booklet, or go to the IRS website at irs.gov and search for eitc assistant.
  • California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – EITC reduces your California tax obligation, or allows a refund if no California tax is due. You may qualify if you have wage income earned in California and/or net earnings from self-employment of less than $22,323. You do not need a child to qualify. For more information go to ftb.ca.gov and search for EITC or get form FTB 3514 – California Earned Income Tax Credit.

Refund of Excess State Disability Insurance (SDI)

If you worked for at least two employers during 2017 who together paid you more than $110,902 in wages, you may qualify for a refund of excess SDI. See the instructions on page 14.

Common Errors and How to Prevent Them

Help us process your tax return quickly and accurately. When we find an error, it requires us to stop to verify the information on the tax return, which slows processing. The most common errors consist of:

  • Claiming the wrong amount of estimated tax payments.
  • Claiming the wrong amount of standard deduction or itemized deductions.
  • Claiming a dependent already claimed on another return.
  • The amount of refund or payments made on an original return does not match our records when amending your tax return.
  • Claiming the wrong amount of withholding by incorrectly totaling or transferring the amounts from your W-2.
  • Claiming the wrong amount of real estate withholding.
  • Claiming the wrong amount of State Disability Insurance (SDI).
  • Claiming the wrong amount of exemption credits.

To avoid errors and help process your tax return faster, use these helpful hints when preparing your tax return.

Claiming estimated tax payments:

  • Verify the amount of estimated tax payments claimed on your tax return matches what you sent to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for that year. Go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB to view your total estimated tax payments before you file your tax return.
  • Verify the overpayment amount from your 2016 tax return you requested to be applied to your 2017 estimated tax.

Claiming state disability insurance:

  • Verify the amount of State Disability Insurance (SDI) used to figure the amount of excess SDI claimed on Form 540, line 74, matches amounts from your W-2’s.

Claiming standard deduction or itemized deductions:

  • See Form 540, line 18 instructions and worksheets for the amount of standard deduction or itemized deductions you can claim.

Claiming withholding amounts:

  • Go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB to verify withheld amount or see instructions for line 71 of Form 540 or line 81 of Form 540NR. Confirm only California income tax withheld is claimed.
  • Verify real estate or other withholding amount from Form 592-B and Form 593. See instructions for line 73 of Form 540 or line 83 for Form 540NR.

Claiming refund or payments made on an original return when amending your tax return:

  • Go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB to check tax return records for refund or payments made.
  • Verify the amount from your original return line 115 of Form 540 or line 125 of Form 540NR and include any adjustment by FTB.

Use e-file:

  • By using e-file, you can eliminate many common errors. Go to ftb.ca.gov and search for efile options.

Do I Have to File?

Steps to Determine Filing Requirement

Step 1: Is your gross income (all income received from all sources in the form of money, goods, property, and services that are not exempt from tax) more than the amount shown in the California Gross Income chart below for your filing status, age, and number of dependents? If yes, you have a filing requirement. If no, go to Step 2.

Step 2: Is your adjusted gross income (federal adjusted gross income from all sources reduced or increased by all California income adjustments) more than the amount shown in the California Adjusted Gross Income chart below for your filing status, age, and number of dependents? If yes, you have a filing requirement. If no, go to Step 3.

Step 3: If your income is less than the amounts on the chart you may still have a filing requirement. See “Requirements for Children with Investment Income” and “Other Situations When You Must File.” Do those instructions apply to you? If yes, you have a filing requirement. If no, go to Step 4.

Step 4: Are you married/registered domestic partner (RDP) filing separately with separate property income? If no, you do not have a filing requirement. If yes, prepare a tax return. If you owe tax, you have a filing requirement.

On 12/31/17, my filing status was: and on 12/31/17, my age was: (If your 65th birthday is on January 1, 2018, you are considered to be age 65 on December 31, 2017) California Gross Income California Adjusted Gross Income
Dependents Dependents
0 1 2 or more 0 1 2 or more
Single or
Head of household
Under 65 17,029 28,796 37,621 13,623 25,390 34,215
65 or older 22,729 31,554 38,614 19,323 28,148 35,208
Married/RDP filing jointly
Married/RDP filing separately

(The income of both spouses/RDPs must be combined; both spouses/RDPs may be required to file a tax return even if only one spouse/RDP had income over the amounts listed.)

Under 65 (both spouses/RDPs) 34,060 45,827 54,652 27,249 39,016 47,841
65 or older (one spouse/RDP) 39,760 48,585 55,645 32,949 41,774 48,834
65 or older (both spouses/RDPs) 45,460 54,285 61,345 38,649 47,474 54,534
Qualifying widow(er) Under 65 Not Applicable 28,796 37,621 Not Applicable 25,390 34,215
65 or older Not Applicable 31,554 38,614 Not Applicable 28,148 35,208
Dependent of another person
Any filing status
Any age More than your standard deduction (Use the California Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents on page 11 to figure your standard deduction.)

Requirements for Children with Investment Income

California law conforms to federal law which allows parents’ election to report a child’s interest and dividend income from children under age 19 or a student under age 24 on the parent’s tax return. For each child under age 19 or student under age 24 who received more than $2,100 of investment income in 2017, complete Form 540 and form FTB 3800, Tax Computation for Certain Children with Investment Income, to figure the tax on a separate Form 540 for your child.

If you qualify, you may elect to report your child’s income of $10,500 or less (but not less than $1,050) on your tax return by completing form FTB 3803, Parents’ Election to Report Child’s Interest and Dividends. To make this election, your child’s income must be only from interest and/or dividends. To get forms FTB 3800 or FTB 3803, see “Order Forms and Publications” or go to ftb.ca.gov/forms.

Other Situations When You Must File

If you have a tax liability for 2017 or owe any of the following taxes for 2017, you must file Form 540.

  • Tax on a lump-sum distribution.
  • Tax on a qualified retirement plan including an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) or an Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA).
  • Tax for children under age 19 or student under age 24 who have investment income greater than $2,100 (see paragraph above).
  • Alternative minimum tax.
  • Recapture taxes.
  • Deferred tax on certain installment obligations.
  • Tax on an accumulation distribution from a trust.

Filing Status

Use the same filing status for California that you used for your federal income tax return, unless you are a registered domestic partnership (RDP). If you are an RDP and file single for federal, you must file married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately for California. If you are an RDP and file head of household for federal purposes, you may file head of household for California purposes only if you meet the requirements to be considered unmarried or considered not in a domestic partnership.

Exception: If you file a joint tax return for federal purposes, you may file separately for California if either spouse was:

  • An active member of the United States armed forces or any auxiliary military branch during 2017.
  • A nonresident for the entire year and had no income from California sources during 2017.

    Community Property States: If the spouse earning the California source income is domiciled in a community property state, community income will be split equally between the spouses. Both spouses will have California source income and they will not qualify for the nonresident spouse exception.

If you had no federal filing requirement, use the same filing status for California that you would have used to file a federal income tax return.

If you filed a joint tax return and either you or your spouse/RDP was a nonresident for 2017, file the Long or Short Form 540NR, California Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return.

Single

You are single if any of the following was true on December 31, 2017:

  • You were not married or an RDP.
  • You were divorced under a final decree of divorce, legally separated under a final decree of legal separation, or terminated your registered domestic partnership.
  • You were widowed before January 1, 2017, and did not remarry or enter into another registered domestic partnership in 2017.

Married/RDP Filing Jointly

You may file married/RDP filing jointly if any of the following is true:

  • You were married or an RDP as of December 31, 2017, even if you did not live with your spouse/RDP at the end of 2017.
  • Your spouse/RDP died in 2017 and you did not remarry or enter into another registered domestic partnership in 2017.
  • Your spouse/RDP died in 2018 before you filed a 2017 tax return.

Married/RDP Filing Separately

  • Community property rules apply to the division of income if you use the married/RDP filing separately status. For more information, get FTB Pub. 1031, Guidelines for Determining Resident Status, FTB Pub. 737, Tax Information for Registered Domestic Partners, or FTB Pub. 1032, Tax Information for Military Personnel. To get forms see “Order Forms and Publications” or go to ftb.ca.gov/forms.
  • You cannot claim a personal exemption credit for your spouse/RDP even if your spouse/RDP had no income, is not filing a tax return, and is not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.
  • You may be able to file as head of household if your child lived with you and you lived apart from your spouse/RDP during the entire last six months of 2017.

Head of Household

For the specific requirements that must be met to qualify for head of household (HOH) filing status, get FTB Pub. 1540, California Head of Household Filing Status. In general, head of household filing status is for unmarried individuals and certain married individuals or RDPs living apart who provide a home for a specified relative. You may be entitled to use head of household filing status if all of the following apply:

  • You were unmarried and not in a registered domestic partnership, or you met the requirements to be considered unmarried or considered not in a registered domestic partnership on December 31, 2017.
  • You paid more than one-half the cost of keeping up your home for the year in 2017.
  • For more than half the year, your home was the main home for you and one of the specified relatives who by law can qualify you for head of household filing status.
  • You were not a nonresident alien at any time during the year.

For a child to qualify as your foster child for head of household purposes, the child must either be placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by order of a court.

California requires taxpayers who use head of household filing status to file form FTB 3532, Head of Household Filing Status Schedule to report how the HOH filing status was determined.

For more information, get FTB Pub. 1540 at ftb.ca.gov/forms or see code 934 on page 95 to order FTB Pub.1540 by telephone.

Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child

Check the box on Form 540, line 5 and use the joint return tax rates for 2017 if all five of the following apply:

  • Your spouse/RDP died in 2015 or 2016 and you did not remarry or enter into another registered domestic partnership in 2017.
  • You have a child, stepchild, or adopted child (not a foster child) whom you can claim as a dependent or could claim as a dependent except that, for 2017:
    • The child had gross income of $4,050 or more;
    • The child filed a joint return, or
    • You could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return.
  • This child lived in your home for all of 2017. Temporary absences, such as for vacation or school, count as time lived in the home.
  • You paid over half the cost of keeping up your home for this child.
  • You could have filed a joint tax return with your spouse/RDP the year he or she died, even if you actually did not do so.

What’s New and Other Important Information for 2017

Differences between California and Federal Law

In general, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, California law conforms to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) as of January 1, 2015. However, there are continuing differences between California and federal law. When California conforms to federal tax law changes, we do not always adopt all of the changes made at the federal level. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for conformity. Additional information can be found in FTB Pub. 1001, Supplemental Guidelines to California Adjustments, the instructions for California Schedule CA (540), and the Business Entity tax booklets.

The instructions provided with California tax forms are a summary of California tax law and are only intended to aid taxpayers in preparing their state income tax returns. We include information that is most useful to the greatest number of taxpayers in the limited space available. It is not possible to include all requirements of the California Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC) in the instructions. Taxpayers should not consider the instructions as authoritative law.

Conformity

For updates regarding federal acts, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for conformity.

2017 Tax Law Changes/What’s New

Voluntary Contributions

You may contribute to the following new funds:

  • California YMCA Youth and Government Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund
  • Habitat for Humanity Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund
  • California Senior Citizen Advocacy Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund
  • Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund
  • Rape Backlog Kit Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Wrongful Incarceration Exclusion

California law conforms to federal law excluding from gross income certain amounts received by wrongfully incarcerated individuals for taxable years beginning before, on, or after January 1, 2018. If you included income for wrongful incarceration in a prior taxable year, you can file an amended California personal income tax return for that year. If the normal statute of limitations has expired, you must file a claim by January 1, 2019.

College Access Tax Credit

For taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2017, and before January 1, 2023, the College Access Tax Credit (CATC) is available to entities awarded the credit from the California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA). The credit is 50% of the amount contributed by the taxpayer for the taxable year to the College Access Tax Credit Fund. The amount of the credit is allocated and certified by the CEFA. For more information go to the CEFA website at treasurer.ca.gov and search for catc.

Schedule X, California Explanation of Amended Return Changes

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, Schedule X has replaced Form 540X, Amended Individual Income Tax Return. For additional information, see “Instructions for Filing a 2017 Amended Return” on page 29.

Improper Withholding on Severance Paid to Veterans

The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016 gives veterans who retired from the Armed Forces for medical reasons additional time to claim a refund if they had taxes improperly withheld from their severance pay. If you filed an amended return with the IRS on this issue, you have two years to file your amended California return.

New Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables Credit

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017 and before January 1, 2022, qualified taxpayers may claim the New Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables Credit. This tax credit is for donations of fresh fruits or vegetables made to California food banks. The amount of the tax credit is 15% of the qualified value of the donated item, based on weighted average wholesale price. The credit may be claimed only on a timely filed original return. However, any credit not used in the taxable year may be carried forward up to seven years. For more information, get form FTB 3814, New Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables Credit.

California Earned Income Tax Credit

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, California conforms to federal law to include in the definition of earned income net earnings from self employment. Earned income thresholds have also increased. You may now qualify for the refundable EITC if you have earned income of less than $22,323. Additional information can be found on form FTB 3514, California Earned Income Tax Credit.

Other Important Information

Low-Income Housing Credit Allocations to Partners

For partnerships owning projects that receive a preliminary reservation of the Low-Income Housing Credit (LIHC) before January 1, 2020, the prior law exception that requires a partnership to allocate the credit among partners based upon the partnership agreement is re-enacted.

Sale of Credit

For projects that receive a preliminary reservation of the LIHC beginning on or after January 1, 2016, and before January 1, 2020, a taxpayer may make an irrevocable election in its application to the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee to sell all or any portion of the LIHC allowed to one or more unrelated parties for each taxable year in which the credit is allowed. An original purchaser is allowed a one-time resale of that credit to one or more unrelated parties. For more information, get form FTB 3521, Low-Income Housing Credit, or go to the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee website at treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac.

California Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, the California Qualified ABLE Program was established and California generally conforms to the federal income tax treatment of ABLE accounts. This program was established to help blind or disabled U.S. residents save money in a tax-favored ABLE account to maintain health, independence, and quality of life. Additional information can be found in the instructions of Form 3805P, Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts.

New California Motion Picture and Television Production Credit

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, a new California motion picture and television production credit will be allowed to a qualified taxpayer. The credit is allocated and certified by the California Film Commission (CFC). The qualified taxpayer can:

  • Offset the credit against income tax liability.
  • Sell the credit to an unrelated party (independent films only).
  • Assign the credit to an affiliated corporation.
  • Apply the credit against qualified sales and use taxes.

For more information, get form FTB 3541, California Motion Picture and Television Production Credit, form FTB 3551, Sale of Credit Attributable to an Independent Film, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for motion picture, or go to the CFC website at film.ca.gov and search for incentives.

Native American Income

California does not tax reservation sourced income earned or received from the same Indian country in which you live and are an enrolled member. Additional information can be found in the instructions for California Schedule CA (540) and form FTB 3504, Enrolled Tribal Member Certification.

Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW)

Make extension or estimated tax payments using tax preparation software. Check with your software provider to determine if they support EFW for extension or estimated tax payments.

Payments and Credits Applied to Use Tax

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, if a taxpayer includes use tax on their personal income tax return, payments and credits will be applied to use tax first, then towards income tax, interest, and penalties. Additional information can be found in the instructions for California Form 540.

Dependent Social Security Number (SSN)

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, taxpayers claiming an exemption credit must write each dependent’s SSN in the spaces provided within Line 10 for the California Form 540 and California Form 540NR (long and short).

Financial Incentive for Seismic Improvement

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, taxpayers can exclude from gross income any amount received as loan forgiveness, grant, credit, rebate, voucher, or other financial incentive issued by the California Residential Mitigation Program or the California Earthquake Authority to assist a residential property owner or occupant with expenses paid, or obligations incurred, for earthquake loss mitigation. Additional information can be found in the instructions for California Schedule CA (540 and 540NR).

Natural Heritage Preservation Credit

For qualified contributions made on or after January 1, 2015, the credit carryover period has been extended to 15 years or until exhausted, whichever occurs first. Any unused credits remaining before January 1, 2015, will remain subject to an eight-year carryover provision. In addition, the period for when a qualified contribution is made, for which a tax credit will be allowed, has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Disaster Losses

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2024, taxpayers may deduct a disaster loss for any loss sustained in any city, county, or city and county in California that is proclaimed by the Governor to be in a state of emergency. For these Governor-only declared disasters, subsequent state legislation is not required to activate the disaster loss provisions. Additional information can be found in the instructions for California form FTB 3805V, Net Operating Loss (NOL) Computation and NOL and Disaster Loss Limitations – Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.

Head of Household

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, California requires taxpayers who use head of household (HOH) filing status to file form FTB 3532, Head of Household Filing Status Schedule, to report how the HOH filing status was determined.

Financial Incentive for Turf Removal

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2019, taxpayers can exclude from gross income any amount received as a rebate, voucher, or other financial incentive issued by a local water agency or supplier for participation in a turf removal water conservation program. Additional information can be found in the instructions for California Schedule CA (540 and 540NR).

Penalty Assessed by Professional Sports League

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, an owner of all or part of a professional sports franchise will not be allowed a deduction for the amount of any fine or penalty paid or incurred, that was assessed or imposed by the professional sports league that includes that franchise. Additional information can be found in the instructions for California Schedule CA (540 and 540NR).

New Employment Credit

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2021, the New Employment Credit (NEC) is available to a qualified taxpayer that hires a qualified full-time employee on or after January 1, 2014, and pays or incurs qualified wages attributable to work performed by the qualified full-time employee in a designated census tract or economic development area, and receives a tentative credit reservation for that qualified full-time employee. In addition, an annual certification of employment is required with respect to each qualified full-time employee hired in a previous taxable year. In order to be allowed a credit, the qualified taxpayer must have a net increase in the total number of full-time employees in California. Any credits not used in the taxable year may be carried forward up to five years. If a qualified employee is terminated within the first 36 months after beginning employment, the employer may be required to recapture previously taken credits. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for nec or get form FTB 3554, New Employment Credit.

Repeal of Geographically Targeted Economic Development Area Tax Incentives

The California legislature repealed and made changes to all of the Geographically Targeted Economic Development Area (G-TEDA) Tax Incentives. Enterprise Zones (EZ) and Local Agency Military Base Recovery Areas (LAMBRA) were repealed on January 1, 2014. The Targeted Tax Areas (TTA) and Manufacturing Enhancement Areas (MEA) both expired on December 31, 2012. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for repeal tax incentives.

California Competes Tax Credit

For taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2025, the California Competes Tax Credit is available to businesses that want to come to California or stay and grow in California. Tax credit agreements will be negotiated by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and approved by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee. The California Competes Tax Credit only applies to state income or franchise tax. Taxpayers who are awarded a contract by the committee will claim the credit on their income or franchise tax returns using credit code 233. The credit can reduce tax below the tentative minimum tax. Any credits not used in the taxable year may be carried forward up to six years. For more information, go to the GO-Biz website at business.ca.gov or ftb.ca.gov and search for ca competes or get form FTB 3531, California Competes Tax Credit.

Like-Kind Exchanges

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, California requires taxpayers who exchange property located in California for like-kind property located outside of California, and meet all of the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code Section 1031, to file an annual information return with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). For more information, get form FTB 3840, California Like-Kind Exchanges, or go to ftb.ca.gov and search for like kind.

Cancellation of Debt Income (CODI)

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2019, California did not conform to the federal recognition of business debt reacquisition CODI under IRC Section 108(i). If you recognized the CODI for federal tax purposes, then you must deduct the federal CODI amount. See Schedule CA (540) line 12 instructions for more information.

Net Operating Loss (NOL) Carryback

NOLs incurred in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, shall be carried back to each of the preceding two taxable years.

The allowable NOL carryback percentage varies. For an NOL incurred in a taxable year beginning on or after:

  • January 1, 2013, and before January 1, 2014, the carryback amount shall not exceed 50% of the NOL.
  • January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015, the carryback amount shall not exceed 75% of the NOL.
  • January 1, 2015, the carryback amount shall be 100% of the NOL.

Individuals, Estates, and Trusts compute the NOL carryback in Part IV of form FTB 3805V. For more information, get form FTB 3805V.

Election to Waive Carryback

Any taxpayer entitled to a carryback period pursuant to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 172(b)(3) may elect to relinquish/waive the entire carryback period with respect to an NOL incurred in the 2013 taxable year. By making the election, the taxpayer is electing to carry an NOL forward instead of carrying it back in the previous two years.

To make the election, check the box in Part I under Section C – Election to Waive Carryback, of form FTB 3805V, and attach form FTB 3805V to the tax return. For more information, get form FTB 3805V.

Mandatory Electronic Payments

You are required to remit all your payments electronically once you make an estimate or extension payment exceeding $20,000 or you file an original tax return with a total tax liability over $80,000. Once you meet this threshold, all subsequent payments regardless of amount, tax type, or taxable year must be remitted electronically. The first payment that would trigger the mandatory e-pay requirement does not have to be made electronically. Individuals that do not send the payment electronically will be subject to a 1% noncompliance penalty.

You can request a waiver from mandatory e-pay if one or more of the following is true:

  • You have not made an estimated tax or extension payment in excess of $20,000 during the current or previous taxable year.
  • Your total tax liability reported for the previous taxable year did not exceed $80,000.
  • The amount you paid is not representative of your total tax liability.

For more information or to obtain the waiver form, go to ftb.ca.gov/e-pay. Electronic payments can be made using Web Pay on FTB’s website, electronic funds withdrawal (EFW) as part of the e-file return, or your credit card.

Estimated Tax Payments

Taxpayers are required to pay 30% of the required annual payment for the 1st required installment, 40% of the required annual payment for the 2nd required installment, no installment is due for the 3rd required installment, and 30% of the required annual payment for the 4th required installment.

Taxpayers with a tax liability less than $500 ($250 for married/RDP filing separately) do not need to make estimated tax payments.

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief

California law does not conform to federal law regarding the discharge of indebtedness from the disposition of your principal residence occuring on or after January 1, 2014. For more information, get Schedule CA (540).

Backup Withholding

With certain limited exceptions, payers that are required to withhold and remit backup withholding to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are also required to withhold and remit to the FTB on income sourced to California. If the payee has backup withholding, the payee must contact the FTB to provide a valid taxpayer identification number, before filing the tax return. Failure to provide a valid taxpayer identification number may result in a denial of the backup withholding credit. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for backup withholding.

Registered Domestic Partners (RDP)

Under California law, RDPs must file their California income tax return using either the married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately filing status. RDPs have the same legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities as married couples unless otherwise specified.

If you entered into a same sex legal union in another state, other than a marriage, and that union has been determined to be substantially equivalent to a California registered domestic partnership, you are required to file a California income tax return using either the married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately filing status.

For purposes of California income tax, references to a spouse, husband, or wife also refer to a California RDP, unless otherwise specified. When we use the initials RDP they refer to both a California registered domestic “partner” and a California registered domestic “partnership,” as applicable. For more information on RDPs, get FTB Pub. 737, Tax Information for Registered Domestic Partners.

Direct Deposit Refund

You can request a direct deposit refund on your tax return whether you e-file or file a paper tax return. Be sure to fill in the routing and account numbers carefully and double-check the numbers for accuracy to avoid it being rejected by your bank.

Direct Deposit for ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plans

If you have a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan account maintained by the ScholarShare Investment Board, you may have your refund directly deposited to your ScholarShare account.

California Disclosure Obligations

If the individual was involved in a reportable transaction, including a listed transaction, the individual may have a disclosure requirement. Attach federal Form 8886, Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement, to the back of the California tax return along with any other supporting schedules. If this is the first time the reportable transaction is disclosed on the tax return, send a duplicate copy of the federal Form 8886 to the address below. The FTB may impose penalties if the individual fails to file federal Form 8886, or fails to provide any other required information. A material advisor is required to provide a reportable transaction number to all taxpayers and material advisors for whom the material advisor acts as a material advisor.

TAX SHELTER FILING
ATSU 398 MS F385
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 1673
SACRAMENTO CA 95812-9900

For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for disclosure obligation.

Which Form Should I Use?

Tip: e-file and you won’t have to decide which form to use! The software will select the correct form for you.

Were you and your spouse/RDP residents during the entire year 2017?

  • Yes. Check the chart below to see which form to use.
  • No. Use the Long or Short Form 540NR. To download or order the California Nonresident or Part‑Year Resident Income Tax Booklet, go to ftb.ca.gov/forms or see, “Where to Get Income Tax Forms and Publications.”
  Form 540 2EZ

Form not included in this booklet. If you qualify to use Form 540 2EZ, see “Where To Get Income Tax Forms and Publications” to download or order this form.

Form 540
Filing Status Single, married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, qualifying widow(er) Any filing status
Dependents 0-3 allowed All dependents you are entitled to claim
Amount of Income Total income of:
  • $100,000 or less if single or head of household
  • $200,000 or less if married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)

You cannot use Form 540 2EZ if you (or your spouse/RDP) can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, and your TOTAL income is less than or equal to $14,086 if single; $28,122 if married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); or $19,922 if head of household.

Any amount of income
Sources of Income Only income from:
  • Wages, salaries, and tips
  • Taxable interest, dividends, and pensions
  • Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants (only if reported on Form(s) W-2)
  • Capital gains from mutual funds (reported on Form 1099-DIV, box 2a only)
  • Unemployment compensation reported on Form 1099-G
  • Paid Family Leave Insurance
  • U.S. social security benefits
  • Tier 1 and tier 2 railroad retirement payments
All sources of income
Adjustments to Income No adjustments to income All adjustments to income
Standard Deduction Allowed Allowed
Itemized Deductions No itemized deductions All itemized deductions
Payments Only withholding shown on Form(s) W-2 and 1099-R
  • Withholding from all sources
  • Estimated tax payments
  • Payments made with extension
  • Excess State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI)
Tax Credits
  • California earned income tax credit
  • Personal exemption credit
  • Senior exemption credit
  • Up to three dependent exemption credits
  • Nonrefundable renter’s credit
All tax credits
Other Taxes Only tax computed using the 540 2EZ Table All taxes

Tip:

If you qualify to use Form 540 2EZ, you may be eligible to use CalFile.

Visit ftb.ca.gov and search for calfile. It’s fast, easy, and free.

If you don’t qualify for CalFile, you qualify for e-file.

Go to ftb.ca.gov and search for efile options.

2017 Instructions for Form 540 — California Resident Income Tax Return

References in these instructions are to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) as of January 1, 2015, and the California Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC).

Before You Begin

Complete your federal income tax return (Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ) before you begin your Form 540, California Resident Income Tax Return. Use information from your federal income tax return to complete your Form 540. Complete and mail Form 540 by April 17, 2018. Due to the federal Emancipation Day holiday on April 16, 2018, tax returns filed and payments mailed or submitted on April 17, 2018, will be considered timely. If unable to mail your tax return by this date, see page 2.

Tip: You may qualify for the federal earned income credit. See page 2 for more information.

Note: The lines on Form 540 are numbered with gaps in the line number sequence. For example, lines 20 through 30 do not appear on Form 540, so the line number that follows line 19 on Form 540 is line 31.

Caution: Form 540 has five sides. When filing Form 540, you must send all five sides to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

If you need to amend your California resident income tax return, check the box at the top of Form 540 indicating AMENDED return and attach Schedule X, California Explanation of Amended Return Changes. For specific instructions, see “Instructions for Filing a 2017 Amended Return” on page 29.

Filling in Your Tax Return

  • Use black or blue ink on the tax return you send to the FTB.
  • Enter your social security number(s) or individual taxpayer identification number(s) at the top of Form 540, Side 1.
  • Print numbers and CAPITAL LETTERS between the combed lines. Be sure to line up dollar amounts.
  • If you do not have an entry for a line, leave it blank unless the instructions for a line specifically tell you to enter -0-. Do not enter a dash, or the word “NONE.”

Name(s) and Address

Print your first name, middle initial, last name, and street address in the spaces provided at the top of the form.

Suffix

Use the Suffix field for generational name suffixes such as “SR”, “JR”, “III”, “IV”. Do not enter academic, professional, or honorary suffixes.

Additional Information

Use the Additional Information field for “In-Care-Of” name and other supplemental address information only.

Foreign Address

If you have a foreign address, follow the country’s practice for entering the city, county, province, state, country, and postal code, as applicable, in the appropriate boxes. Do not abbreviate the country name.

Principal Business Activity (PBA) Code

For federal Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship) business filers, enter the numeric PBA code from federal Schedule C (Form 1040), line B.

Date of Birth (DOB)

Enter your DOBs (mm/dd/yyyy) in the spaces provided. If your filing status is married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately, enter the DOBs in the same order as the names.

Prior Name

If you or your spouse/RDP filed your 2016 tax return under a different last name, write the last name only from the 2016 tax return.

Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Enter your SSN in the spaces provided. If filing a joint tax return, enter the SSNs in the same order as the names.

If you do not have an SSN because you are a nonresident or resident alien for federal tax purposes, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued you an ITIN, enter the ITIN in the space for the SSN. An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS to foreign nationals and others who have a federal tax filing requirement and do not qualify for an SSN. It is a nine-digit number that always starts with the number 9.

Filing Status

Line 1 through Line 5 – Filing Status

Check only one box for line 1 through line 5. Enter the required additional information if you checked the box on line 3 or line 5. For filing status requirements, see page 3.

Use the same filing status for California that you used for your federal income tax return.

Exception: If you file a joint tax return for federal, you may file separately for California if either spouse was:

  • An active member of the United States armed forces or any auxiliary military branch during 2017.
  • A nonresident for the entire year and had no income from California sources during 2017.

    Caution – Community Property States: If the spouse earning the California source income is domiciled in a community property state, community income will be split equally between the spouses. Both spouses will have California source income and they will not qualify for the nonresident spouse exception.

If you had no federal filing requirement, use the same filing status for California you would have used to file a federal income tax return.

Registered domestic partners (RDPs) who file single for federal must file married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately for California. If you are an RDP and file head of household for federal purposes, you may file head of household for California purposes only if you meet the requirements to be considered unmarried or considered not in a domestic partnership.

If you filed a joint tax return and either you or your spouse/RDP was a nonresident for 2017, you must file the Long or Short Form 540NR, California Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return.

Exemptions

Line 6 – Can be Claimed as Dependent

Automated Phone code: 601

Check the box on line 6 if someone else can claim you or your spouse/RDP as a dependent on their tax return, even if they chose not to.

Line 7 – Personal Exemptions

Did you check the box on line 6?

No
Follow the instructions on line 7.
Yes
Ignore the instructions on line 7. Instead, enter in the box on line 7 the amount shown below for your filing status:
  • Single or married/RDP filing separately, enter -0-.
  • Head of household, enter -0-.
  • Married/RDP filing jointly and both you and your spouse/RDP can be claimed as dependents, enter -0-.
  • Married/RDP filing jointly and only one spouse/RDP can be claimed as a dependent, enter 1.

Do not claim this credit if someone else can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

Line 8 – Blind Exemptions

The first year you claim this exemption credit, attach a doctor’s statement to the back of Form 540 indicating you or your spouse/RDP are visually impaired. If you e-file, attach any requested forms, schedules and documents according to your software’s instructions. Visually impaired means not capable of seeing better than 20/200 while wearing glasses or contact lenses, or if your field of vision is not more than 20 degrees.

Do not claim this credit if someone else can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

Line 9 – Senior Exemptions

If you were 65 years of age or older by December 31, 2017,* you should claim an additional exemption credit on line 9. If you are married/or an RDP, each spouse/RDP 65 years of age or older should claim an additional credit. You may contribute all or part of this credit to the California Seniors Special Fund. See “Voluntary Contribution Fund Descriptions” for more information.

*If your 65th birthday is on January 1, 2018, you are considered to be age 65 on December 31, 2017.

Do not claim this credit if someone else can claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

Line 10 – Dependent Exemptions

To claim an exemption credit for each of your dependents, you must write each dependent’s first and last name, SSN and relationship to you in the space provided. If you are claiming more than three dependents, attach a statement with the required dependent information to your tax return. Count the number of dependents listed and enter the total in the box on line 10. Multiply the number you entered by the pre-printed dollar amount and enter the result.

If your dependent child was born and died in 2017 and you do not have an SSN for the child, enter “Died” in the space provided for the SSN and include a copy of the child’s birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records. The document must show the child was born alive. If you e-file, attach any requested forms, schedules and documents according to your software’s instructions.

Line 11 – Exemption Amount

Add line 7 through line 10 and enter the total dollar amount of all exemptions for personal, blind, senior, and dependent.

Taxable Income

Refer to your completed federal income tax return to complete this section.

Line 12 – State Wages

Automated Phone code: 204

Enter the total amount of your state wages from all states from each of your Form(s) W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. This amount appears on Form W-2, box 16.

If you received wages and do not have a Form W-2, see “Attachments to your tax return.”

Line 13 – Federal Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from Form 1040, line 37; 1040A, line 21; or 1040EZ, line 4

RDPs who file a California tax return as married/RDP filing jointly and have no RDP adjustments between federal and California, combine their individual AGIs from their federal tax returns filed with the IRS. Enter the combined AGI on line 13.

RDP adjustments include but are not limited to the following:

  • Transfer of property between spouses/RDPs
  • Capital loss
  • Transactions between spouses/RDPs
  • Sale of residence
  • Dependent care assistance
  • Investment interest
  • Qualified residence interest acquisition loan & equity loan
  • Expense depreciation property limits
  • Individual Retirement Account
  • Interest education loan
  • Rental real estate passive loss
  • Rollover of publicly traded securities gain into specialized small business investment companies

RDPs filing as married/RDP filing separately, former RDPs filing separately, and RDPs with RDP adjustments will use the California RDP Adjustments Worksheet in FTB Pub. 737, Tax Information for Registered Domestic Partners, or complete a federal pro forma Form 1040. Transfer the amount from the California RDP Adjustments Worksheet, line 37, column D, or federal pro forma Form 1040, line 37, to Form 540, line 13.

Line 14 – California Adjustments – Subtractions [from Schedule CA (540), line 37, column B]

If there are no differences between your federal and California income or deductions, do not file a Schedule CA (540), California Adjustments — Residents.

If there are differences between your federal and California income, i.e. social security, complete Schedule CA (540). Follow the instructions for Schedule CA (540). Enter on line 14 the amount from Schedule CA (540), line 37, column B. If a negative amount, see Schedule CA (540), line 37 instructions.

Line 15 – Subtotal

Subtract the amount on line 14 from the amount on line 13. Enter the result on line 15. If the amount on line 13 is less than zero, combine the amounts on line 13 and line 14 and enter the result in parentheses. For example: “(12,325).”

Line 16 – California Adjustments – Additions [from Schedule CA (540), line 37, column C]

If there are differences between your federal and California deductions, complete Schedule CA (540). Follow the instructions for Schedule CA (540). Enter on line 16 the amount from Schedule CA (540), line 37, column C. If a negative amount, see Schedule CA (540), line 37 instructions.

Line 18 – California Itemized Deductions or California Standard Deduction

Decide whether to itemize your charitable contributions, medical expenses, mortgage interest paid, taxes, etc., or take the standard deduction. Your California income tax will be less if you take the larger of:

  • Your California itemized deductions.
  • Your California standard deduction.

California itemized deductions may be limited based on federal AGI. To compute limitations, use Schedule CA (540). RDPs use your recalculated federal AGI to figure your itemized deductions.

On federal tax returns, individual taxpayers who claim the standard deduction are allowed an additional deduction for net disaster losses. For California, deductions for disaster losses are only allowed for those individual taxpayers who itemized their deductions.

If married/or an RDP and filing separate tax returns, you and your spouse/RDP must either both itemize your deductions (even if the itemized deductions of one spouse/RDP are less than the standard deduction) or both take the standard deduction.

If someone else can claim you as a dependent, you may claim the greater of the standard deduction or your itemized deductions. To figure your standard deduction, use the Form 540 – California Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents.

Itemized deductions.

Figure your California itemized deductions by completing Schedule CA (540), Part II, line 38 through line 44. Enter the result on Form 540, line 18.

If you did not itemize deductions on your federal income tax return but will itemize deductions for your Form 540, first complete federal Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions. Then complete Schedule CA (540), Part II, line 38 through line 44. Attach both the federal Schedule A (Form 1040) and California Schedule CA (540) to the back of your tax return.

Standard deduction.

Find your standard deduction on the California Standard Deduction Chart for Most People. If you checked the box on Form 540, line 6, use the California Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents.

California Standard Deduction Chart for Most People

Do not use this chart if your parent, or someone else, can claim you (or your spouse/RDP) as a dependent on their tax return.

Your Filing Status Enter On Line 18
1 – Single $4,236
2 – Married/RDP filing jointly $8,472
3 – Married/RDP filing separately $4,236
4 – Head of household $8,472
5 – Qualifying widow(er) $8,472

The California standard deduction amounts are less than the federal standard deduction amounts.

California Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents

Use this worksheet only if your parent, or someone else, can claim you (or your spouse/RDP) as a dependent on their return. Use whole dollars only.

  1. Enter your earned income from: line 1 of the “Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents’’ in the instructions for federal Form 1040; Form 1040A; or from line A of the worksheet on the back of Form 1040EZ.
  2. Minimum standard deduction: $1,050.00.
  3. Enter the larger of line 1 or line 2 here.
  4. Enter the amount shown for your filing status:
    • Single or married/RDP filing separately, enter $4,236.
    • Married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, or qualifying widow(er), enter $8,472.
  5. Standard deduction. Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 4 here and on Form 540, line 18.

Line 19 – Taxable Income

Capital Construction Fund (CCF)

If you claim a deduction on your federal Form 1040, line 43 for the contribution made to a capital construction fund set up under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, reduce the amount you would otherwise enter on line 19 by the amount of the deduction. Next to line 19, enter “CCF” and the amount of the deduction. For details, see federal Publication 595, Capital Construction Fund for Commercial Fishermen.

Tax

When figuring your tax, use the correct filing status and taxable income amount.

Line 31 – Tax

To figure your tax, use one of the following methods and check the matching box on line 31:

  • Tax Table. If your taxable income on line 19 is $100,000 or less, use the tax table beginning on page 87. Use the correct filing status column in the tax table.
  • Tax Rate Schedules. If your taxable income on line 19 is over $100,000, use the tax rate schedule for your filing status on page 92.
  • FTB 3800. Generally, use form FTB 3800, Tax Computation for Certain Children with Investment Income, to figure the tax on a separate Form 540 for your child who was 18 and under or a student under age 24 on January 1, 2018, and who had more than $2,100 of investment income. Attach form FTB 3800 to the child’s Form 540.
  • FTB 3803. If, as a parent, you elect to report your child’s interest and dividend income of $10,500 or less (but not less than $1,050) on your tax return, complete form FTB 3803, Parents’ Election to Report Child’s Interest and Dividends. File a separate form FTB 3803 for each child whose income you elect to include on your Form 540. Add the amount of tax, if any, from each form FTB 3803, line 9, to the amount of your tax from the tax table or tax rate schedules and enter the result on Form 540, line 31. Attach form(s) FTB 3803 to your tax return.

To prevent possible delays in processing your tax return or refund, enter the correct tax amount on this line. To automatically figure your tax or to verify your tax calculation, use our online tax calculator. Go to ftb.ca.gov/tax-rates.

Tip: CalFile or e-file and you won’t have to do the math. Go to ftb.ca.gov and search for efile.

Line 32 – Exemption Credits

Exemption credits reduce your tax. If your federal adjusted gross income (AGI) on line 13 is more than the amount shown below for your filing status, your credits will be limited.

For purposes of computing limitations based upon AGI, RDPs, recalculate their AGI using a federal pro forma or California RDP Adjustments Worksheet (located in FTB Pub. 737). If your recalculated federal AGI is more than the amount shown below for your filing status, your credits will be limited.

If your filing status is: Is line 13 more than:
Single or married/RDP filing separately $187,203
Married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) $374,411
Head of household $280,808
Yes
Complete the AGI Limitation Worksheet below.
No
Follow the instructions on Form 540, line 32.
AGI Limitation Worksheet

Use whole dollars only.

  1. Enter the amount from line 13.
  2. Enter the amount for your filing status on line b:
    • Single or married/RDP filing separately: $187,203
    • Married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er): $374,411
    • Head of household: $280,808
  3. Subtract line b from line a.
  4. Divide line c by $2,500 ($1,250 if married/RDP filing separately). If the result is not a whole number, round it to the next higher whole number.
  5. Multiply line d by $6.
  6. Add the numbers from the boxes on lines 7, 8, and 9 (not the dollar amounts).
  7. Multiply line e by line f.
  8. Add the total dollar amount from lines 7, 8, and 9.
  9. Subtract line g from line h. If zero or less, enter -0-.
  10. Enter the number from the box on line 10 (not the dollar amount).
  11. Multiply line e by line j.
  12. Enter the dollar amount from line 10.
  13. Subtract line k from line l. If zero or less, enter -0-.
  14. Add line i and line m. Enter the result here and on line 32.

Line 34 – Tax from Schedule G-1 and Form FTB 5870A

If you received a qualified lump-sum distribution in 2017 and you were born before January 2, 1936, get California Schedule G-1, Tax on Lump-Sum Distributions to figure your tax by special methods that may result in less tax.

If you received accumulation distributions from foreign trusts or from certain domestic trusts, get form FTB 5870A, Tax on Accumulation Distribution of Trusts, to figure the additional tax.

To get these forms, see “Order Forms and Publications.”

Special Credits and Nonrefundable Credits

A variety of California tax credits are available to reduce your tax if you qualify. To figure and claim most special credits, you must complete a separate form or schedule and attach it to your Form 540. The Credit Chart on page 25 describes the credits and provides the name, credit code, and number of the required form or schedule. Many credits are limited to a certain percentage or a certain dollar amount. In addition, the total amount you may claim for all credits is limited by tentative minimum tax (TMT); go to Box A to see if your credits are limited.

If you are not claiming any special credits go to line 40 and line 46 to see if you qualify for the nonrefundable child and dependent care expenses credit or the nonrefundable renter’s credit.

Box A

Did you complete federal Schedule C, D, E, or F and claim or receive any of the following (Note: If your business gross receipts are less than $1,000,000 from all trades or businesses, you do not have to report alternative minimum tax (AMT). For more information, see line 61 instructions.):

  • Accelerated depreciation in excess of straight-line
  • Intangible drilling costs
  • Depletion
  • Circulation expenditures
  • Research and experimental expenditures
  • Mining exploration/development costs
  • Amortization of pollution control facilities
  • Income/loss from tax shelter farm activities
  • Income/loss from passive activities
  • Income from long-term contracts using the percentage of completion method
  • Pass-through AMT adjustment from an estate or trust reported on Schedule K-1 (541)
Yes
Complete Schedule P (540). See “Order Forms and Publications.”
No
Go to Box B.

Box B

Did you claim or receive any of the following:

  • Investment interest expense. Automated Phone code: 226
  • Income from incentive stock options in excess of the amount reported on your tax return. Automated Phone code: 225
  • Income from installment sales of certain property
Yes
Complete Schedule P (540). See “Order Forms and Publications.”
No
Go to Box C.

Box C

If your filing status is: Is Form 540, line 17 more than:
Single or head of household $258,168
Married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) $344,225
Married/RDP filing separately $172,110
Yes
Complete Schedule P (540). See “Order Forms and Publications.”
No
Your credits are not limited. Go to the instructions for line 40.

Line 40 – Nonrefundable Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit

Claim this credit if you paid someone to care for your qualifying child under the age of 13, other dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for him or herself, or spouse/RDP if physically or mentally incapable of caring for him or herself. The care must be provided in California. To claim this credit, your federal AGI must be $100,000 or less and you must complete and attach form FTB 3506, Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit, included in this booklet.

Line 43 through Line 45 – Additional Special Credits

A code identifies each credit. To claim only one or two credits, enter the credit name, code, and amount of the credit on line 43 and line 44.

To claim more than two credits, use Schedule P (540), Part III. See Schedule P (540) instructions, “How to Claim Your Credits.”

Important: Attach Schedule P (540) and any supporting schedules or statements to your Form 540.

Carryovers: If you claim a credit with carryover provisions and the amount of the credit available this year exceeds your tax, carry over any excess credit to future years until the credit is used (unless the carryover period is a fixed number of years). If you claim a credit carryover for an expired credit, use form FTB 3540, Credit Carryover and Recapture Summary, to figure the amount of the credit. Otherwise, enter the amount of the credit on Schedule P (540), Part III, and do not attach form FTB 3540.

Credit for Joint Custody Head of Household — Code 170

You may not claim this credit if you used the married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) filing status.

Claim the credit if unmarried and not an RDP at the end of 2017 (or if married/or an RDP, you lived apart from your spouse/RDP for all of 2017 and you used the married/RDP filing separately filing status); and if you furnished more than one-half the household expenses for your home that also served as the main home of your child, step-child, or grandchild for at least 146 days but not more than 219 days of the taxable year. If the child is married/or an RDP, you must be entitled to claim a dependent exemption credit for the child.

Also, the custody arrangement for the child must be part of a decree of dissolution or legal separation or part of a written agreement between the parents where the proceedings have been initiated, but a decree of dissolution or legal separation has not yet been issued.

Use the worksheet below to figure the Joint Custody Head of Household credit using whole dollars only.

  1. Enter the amount from Form 540, line 35.
  2. Credit percentage — 30%: × .30
  3. Credit amount. Multiply line 1 by line 2.
    Enter the result or $451, whichever is less.

If you qualify for the Credit for Joint Custody Head of Household and the Credit for Dependent Parent, claim only one credit. Select the credit that allows the maximum benefit.

Credit for Dependent Parent — Code 173

You may not claim the Credit for Dependent Parent if you used the single, head of household, qualifying widow(er), or married/RDP filing jointly filing status.

Claim this credit only if all of the following apply:

  • You were married/or an RDP at the end of 2017 and you used the married/RDP filing separately filing status.
  • Your spouse/RDP was not a member of your household during the last six months of the year.
  • You furnished over one-half the household expenses for your dependent mother’s or father’s home, whether or not she or he lived in your home.

To figure the amount of this credit, use the worksheet for the Credit for Joint Custody Head of Household. If you qualify for the Credit for Joint Custody Head of Household and the Credit for Dependent Parent, claim only one. Select the credit that will allow the maximum benefit.

Credit for Senior Head of Household — Code 163

You may claim this credit if you:

  • Were 65 years of age or older on December 31, 2017.*
  • Qualified as a head of household in 2015 or 2016 by providing a household for a qualifying individual who died during 2015 or 2016.
  • Did not have AGI over $73,226 for 2017.

*If your 65th birthday is on January 1, 2018, you are considered to be age 65 on December 31, 2017.

If you meet all the conditions listed above, you do not need to qualify to use the head of household filing status for 2017 in order to claim this credit.

Use this worksheet to figure this credit using whole dollars only.

  1. Enter the amount from Form 540, line 19.
  2. Credit percentage — 2%: × .02
  3. Credit amount. Multiply line 1 by line 2.
    Enter the result or $1,380, whichever is less.
Credit for Child Adoption Costs — Code 197

For the year in which an adoption decree or an order of adoption is entered (e.g., adoption is final), claim a credit for 50% of the cost of adopting a child who was both:

  • A citizen or legal resident of the United States.
  • In the custody of a California public agency or a California political subdivision.

Treat a prior unsuccessful attempt to adopt a child (even when the costs were incurred in a prior year) and a later successful adoption of a different child as one effort when computing the cost of adopting the child. Include the following costs if directly related to the adoption process:

  • Fees for Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency.
  • Medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance.
  • Travel expenses for the adoptive family.

Note:

  • This credit does not apply when a child is adopted from another country or another state, or was not in the custody of a California public agency or a California political subdivision.
  • Any deduction for the expenses used to claim this credit must be reduced by the amount of the child adoption costs credit claimed.

Use the worksheet below to figure this credit using whole dollars only. If more than one adoption qualifies for this credit, complete a separate worksheet for each adoption. The maximum credit is limited to $2,500 per minor child.

  1. Enter qualifying costs for the child.
  2. Credit percentage — 50%: x .50
  3. Credit amount. Multiply line 1 by line 2.
    Do not enter more than $2,500.

Your allowable credit is limited to $2,500 for 2017. Carry over the excess credit to future years until the credit is used.

Line 46 – Nonrefundable Renter’s Credit

If you paid rent for at least six months in 2017 on your principal residence located in California you may qualify to claim the nonrefundable renter’s credit which may reduce your tax. Complete the qualification record on page 22.

Line 48

Subtract the amount on line 47 from the amount on line 35. Enter the result on line 48. If the amount on line 47 is more than the amount on line 35, enter -0-.

Other Taxes

Attach the specific form or statement required for each item below.

Line 61 – Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

If you claim certain types of deductions, exclusions, and credits, you may owe AMT if your total income is more than:

  • $91,793 married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)
  • $68,846 single or head of household
  • $45,895 married/RDP filing separately

A child under age 19 or a student under age 24 may owe AMT if the sum of the amount on line 19 (taxable income) and any preference items listed on Schedule P (540) and included on the return is more than the sum of $7,500 and the child’s earned income.

AMT income does not include income, adjustments, and items of tax preference related to any trade or business of a qualified taxpayer who has gross receipts, less returns and allowances, during the taxable year of less than $1,000,000 from all trades or businesses.

Get Schedule P (540) for more information. See “Order Forms and Publications.”

Line 62 – Mental Health Services Tax

If your taxable income is more than $1,000,000, compute the Mental Health Services Tax using whole dollars only:

  1. Taxable income from Form 540, line 19.
  2. Less: $(1,000,000)
  3. Subtotal
  4. Tax rate – 1%: x .01
  5. Mental Health Services Tax – Multiply line 3 by line 4. Enter this amount here and on line 62.

Line 63 – Other Taxes and Credit Recapture

If you received an early distribution of a qualified retirement plan and were required to report additional tax on your federal tax return, you may also be required to report additional tax on your California tax return. Get form FTB 3805P, Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts. If required to report additional tax, report it on line 63 and write “FTB 3805P” to the left of the amount.

California conforms to federal law for income received under IRC Section 409A on a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan and discounted stock options and stock appreciation rights. Income received under IRC Section 409A is subject to an additional 5% tax of the amount required to be included in income plus interest. Include the additional tax, if any, on line 63. Write “NQDC” on the dotted line to the left of the amount.

If you owe interest on deferred tax from installment obligations, include the additional tax, if any, in the amount you enter on line 63. Write “IRC Section 453A interest” and the amount on the dotted line to the left of the amount on line 63.

If you used form(s):

  • FTB 3540, Credit Carryover and Recapture Summary
  • FTB 3554, New Employment Credit
  • FTB 3805Z, Enterprise Zone Deduction and Credit Summary
  • FTB 3807, Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area Deduction and Credit Summary
  • FTB 3808, Manufacturing Enhancement Area Credit Summary
  • FTB 3809, Targeted Tax Area Deduction and Credit Summary

Include the additional tax for credit recapture, if any, on line 63. Write the form number and the amount on the dotted line to the left of the amount on line 63.

Payments

To avoid a delay in the processing of your tax return, enter the correct amounts on line 71 through line 74.

Line 71 – California Income Tax Withheld

Enter the total California income tax withheld from your:

  • Form(s) W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, box 17
  • Form(s) W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, box 15
  • Form(s) 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions, box 14
  • Form(s) 1099-INT, Interest Income, box 17
  • Form(s) 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, box 16
  • Form(s) 1099-OID, Original Issue Discount, box 14
  • Form(s) 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement, or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., box 12

Do not include city, local, or county tax withheld, tax withheld by other states, or nonconsenting nonresident (NCNR) member’s tax from Schedule K-1 (568), line 15e. Do not include withholding from Forms 592-B, Resident and Nonresident Withholding Tax Statement, or Form 593, Real Estate Withholding Tax Statement, on this line. For more details, see instructions for line 73.

Generally, tax should not be withheld on federal Form 1099-MISC. If you want to pre-pay tax on income reported on federal Form 1099-MISC, use Form 540-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals.

Line 72 – 2017 CA Estimated Tax and Other Payments

Enter the total of any:

  • California estimated tax payments you made using 2017 Form 540-ES, electronic funds withdrawal, Web Pay, or credit card.
  • Overpayment from your 2016 California income tax return that you applied to your 2017 estimated tax.
  • Payment you sent with form FTB 3519, Payment for Automatic Extension for Individuals.
  • California estimated tax payments made on your behalf by an estate, trust, or S corporation on Schedule K-1 (541) or Schedule K-1 (100S).

Tip: To view payments made or get your current account balance, go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB.

If you and your spouse/RDP paid joint estimated taxes but are now filing separate income tax returns, either of you may claim the entire amount paid, or each may claim part of the joint estimated tax payments. If you want the estimated tax payments to be divided, notify the FTB before you file the tax returns so the payments can be applied to the proper account. The FTB will accept in writing, any divorce agreement (or court-ordered settlement) or a statement showing the allocation of the payments along with a notarized signature of both taxpayers.

Send statements to:

JOINT ESTIMATED CREDIT ALLOCATION MS F283
TAXPAYER SERVICES CENTER
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 942840
SACRAMENTO, CA 94240-0040

If you or your spouse/RDP made separate estimated tax payments, but are now filing a joint income tax return, add the amounts you each paid. Attach a statement to the front of Form 540 explaining that payments were made under both SSNs. If you e-file, attach any requested forms, schedules and according to your software’s instructions

You do not have to make estimated tax payments if you are a nonresident or new resident of California in 2018 and did not have a California tax liability in 2017.

Line 73 – Withholding (Form 592-B and/or 593)

Enter the total of California withholding from Form 592-B and Form 593. Attach a copy of Form(s) 592-B and 593 to the lower front of Form 540, Side 1.

If your filing status changed after escrow closed and before filing your California tax return, please contact us at 888.792.4900, prior to filing your California tax return, for instructions on how to claim your withholding credit.

Caution: Do not include withholding from federal Form(s) W-2, W-2G, or 1099, or NCNR member’s tax from Schedule K-1 (568), line 15e on this line.

Line 74 – Excess California SDI (or VPDI) Withheld

You may claim a credit for excess State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI) if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You had two or more California employers during 2017.
  • You received more than $110,902 in gross wages from California sources.
  • The amounts of SDI (or VPDI) withheld appear on your Form(s) W-2. Be sure to attach your Form(s) W-2 to the lower front of your Form 540.

If SDI (or VPDI) was withheld from your wages by a single employer, at more than 0.9% of your gross wages, you may not claim excess SDI (or VPDI) on your Form 540. Contact the employer for a refund.

To determine the amount to enter on line 74, complete the Excess SDI (or VPDI) Worksheet below. If married/RDP filing jointly, figure the amount of excess SDI (or VPDI) separately for each spouse/RDP.

Excess SDI (or VPDI) Worksheet

Use whole dollars only.

Follow the instructions below to figure the amount of excess SDI to enter on Form 540, line 74. If you are married/RDP and file a joint return, you must figure the amount of excess SDI (or VPDI) separately for each spouse/RDP.

  You Your Spouse/RDP
1. Add amounts of SDI (or VPDI) withheld shown on your Forms W-2. Enter the total here    
2. 2017 SDI (or VPDI) limit $998.12 $998.12
3. Excess SDI (or VPDI) withheld. Subtract line 2 from line 1. Enter the results here. Combine the amounts on line 3 and enter the total, in whole dollars only on line 74

If zero or less, enter -0- on line 74.

   

Line 75 – Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Enter your Earned Income Tax Credit from form FTB 3514, California Earned Income Tax Credit.

Line 76

For the Claim of Right credit, follow the reporting instructions in Schedule CA (540), line 41 under the Claim of Right.

Claim of Right: If you are claiming the tax credit on your California tax return, include the amount of the credit in the total for this line. Write in “IRC 1341” and the amount of the credit to the left of the amount column.

To determine if you are entitled to this credit, refer to your prior year California Form 540, Form 540NR (Long or Short), or Schedule CA (540 or 540NR) to verify the amount was included in your CA taxable income. If the amount repaid under a “Claim of Right” was not originally taxed by California, you are not entitled to claim the credit.

Use Tax

Line 91 – Use Tax.

You are required to enter a number on this line. If the amount due is zero, you must check the applicable box to indicate that you either owe no use tax, or you paid your use tax obligation directly to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (formerly known as the Board of Equalization).

You may owe use tax if you make purchases from out-of-state retailers (for example, purchases made by telephone, online, by mail, or in person) where California sales or use tax was not paid and you use those items in California.

If you have questions about whether a purchase is taxable, go to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s website at cdtfa.ca.gov, or call its Customer Service Center at 1.800.400.7115 or (TTY) 711 (for hearing and speech disabilities).

Some taxpayers are required to report business purchases subject to use tax directly to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. However, they may report certain personal purchases subject to use tax on the FTB income tax return.

You may not report business purchases subject to use tax on your income tax return if you:

  • Have or are required to hold a California seller’s permit.
  • Receive $100,000 or more per year in gross receipts from business operations.
  • Are otherwise registered or required to be registered with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to report use tax.

Note: You may not report use tax on your income tax return for certain types of transactions. These types of transactions are described in detail below in the instructions.

The Use Tax Worksheet and Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table will help you determine how much use tax to report. If you owe use tax but you do not report it on your income tax return, you must report and pay the tax to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. For information on how to report use tax directly to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, go to their website at cdtfa.ca.gov and type “Find Information About Use Tax” in the search bar.

Failure to report and pay timely may result in the assessment of interest, penalties, and fees.

See page 27 for a general explanation of California use tax.

Use Tax Worksheet

You must use the Use Tax Worksheet to calculate your use tax liability, if any of these apply:

  • You prefer to calculate the amount of use tax due based upon your actual purchases subject to use tax, rather than based on an estimate.
  • You owe use tax on any item purchased for use in a trade or business and you are not registered or required to be registered with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to report sales or use tax.
  • You owe use tax on purchases of individual items with a purchase price of $1,000 or more each.

Example 1:

You purchased a television for $2,000 from an out-of-state retailer that did not collect tax. You must use the Use Tax Worksheet to calculate the tax due on the price of the television, since the price of the television is $1,000 or more.

Example 2:

You purchased a computer monitor for $300, a rare coin for $500, and designer clothing for $250 from out-of-state retailers that did not collect tax. Although the total price of all the items is $1,050, the price of each item is less than $1,000. Since none of these individual items are $1,000 or more, you are not required to use the Use Tax Worksheet and may choose to use the Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table.

If you have a combination of individual non-business items purchased for $1,000 or more each, and/or items purchased for use in a trade or business in addition to individual, non-business items purchased for less than $1,000, you may either:

  • Use the Use Tax Worksheet to compute use tax due on all purchases, or
  • Use the Use Tax Worksheet to compute use tax due on all individual items purchased for $1,000 or more plus all items purchased for use in a trade or business. Use the Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table to estimate the use tax due on individual, non-business items purchased for less than $1,000, then add the amounts and report the total use tax on Line 91.

Example 3:

The total price of the items you purchased from out-of-state retailers that did not collect use tax is $2,300, which includes a $1,000 television, a $900 painting, and a $400 table for your living room.

  • You may choose to calculate the use tax due on the total price of $2,300 using the Use Tax Worksheet, or
  • You may choose to calculate the use tax due on the $1,000 price of the television using the Use Tax Worksheet and estimate your use tax liability for the painting and table by using the Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table, then add the amounts and report the total use tax on Line 91.

Use Tax Worksheet (See Instructions Below)

Use whole dollars only

  1. Enter purchases from out-of-state sellers made without payment of California sales/use tax. If you choose to estimate the use tax due on individual, non-business items purchased for less than $1,000 each, only enter purchases of items with a purchase price of $1,000 or more plus items purchased for use in a trade or business not registered with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
  2. Enter the applicable sales and use tax rate.
  3. Multiply Line 1 by the tax rate on Line 2. Enter result here.
  4. If you choose to estimate the use tax due on individual, non-business items purchased for less than $1,000 each, enter the use tax amount due from the Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table. If all of your purchases are included in Line 1, enter -0-.
  5. Add Lines 3 and 4. This is your total use tax.
  6. Enter any sales or use tax you paid to another state for purchases included on Line 1. See worksheet instructions on the next page.
  7. Subtract Line 6 from Line 5. This is the total use tax due. Enter the amount due on Line 91. If the amount is less than zero, enter -0-.
Worksheet, Line 1, Purchases Subject to Use Tax

Report purchases of items that would have been subject to sales tax if purchased from a California retailer unless your receipt shows that California tax was paid directly to the retailer. For example, generally, you would include purchases of clothing, but not exempt purchases of food products or prescription medicine. For more information on nontaxable and exempt purchases, you may visit the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s website at cdtfa.ca.gov.

  • Include handling charges.
  • Do not include any other state’s sales or use tax paid on the purchases.
  • Enter only purchases made during the year that corresponds with the tax return you are filing.
  • If you traveled to a foreign country and hand-carried items back to California, generally use tax is due on the purchase price of the goods you listed on your U.S. Customs Declaration less an $800 per-person exemption. For the hand carried items, you should report the amount of purchases in excess of the $800 per-person exemption. This $800 exemption does not apply to goods sent or shipped to California by mail or other common carrier. For goods sent or shipped, you should report the entire amount of the purchases.
  • If your filing status is “married/RDP filing separately,” you may elect to report one-half of the use tax due or the entire amount on your income tax return. If you elect to report one-half, your spouse/RDP may report the remaining half on his or her income tax return or on the individual use tax return available from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Note: You cannot report the following types of purchases on your income tax return.

  • Vehicles, vessels, and trailers that must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Mobile homes or commercial coaches that must be registered annually as required by the Health and Safety Code.
  • Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Aircraft.
  • Rental receipts from leasing machinery, equipment, vehicles, and other tangible personal property to your customers.
  • Cigarettes and tobacco products when the purchaser is registered with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration as a cigarette and/or tobacco products consumer.
Worksheet, Line 2, Sales and Use Tax Rate

Enter the sales and use tax rate applicable to the place in California where the property was used, stored, consumed, or given away. To find your sales and use tax rate, please go to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s website at cdtfa.ca.gov and type “City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates” in the search bar. You may also call their Customer Service Center at 800.400.7115 or (TTY) 711 (for hearing and speech disabilities).

Worksheet, Line 6, Credit for Tax Paid to Another State

This is a credit for tax paid to other states on purchases reported on Line 1. You cannot claim a credit for more than the amount of use tax that is imposed on your use of property in this state. For example, if you paid $8.00 sales tax to another state for a purchase, and would have paid $6.00 in California, you can claim a credit of only $6.00 for that purchase.

Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table

You may use the Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table to estimate and report the use tax due on individual non-business items you purchased for less than $1,000 each. This option is only available if you are permitted to report use tax on your income tax return and you are not required to use the Use Tax Worksheet to calculate the use tax owed on all your purchases. Simply include the use tax liability that corresponds to your California Adjusted Gross Income (found on Line 17) and enter it on Line 91. You will not be assessed additional use tax on the individual non business items you purchased for less than $1,000 each.

You may not use the Estimated Use Tax Lookup Table to estimate and report the use tax due on purchases of items for use in your business or on purchases of individual non-business items you purchased for $1,000 or more each. See the instructions for the Use Tax Worksheet if you have a combination of purchases of individual non-business items for less than $1,000 each and purchases of individual non-business items for $1,000 or more.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Range Use Tax Liability
Less Than $10,000 $2
$10,000 to $19,999 $6
$20,000 to $29,999 $10
$30,000 to $39,999 $14
$40,000 to $49,999 $18
$50,000 to $59,999 $23
$60,000 to $69,999 $27
$70,000 to $79,999 $31
$80,000 to $89,999 $35
$90,000 to $99,999 $39
$100,000 to $124,999 $46
$125,000 to $149,999 $56
$150,000 to $174,999 $67
$175,000 to $199,999 $77
More than $199,999 Multiply AGI by 0.041% (x0.00041)

Enter your use tax liability on Line 4 of the worksheet, or if you are not required to use the worksheet, enter the amount on Line 91 of your income tax return.

Overpaid Tax or Tax Due

To avoid delay in processing of your tax return, enter the correct amounts on line 94 through line 97.

If you received a refund for 2016, you may receive a federal Form 1099-G. The refund amount reported on your federal Form 1099-G will be different from the amount shown on your tax return if you claimed the refundable California Earned Income Tax Credit. This is because the credit is not part of the refund from withholding or estimated tax payments.

Line 94 – Overpaid Tax

If the amount on line 92 is more than the amount on line 64, your payments and credits are more than your tax. Subtract the amount on line 64 from the amount on line 92. Enter the result on line 94.

Line 95 – Amount You Want Applied to Your 2018 Estimated Tax

Apply all or part of the amount on line 94 to your estimated tax for 2018. Enter on line 95 the amount of line 94 that you want applied to your 2018 estimated tax.

An election to apply an overpayment to estimated tax is binding. Once the election is made, the overpayment cannot be applied to a deficiency after the due date of the tax return.

Line 96 – Overpaid Tax Available This Year

If you entered an amount on line 95, subtract it from the amount on line 94. Enter the result on line 96. Choose to have this entire amount refunded to you or make voluntary contributions from this amount. See “Voluntary Contribution Fund Descriptions” for more information.

Line 97 – Tax Due

If the amount on line 92 is less than the amount on line 64, subtract the amount on line 92 from the amount on line 64. Enter the result on line 97. Your tax is more than your payments and credits.

There is a penalty for not paying enough tax during the year. You may have to pay a penalty if:

  • The tax due on line 97 is $500 or more ($250 or more if married/RDP filing separately).
  • The amount of state income tax withheld on line 71 is less than 90% of the amount of your total tax on line 64.

If this applies to you, see instructions on line 113.

Increasing your withholding could eliminate the need to make a large payment with your tax return. To increase your withholding, complete EDD Form DE 4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and give it to your employer’s appropriate payroll staff. Get this form from your employer or by calling EDD at 888.745.3886. Download the DE 4 at edd.ca.gov or to use the online calculator, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for de 4.

Form DE 4 specifically adjusts your California state withholding and is not the same as the federal Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.

Contributions

You can make voluntary contributions to the funds listed on Side 4. See “Voluntary Contributions Fund Descriptions” for more information.

You may also contribute any amount to the State Parks Protection Fund/Parks Pass Purchase. To receive a single annual park pass, your contribution must equal or exceed $195. When applicable, FTB will forward your name and address from your tax return to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) who will issue a single Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass to you. Only one pass will be provided per tax return. You may contact DPR directly to purchase additional passes. If there is an error on your tax return in the computation of total contributions or if we disallow the contribution you requested because there is no credit available for the tax year, your name and address will not be forwarded to DPR. Any contribution less than $195 will be treated as a voluntary contribution and may be deducted as a charitable contribution. For more information go to parks.ca.gov/annualpass/ or email info@parks.ca.gov.

Amount You Owe

Add or subtract correctly to figure the amount you owe.

Line 111 – Amount You Owe

If you do not have an amount on line 96, add the amount on line 93, line 97, and line 110, if any. Enter the result on line 111.

If you have an amount on line 96 and the amount on line 110 is more than line 96, subtract line 96 from line 110 and enter the difference on line 111.

To avoid a late filing penalty, file your Form 540 by the extended due date even if you cannot pay the amount you owe.

Mandatory Electronic Payments

You are required to remit all your payments electronically once you make an estimate or extension payment exceeding $20,000 or you file an original return with a total tax liability over $80,000. Once you meet this threshold, all subsequent payments regardless of amount, tax type, or taxable year must be remitted electronically. The first payment that would trigger the mandatory e-pay requirement does not have to be made electronically. Individuals that do not send the payment electronically will be subject to a 1% noncompliance penalty.

You can request a waiver from mandatory e-pay if one or more of the following is true:

  • You have not made an estimated tax or extension payment in excess of $20,000 during the current or previous taxable year.
  • Your total tax liability reported for the previous taxable year did not exceed $80,000.
  • The amount you paid is not representative of your total tax liability.

Electronic payments can be made using Web Pay on FTB’s website, electronic funds withdrawal (EFW) as part of the e-file return, or your credit card. For more information or to obtain the waiver form, go to ftb.ca.gov/e-pay.

Payment Options
  • Electronic Funds Withdrawal – Instead of paying by check or money order, use this convenient option if you e-file. Simply provide your bank information, amount you want to pay, and the date you want the balance due to be withdrawn from your account. Your tax preparation software will offer this option.
  • Web Pay – Pay the amount you owe using our secure online payment service. Go to ftb.ca.gov/pay for more information.
  • Credit Card – Use your Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card to pay your tax. If you pay by credit card, do not mail form FTB 3519 to us. Call 800.272.9829 or go to the Official Payments Corp. website at officialpayments.com, and use the jurisdiction code 1555. Official Payments Corp. charges a convenience fee for using this service.
  • Check or Money Order – Using black or blue ink, make your check or money order payable to the “Franchise Tax Board.” Do not send cash or other items of value (such as stamps, lottery tickets, foreign currency, and gift cards). Write your SSN or ITIN and “2017 Form 540” as applicable on the check or money order. Enclose, but do not staple, your payment with your tax return.

    Make all checks or money orders payable in U.S. dollars and drawn against a U.S. financial institution. Do not combine your 2017 tax payment and any 2018 estimated tax payment in the same check. Prepare two separate checks and mail each in a separate envelope.

    If you e-filed your tax return, mail your check or money order with form FTB 3582, Payment Voucher for Individual e-filed Returns. Do not mail a copy of your e-filed tax return.

    A penalty may be imposed if your check is returned by your bank for insufficient funds.

Paying by Credit Card

Whether you e-file or file by mail, use your Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card to pay your personal income taxes (tax return balance due, extension payment, estimated tax payment, or tax due with bill notice). There is a convenience fee for this service. This fee is paid directly to Official Payments Corp. based on the amount of your tax payment.

Convenience Fee

  • 2.30% of the tax amount charged (rounded to the nearest cent)
  • Minimum fee: $1

Example:

  • Tax Payment = $753.56
  • Convenience Fee = $17.33

When will my payments be effective?

Your payment is effective on the date you charge it.

What if I change my mind?

If you pay your tax liability by credit card and later reverse the credit card transaction, you may be subject to penalties, interest, and other fees imposed by the FTB for nonpayment or late payment of your tax liability.

How do I use my credit card to pay my income tax bill?

Once you have determined the type of payment and how much you owe, have the following ready:

  • Your Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card
  • Credit card number
  • Expiration date
  • Amount you are paying
  • Your and your spouse’s/RDP’s SSN or ITIN
  • First 4 letters of your and your spouse’s/RDP’s last name
  • Taxable year
  • Home phone number (including area code)
  • ZIP Code for address where your monthly credit card bill is sent
  • FTB Jurisdiction Code: 1555

Go to the Official Payments Corp. online payment center at officialpayments.com or call 800.2PAY.TAX or 800.272.9829 and follow the recorded instructions. Official Payments Corp. provides customer assistance at 877.297.7457 Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST.

Payment Date:

Confirmation Number:

If you cannot pay the full amount or can only make a partial payment for the amount shown on Form 540, line 114, see the information regarding Installment Payments in “Frequently Asked Questions” included in this booklet.

Interest and Penalties

If you file your tax return or pay your tax after the due date, you may owe interest and penalties on the tax due.

Do not reduce the amount on line 94 or increase the amount on line 97 by any penalty or interest amounts. Enter on Form 540, line 112 the amount of interest and penalties.

Line 112 – Interest and Penalties

Interest

Interest will be charged on any late filing or late payment penalty from the original due date of the return to the date paid. In addition, if other penalties are not paid within 15 days, interest will be charged from the date of the billing notice until the date of payment. Interest compounds daily and the interest rate is adjusted twice a year. The FTB website has a chart of interest rates in effect since 1976. Go to ftb.ca.gov and search for interest rates.

Late Filing of Tax Return

If you do not file your tax return by October 15, 2018, you will incur a late filing penalty plus interest from the original due date of the tax return. The maximum total penalty is 25% of the tax not paid if the tax return is filed after October 15, 2018. The minimum penalty for filing a tax return more than 60 days late is $135 or 100% of the balance due, whichever is less.

Late Payment of Tax

If you fail to pay your total tax liability by April 17, 2018, you will incur a late payment penalty plus interest. The penalty is 5% of the tax not paid when due plus 1/2% for each month, or part of a month, the tax remains unpaid. We may waive the late payment penalty based on reasonable cause. Reasonable cause is presumed when 90% of the tax shown on the return is paid by the original due date of the return. However, the imposition of interest is mandatory. If, after April 17, 2018, you find that your estimate of tax due was too low, pay the additional tax as soon as possible to avoid or minimize further accumulation of penalties and interest.

Penalties

To avoid late payment penalties for use tax, you must report and pay the use tax with a timely filed income tax return, or California Individual Use Tax return.

Other Penalties

We may impose other penalties if a payment is returned for insufficient funds. We may also impose penalties for negligence, substantial understatement of tax, and fraud.

Line 113 – Underpayment of Estimated Tax

You may be subject to an estimated tax penalty if any of the following is true:

  • Your withholding and credits are less than 90% of your current tax year liability.
  • Your withholding and credits are less than 100% of your prior year tax liability (110% if AGI is more than $150,000 or $75,000 if married/RDP filing separately).
  • You did not pay enough through withholding to keep the amount you owe with your tax return under $500 ($250 if married/RDP filing separately).
  • You did not make the required estimate payments, if you pay an installment after the date it is due, or if you underpay any installment, a penalty may be assessed on the portion of estimated tax that was underpaid from the due date of the installment to the date of payment or the due date of your return, whichever is earlier. Get the 2017 form FTB 5805 for more information.

The FTB can figure the penalty for you when you file your tax return and send you a bill.

Is line 97 less than $500 ($250 if married/RDP filing separately)?

Yes
Stop. You may not be subject to an estimated payment penalty.
No
Continue. You may be subject to an estimated payment penalty.

Is line 97 less than 10% of the amount on line 48? Form 540 filers: this excludes the tax on lump-sum distributions on Form 540, line 34.

Yes
Stop. You may not be subject to an estimated payment penalty.
No
You may be subject to an estimated payment penalty; get form FTB 5805, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals and Fiduciaries (or form FTB 5805F, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Farmers and Fishermen).

The underpayment of estimated tax penalty shall not apply to the extent the underpayment of an installment was created or increased by any provision of law that is chaptered during and operative for the taxable year of the underpayment. To request a waiver of the underpayment of estimated tax penalty, get form FTB 5805 or form FTB 5805F. See “Where To Get Income Tax Forms and Publications.”

If you complete one of these forms, attach it to the back of your Form 540. Enter the amount of the penalty on line 113 and check the correct box on line 113. Complete and attach the form if you claim a waiver, use the annualized income installment method, or pay tax according to the schedule for farmers and fishermen, even if you do not owe a penalty.

See “Important Dates” for more information on estimated tax payments and how to avoid the underpayment penalty.

See the instructions for Form 540, line 114 for information about figuring your payment, if any.

Line 114 – Total Amount Due

Is there an amount on line 111?

Yes
Add line 111, line 112, and line 113. Enter the result on line 114. For payment options, see line 111 instructions.
No
Go to line 115.

Make all checks or money orders payable in U.S. dollars and drawn against a U.S. financial institution.

Refund or No Amount Due

Line 115 – Refund or No Amount Due

Did you report amounts on line 110, line 112, or line 113?

No
Enter the amount from line 96 on line 115. This is your refund amount. If it is less than $1, attach a written statement to your Form 540 requesting the refund.
Yes
Combine the amounts from line 110, line 112, and line 113. If the result is:
  • Less than line 96, subtract the sum of line 110, line 112, and line 113 from line 96 and enter on line 115. This is your refund amount.
  • More than line 96, subtract line 96 from the sum of line 110, line 112, and line 113 and enter the result on line 114. This is your total amount due. For payment options, see line 111 instructions.

Direct Deposit (Refund Only)

Line 116 and Line 117 – Direct Deposit of Refund

Direct deposit is safe and convenient. To have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, fill in the account information on line 116 and line 117. Fill in the routing and account numbers and indicate the account type. Verify routing and account numbers with your financial institution. Do not attach a voided check or deposit slip. See the illustration below.

Individual taxpayers may request that their refund be electronically deposited into more than one checking or savings account. This allows more options for managing your refund. For example, you can request part of your refund go to your checking account to use now and the rest to your savings account to save for later.

The routing number must be nine digits. The first two digits must be 01 through 12 or 21 through 32. On the sample check, the routing number is 250250025. The account number can be up to 17 characters and can include numbers and letters. Include hyphens but omit spaces and special symbols. On the sample check, the account number is 202020.

Check the appropriate box for the type of account. Do not check more than one box for each line.

Enter the portion of your refund you want directly deposited into each account. Each deposit must be at least $1. The total of line 116 and line 117 must equal the total amount of your refund on line 115. If line 116 and line 117 do not equal line 115, the FTB will issue a paper check.

Caution: Check with your financial institution to make sure your deposit will be accepted and to get the correct routing and account numbers. The FTB is not responsible for a lost refund due to incorrect account information entered by you or your representative.

Prior to depositing the refund, FTB may first verify with your financial institution that the name on the account you designated to receive the direct deposit refund matches the name provided on the tax return. Some financial institutions will not allow a joint refund to be deposited to an individual account. If the direct deposit is rejected, the FTB will issue a paper check.

Example check with arrows showing the location of the routing number, account number, and check number.
Direct Deposit for ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plans

If you have a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan account maintained by the ScholarShare Investment Board, you may have your refund directly deposited to your ScholarShare account.

Fill in the routing number, account type and account number. To obtain the nine-digit routing number go to scholarshare.com or call 800.544.5248. Check “Checking” as type of account. Enter your complete account number that includes (1) the “CA” prefix, (2) your four-digit investment portfolio number, and (3) your ScholarShare account number (for account numbers less than 11 digits, add leading zeros).

Screenshot showing inputs where routing and account number would be entered, and checkboxes showing the type of account: checking or savings.

Sign Your Tax Return

You must sign your tax return in the space provided on Form 540, Side 5. If you file a joint tax return, your spouse/RDP must also sign it.

Include your preferred phone number and email address in case the FTB needs to contact you regarding your tax return. By providing this information the FTB will be able to provide you better customer service.

Joint Tax Return.

If you file a joint tax return, both you and your spouse/RDP are generally responsible for the tax and any interest or penalties due on the tax return. This means that if one spouse/RDP does not pay the tax due, the other may be liable. See “Innocent Joint Filer Relief.”

Paid Preparer’s Information.

If you pay a person to prepare your Form 540, that person signs and completes the area at the bottom of Side 5 including an identification number. The IRS requires a paid tax preparer to get and use a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). If the preparer has a federal employer identification number (FEIN), it should be entered only in the space provided. A paid preparer must give you a copy of your tax return to keep for your records.

Third Party Designee.

If you want to allow your preparer, a friend, family member, or any other person you choose to discuss your 2017 tax return with the FTB, check the “Yes” box in the signature area of your tax return. Also print the designee’s name and telephone number.

If you check the “Yes” box you, and your spouse/RDP, if filing a joint tax return, are authorizing the FTB to call the designee to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of your tax return. You are also authorizing the designee to:

  • Give the FTB any information that is missing from your tax return.
  • Call the FTB for information about the processing of your tax return or the status of your refund or payments.
  • Receive copies of notices or transcripts related to your tax return, upon request.
  • Respond to certain FTB notices about math errors, offsets, and tax return preparation.

You are not authorizing the designee to receive any refund check, bind you to anything (including any additional tax liability), or otherwise represent you before the FTB. If you want to expand or change the designee’s authorization, go to ftb.ca.gov/poa.

The authorization will automatically end no later than the due date (without regard to extensions) for filing your 2018 tax return. This is April 15, 2019, for most people. If you wish to revoke the authorization before it ends, notify us by telephone at 800.852.5711 or by writing to Franchise Tax Board, PO Box 942840, Sacramento, CA 94240-0040, include your name, SSN, and the designee’s name.

Power of Attorney.

If another person prepared your tax return, he or she is not automatically granted access to your tax information in future dealings with us. At some point, you may wish to designate someone to act on your behalf in matters related or unrelated to this tax return (e.g., an audit examination). To protect your privacy, you must submit to us a legal document called a “Power of Attorney” (POA) authorizing another person to discuss or receive personal information about your income tax records.

For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov/poa.

Filing Your Tax Return

Attachments to your tax return.

Do I need to attach a copy of federal Form 1040?

Other than Schedule A (Form 1040) or Schedule B (Form 1040), did you attach any federal forms or schedules to your federal Form 1040?

If No, do not attach a copy of your federal Form 1040 return to Form 540.

If Yes, attach a copy of your federal Form 1040 return and all supporting federal forms and schedules to Form 540.

Exception: If you did not itemize deductions on your federal tax return but will itemize deductions on your California tax return, complete and attach a copy of the federal Schedule A (Form 1040) to Form 540.

Do not attach any documents to your tax return unless specifically instructed. This will help us reduce government processing and storage costs.

Federal Form(s) W-2, W-2G, and 1099, and CA Form(s) 592-B and 593.

Attach all the Form(s) W-2 and W-2G you received to the lower front of your tax return. Also, attach any Forms(s) 1099, 592-B, and 593 showing California income tax withheld.

If you do not receive your Form(s) W-2 by January 31, 2018, contact your employer or go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB. Only your employer can issue or correct a Form W-2. If you cannot get a copy of your Form W-2, you must complete form FTB 3525, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. See “Order Forms and Publications” or go to ftb.ca.gov/forms.

If you forget to send your Form(s) W-2 or other withholding forms with your income tax return, do not send them separately, or with another copy of your tax return. Wait until the FTB requests them from you.

Assembling Your Tax Return

Assemble your tax return in the order shown below.

Diagram showing the order in which to assemble your tax return.
Assemble your tax return in the following order: If required, enclose payment, but do not staple. Attach all forms W-2, W-2G, 1099, 592-B, and 593 to the lower front page of your form 540. Form 540 has five sides. Put the pages in numerical order and send all five sides to the FTB. After side five of form 540, put any supporting California forms or schedules you completed (for example Schedule CA, Schedule D, form 3514). Behind the supporting forms or schedules, put a copy of your federal tax return and other state tax return if required.

Caution: Form 540 has five sides. When filing Form 540, you must send all five sides to the FTB.

Mailing Your Tax Return

If your tax return has an amount due, mail your tax return to the following address:

FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 942867
SACRAMENTO CA 94267-0001

If your tax return shows a refund or no amount due, mail your tax return to the following address:

FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 942840
SACRAMENTO CA 94240-0001

Nonrefundable Renter’s Credit Qualification Record

Tip: e-file and skip this page! The tax software product you use to e-file will help you find out if you qualify for this credit and will figure the correct amount of the credit automatically. Go to ftb.ca.gov to check your e-file options. You can claim the nonrefundable renter’s credit using CalFile.

If you were a resident of California and paid rent on property in California, which was your principal residence, you may qualify for a credit that you can use to reduce your tax. Answer the questions below to see if you qualify. For purposes of California income tax, references to a spouse, husband, or wife also refer to a California Registered Domestic Partner (RDP), unless otherwise specified. When we use the initials RDP they refer to both a California registered domestic “partner” and a California registered domestic “partnership,” as applicable. For more information on RDPs, get FTB Pub. 737. Do not mail this record. Keep with your tax records.

  1. Were you a resident of California for the entire year in 2017?

    Military personnel. If you are not a legal resident of California, you do not qualify for this credit. However, your spouse/RDP may claim this credit if he or she was a resident during 2017, and is otherwise qualified.

    YES.
    Go to question 2.
    NO.
    Stop. File the Long or Short Form 540NR, California Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return. See “Order Forms and Publications.”
  2. Is your California adjusted gross income the amount on line 17:

    • $40,078 or less if single or married/RDP filing separately; or
    • $80,156 or less if married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, or qualifying widow(er)?
    YES.
    Go to question 3.
    NO.
    Stop here. You do not qualify for this credit.
  3. Did you pay rent, for at least half of 2017, on property (including a mobile home that you owned on rented land) in California, which was your principal residence?

    YES.
    Go to question 4.
    NO.
    Stop here. You do not qualify for this credit.
  4. Can you be claimed as a dependent by a parent, foster parent, legal guardian, or any other person in 2017?

    NO.
    Go to question 6.
    YES.
    Go to question 5.
  5. For more than half the year in 2017, did you live in the home of the person who can claim you as a dependent?

    NO.
    Go to question 6.
    YES.
    Stop here. You do not qualify for this credit.
  6. Was the property you rented exempt from property tax in 2017?

    You do not qualify for this credit if, for more than half of the year, you rented property that was exempt from property taxes. Exempt property includes most government-owned buildings, church-owned parsonages, college dormitories, and military barracks. However, if you or your landlord paid possessory interest taxes for the property you rented, then you may claim this credit.

    NO.
    Go to question 7.
    YES.
    Stop here. You do not qualify for this credit.
  7. Did you claim the homeowner’s property tax exemption anytime during 2017?

    You do not qualify for this credit if you or your spouse/RDP received a homeowner’s property tax exemption at any time during the year. However, if you lived apart from your spouse/RDP for the entire year and your spouse/RDP received a homeowner’s property tax exemption for a separate residence, then you may claim this credit if you are otherwise qualified.

    NO.
    Go to question 8.
    YES.
    If your filing status is single or married/RDP filing separately, stop here, you do not qualify for this credit. If your filing status is married/RDP filing jointly, go to question 9.
  8. Were you single in 2017?

    YES.
    Go to question 11.
    NO.
    Go to question 9.
  9. Did your spouse/RDP claim the homeowner’s property tax exemption anytime during 2017?

    You do not qualify for this credit if you or your spouse/RDP received a homeowner’s property tax exemption at any time during the year. However, if you lived apart from your spouse/RDP for the entire year and your spouse/RDP received a homeowner’s property tax exemption for a separate residence, then you may claim this credit if you are otherwise qualified.

    NO.
    Go to question 11.
    YES.
    If both you and your spouse/RDP claimed the homeowner’s property tax exemption, stop here, you do not qualify for this credit. Otherwise, go to question 10.
  10. Did you and your spouse/RDP maintain separate residences for the entire year in 2017?

    YES.
    Go to question 11.
    NO.
    Stop here. You do not qualify for this credit.
  11. If you are:

    • Single, enter $60 on line 46.
    • Head of household or qualifying widow(er), enter $120 on line 46.
    • Married/RDP filing separately: if you and your spouse/RDP lived in the same rental property and both qualify for this credit, one spouse/RDP may claim the full amount of the credit ($120), or each spouse/RDP may claim half the amount ($60 each). If you and your spouse/RDP lived apart for the entire year and you qualify for this credit, you may claim half the amount of the credit ($60). Enter your credit amount on line 46.
    • Married/RDP filing jointly, enter $120 on line 46. (Exception: If one spouse/RDP claimed the homeowner’s tax exemption and you lived apart from your spouse/RDP for the entire year, enter $60 on line 46.)

    Fill in the street address(es) and landlord information below for the residence(s) you rented in California during 2017, which qualified you for this credit.

      Street Address City, State, and ZIP Code Dates Rented in 2017 (From______to______)
    a      
    b      

    Enter the name, address, and telephone number of your landlord(s) or the person(s) to whom you paid rent for the residence(s) listed above.

      Name Street Address City, State, ZIP Code, and Telephone Number
    a      
    b      

Voluntary Contribution Fund Descriptions

Make voluntary contributions of $1 or more in whole dollar amounts to the funds listed below. To contribute to the California Seniors Special Fund, use the instructions for code 400 below. The amount you contribute either reduces your overpaid tax or increases your tax due. You may contribute only to the funds listed and cannot change the amount you contribute after you file your tax return. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for voluntary contributions.

Code 400, California Seniors Special Fund

If you and/or your spouse/RDP are 65 years of age or older as of January 1, 2018, and claim the Senior Exemption Credit, you may make a combined total contribution of up to $228 or $114 per spouse/RDP. Contributions made to this fund will be distributed to the Area Agency on Aging Councils (TACC) to provide advice on and sponsorship of Senior Citizens issues. Any excess contributions not required by TACC will be distributed to senior citizen service organizations throughout California for meals, adult day care, and transportation.

Code 401, Alzheimer’s Disease/Related Disorders Fund

Contributions will be used to provide grants to California scientists to study Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. This research includes basic science, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, behavioral problems, and caregiving. With almost 600,000 Californians living with the disease and another 2 million providing care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s, our state is in the early stages of a major public health crisis. Your contribution will ensure that Alzheimer’s disease receives the attention, research, and resources it deserves. For more information go to cdph.ca.gov and search for Alzheimer.

Code 403, Rare and Endangered Species Preservation Voluntary Tax Contribution Program

Contributions will be used to help protect and conserve California’s many threatened and endangered species and the wild lands that they need to survive, for the enjoyment and benefit of you and future generations of Californians.

Code 405, California Breast Cancer Research Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will fund research toward preventing and curing breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer to strike women in California. It kills 4,000 California women each year. Contributions also fund research on prevention and better treatment, and keep doctors up-to-date on research progress. For more about the research your contributions support, go to cbcrp.org. Your contribution can help make breast cancer a disease of the past.

Code 406, California Firefighters’ Memorial Fund

Contributions will be used for the repair and maintenance of the California Firefighters’ Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol, ceremonies to honor the memory of fallen firefighters and to assist surviving loved ones, and for an informational guide detailing survivor benefits to assist the spouses/RDPs and children of fallen firefighters.

Code 407, Emergency Food for Families Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used to help local food banks feed California’s hungry. Your contribution will fund the purchase of much-needed food for delivery to food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens throughout the state. The State Department of Social Services will monitor its distribution to ensure the food is given to those most in need.

Code 408, California Peace Officer Memorial Foundation Fund

Contributions will be used to preserve the memory of California’s fallen peace officers and assist the families they left behind. Since statehood, over 1,300 courageous California peace officers have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting law-abiding citizens. The non-profit charitable organization, California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation, has accepted the privilege and responsibility of maintaining a memorial for fallen officers on the State Capitol grounds. Each May, the Memorial Foundation conducts a dignified ceremony honoring fallen officers and their surviving families by offering moral support, crisis counseling, and financial support that includes academic scholarships for the children of those officers who have made the supreme sacrifice. On behalf of all of us and the law-abiding citizens of California, thank you for your participation.

Code 410, California Sea Otter Fund

The California Coastal Conservancy and the Department of Fish and Wildlife will each be allocated 50% of the contributions. Contributions allocated to the California Coastal Conservancy will be used for research, science, protection, projects, or programs related to the Federal Sea Otter Recovery Plan or improving the nearshore ocean ecosystem, including, program activities to reduce sea otter mortality. Contributions allocated to the Department of Fish and Wildlife will be used to establish a sea otter fund within the department’s index coding system for increased investigation, prevention, and enforcement action.

Code 413, California Cancer Research Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used to conduct research relating to the causes, detection, and prevention of cancer and to expand community-based education on cancer, and to provide prevention and awareness activities for communities that are disproportionately at risk or afflicted by cancer.

Code 422, School Supplies for Homeless Children Fund

Contributions will be used to provide school supplies and health-related products to homeless children.

Code 423, State Parks Protection Fund/Parks Pass Purchase

Contributions will be used for the protection and preservation of California’s state parks and for the cost of a Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass valid at most park units where day use fees are collected. The pass is not valid at off-highway vehicle units, or for camping, oversized vehicle, extra vehicle, per-person, or supplemental fees. If a taxpayer’s contribution equals or exceeds $195 the taxpayer will receive a single Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass. Amounts contributed in excess of the parks pass cost may be deducted as a charitable contribution for the year in which the voluntary contribution is made. Any contribution less than $195 will be treated as a voluntary contribution and may be deducted as a charitable contribution. For more information go to parks.ca.gov/annualpass/ or email info@parks.ca.gov.

Code 424, Protect Our Coast and Oceans Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used to provide grants to community organizations working to protect, restore, and enhance the California coast and ocean. Contributions will support shoreline cleanups, habitat restoration, coastal access improvements, and ocean education programs.

Code 425, Keep Arts in Schools Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used by the Arts Council for the allocation of grants to individuals or organizations administering arts programs for children in preschool through 12th grade.

Code 430, State Children’s Trust Fund for the Prevention of Child Abuse

Contributions will be used to support child abuse prevention programs with demonstrated success, public education efforts to change adult behaviors and educate parents, innovative research to identify best practices, and the replication of those practices to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Code 431, Prevention of Animal Homelessness and Cruelty Fund

Contributions will be used to provide funding to programs designed to prevent and eliminate animal homelessness and cruelty, research that explores novel approaches to preventing and eliminating pet homelessness and the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of animal cruelty and neglect.

Code 432, Revive the Salton Sea Fund

Contributions will be used for the restoration and maintenance of the Salton Sea and to develop a mechanism to provide ongoing public awareness.

Code 433, California Domestic Violence Victims Fund

Contributions will be used for the distribution of funds to active grant recipients under the Comprehensive Statewide Domestic Violence Program within the Office of Emergency Services.

Code 434, Special Olympics Fund

Contributions will be used for disbursement to the Special Olympics Northern California and the Special Olympics Southern California for the purpose of funding activities of the Special Olympics in support of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Code 435, Type 1 Diabetes Research Fund

Contributions will be used for the University of California for distribution of grants to authorized diabetes research organizations.

Code 436, California YMCA Youth and Government Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used to support civic education programs operated by the YMCA Youth and Government Program, the African American Leaders for Tomorrow Program, the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, and the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project.

Code 437, Habitat for Humanity Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used for disbursement to the Habitat for Humanity of California, Inc. to build affordable housing in California.

Code 438, California Senior Citizen Advocacy Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used to conduct the sessions of the California Senior Legislature and to support its ongoing activities on behalf of older persons.

Code 439, Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used to support the recovery and rehabilitation of injured, sick, or orphaned native wildlife, and conservation education.

Code 440, Rape Backlog Kit Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund

Contributions will be used for DNA testing in the processing of rape kits.

CREDIT CHART

Credit Name Code Description
California Competes Tax – FTB 3531 233 The credit, which is allocated and certified by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee, is available for businesses that want to come to California or to stay and grow in California. Website: business.ca.gov
California Motion Picture and Television Production – FTB 3541 223 For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, the original credit is allocated and certified by the California Film Commission, and is available for qualified production expenditures attributable to a qualified motion picture, an independent film, or a TV series that relocates to California. Website: film.ca.gov
Child Adoption Costs – Worksheet on page 13 197 50% of qualified costs in the year an adoption is ordered
Child and Dependent Care Expenses – FTB 3506 See the instructions on page 67 232 Similar to the federal credit except that the California credit amount is based on a specified percentage of the federal credit.
College Access Tax – FTB 3592 235 The credit, which is allocated and certified by the California Educational Facilities Authority, is available for taxpayers who contribute to the College Access Tax Credit Fund. Website: treasurer.ca.gov/cefa
Dependent Parent – See page 12 173 Must use married/RDP filing separately status and have a dependent parent
Disabled Access for Eligible Small Businesses – FTB 3548 205 Similar to the federal credit but limited to $125 based on 50% of qualified expenditures that do not exceed $250
Donated Agricultural Products Transportation – FTB 3547 204 50% of the costs paid or incurred for the transportation of agricultural products donated to nonprofit charitable organizations
Earned Income Tax – FTB 3514 None This credit is similar to the federal Earned Income Credit (EIC) but with different income limitations.
Enhanced Oil Recovery – FTB 3546 203 One third of the similar federal credit and limited to qualified enhanced oil recovery projects located within California.
Enterprise Zone Hiring – FTB 3805Z 176 Hiring credit for an enterprise zone
Environmental Tax – FTB 3511 218 Five cents ($0.05) for each gallon of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel produced during the taxable year by a small refiner at any facility located in California
Joint Custody Head of Household – Worksheet on page 12 170 30% of tax up to $451 for taxpayers who are single or married/RDP filing separately, who have a child and meet the support test
Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area Hiring – FTB 3807 198 Hiring credit for a local agency military base recovery area
Low-Income Housing – FTB 3521 172 Similar to the federal credit but limited to low-income housing in California
Manufacturing Enhancement Area Hiring – FTB 3808 211 Hiring credit for manufacturing enhancement area
Natural Heritage Preservation – FTB 3503 213 55% of the fair market value of the qualified contribution of property donated to the state, any local government, or any nonprofit organization designated by a local government
New California Motion Picture and Television Production – FTB 3541 237 For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, the new credit is allocated and certified by the California Film Commission, and is available for qualified production expenditures attributable to a qualified motion picture, an independent film, or a TV series that relocates to California. Website: film.ca.gov
New Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables – FTB 3814 238 15% of the qualified value of the donated fresh fruits or vegetables made to California food banks, based on weighted average wholesale price.
New Employment – FTB 3554 234 The credit is available for a taxpayer that hires a full-time employee and pays or incurs wages in a designated census tract or economic development area, and receives a tentative credit reservation for that full-time employee.
Nonrefundable Renter’s – See page 22 None For California residents who paid rent for their principal residence for at least 6 months in 2017 and whose AGI does not exceed a certain limit
Other State Tax – Schedule S 187 Net income tax paid to another state or a U.S. possession on income also taxed by California
Prior Year Alternative Minimum Tax - FTB 3510 188 Must have paid alternative minimum tax in a prior year and have no alternative minimum tax liability in the current year
Prison Inmate Labor – FTB 3507 162 10% of wages paid to prison inmates
Research – FTB 3523 183 Similar to the federal credit but limited to costs for research activities in California
Senior Head of Household – Worksheet on page 13 163 2% of taxable income up to $1,380 for seniors who qualified for head of household in 2015 or 2016 and whose qualifying individual died during 2015 or 2016
Targeted Tax Area Hiring – FTB 3809 210 Hiring credit for a targeted tax area

Repealed Credits:

The expiration dates for these credits have passed. However, these credits had carryover provisions. You may claim these credits only if you have an unused carryover available from prior years. If you are not required to complete Schedule P (540), Alternative Minimum Tax and Credit Limitations – Residents, get form FTB 3540, Credit Carryover and Recapture Summary to figure your credit carryover to future years. For LAMBRA or TTA credit carryovers, get form FTB 3807 or form FTB 3809. See “Where To Get Income Tax Forms and Publications”.

  • Agricultural Products: 175
  • Commercial Solar Electric System: 196
  • Commercial Solar Energy: 181
  • Community Development Financial Institutions Investment: 209
  • Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables: 224
  • Employer Childcare Contribution: 190
  • Employer Childcare Program: 189
  • Employee Ridesharing: 194
  • Employer Ridesharing:
    • Large employer: 191
    • Small employer: 192
    • Transit passes: 193
  • Energy Conservation: 182
  • Enterprise Zone Sales or Use Tax: 176
  • Farmworker Housing: 207
  • Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area Sales or Use Tax: 198
  • Low-Emission Vehicles: 160
  • New Jobs: 220
  • Orphan Drug: 185
  • Political Contributions: 184
  • Recycling Equipment: 174
  • Residential Rental & Farm Sales: 186
  • Rice Straw: 206
  • Ridesharing: 171
  • Salmon & Steelhead Trout Habitat Restoration: 200
  • Solar Energy: 180
  • Solar Pump: 179
  • Targeted Tax Area Sales or Use Tax : 210
  • Water Conservation: 178
  • Young Infant: 161

Frequently Asked Questions

(Go to ftb.ca.gov for more frequently asked questions.)

  1. What if I can’t file by April 17, 2018, and I think I owe tax?

    You must pay 100% of the amount you owe by April 17, 2018, to avoid interest and penalties. If you cannot file because you have not received all your Form(s) W-2, estimate the amount of tax you owe by completing form FTB 3519, Payment for Automatic Extension for Individuals. Mail it to the FTB with your payment by April 17, 2018 or pay online at ftb.ca.gov/pay. Then, when you receive all your Form(s) W-2, complete and mail your tax return by October 15, 2018 (you must use Form 540).

  2. I never received a Form W-2. What should I do?

    Automated Phone code: 204

    If all of your Form(s) W-2 were not received by January 31, 2018, contact your employer. Only an employer issues or corrects a Form W-2. For more information, call 800.338.0505, follow the recorded instructions and enter code 204 when instructed.

    If you cannot get a copy of your Form(s) W-2, complete form FTB 3525, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. See “Where To Get Income Tax Forms and Publications.” For online wage and withhold information, go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB.

  3. How can I get help?

    Throughout California more than 1,200 sites provide trained volunteers offering free help during the tax filing season to persons who need to file simple federal and state income tax returns. Many military bases also provide this service for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Go to ftb.ca.gov and search for vita to find a list of participating locations or call the FTB at 800.852.5711 to find a location near you.

  4. What do I do if I can’t pay what I owe with my 2017 tax return?

    Pay as much as possible when you file your tax return. If unable to pay your tax in full with your tax return, make a request for monthly payments. However, interest accrues and an underpayment penalty may be charged on the tax not paid by April 17, 2018, even if your request for monthly payments is approved. To make monthly payments, complete form FTB 3567, Installment Agreement Request, online or mail it to the address on the form. Do not mail it with your tax return.

    The Installment Agreement Request might not be processed and approved until after your tax return is processed, and you may receive a bill before you receive approval of your request.

    Automated Phone code: 949

    To order this form, go to ftb.ca.gov/forms or call 800.338.0505, follow the recorded instructions and enter code 949 when instructed.

    Automated Phone code: 610

    For information on how to pay by credit card, go to ftb.ca.gov/pay, or call 800.338.0505, follow the recorded instructions and enter code 610 when instructed.

  5. Is direct deposit safe?

    Direct deposit is safe, and convenient. To have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, fill in the account information on Form 540, Side 5, line 116 and line 117. Fill in the routing and account numbers and indicate the account type.

  6. How can I check on the status of my refund?

    Go to ftb.ca.gov and search for refund status. You will need your social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and the refund amount from your tax return.

    You can also call our automated phone service. See page 95 for more information.

  7. I discovered an error on my tax return. What should I do?

    Automated Phone code: 908

    If you discover that you made an error on your California income tax return after you filed it (paper or e-filed), file an amended Form 540 and attach Schedule X, California Explanation of Amended Return Changes, to correct your previously filed tax return. Get Schedule X at ftb.ca.gov/forms or call 800.338.0505, follow the recorded instructions and enter code 908 when instructed.

  8. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made changes to my federal tax return. What should I do?

    If your federal income tax return is examined and changed by the IRS and you owe additional tax, report these changes to the FTB within six months of the date of the final federal determination. If the changes the IRS made result in a refund due for California, claim a refund within two years of the date of the final federal determination. Either file an amended Form 540 to correct your previously filed income tax return or send a copy of the federal changes to:

    ATTN RAR/VOL MS F310
    FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
    PO BOX 1998
    RANCHO CORDOVA CA 95741-1998

    or Fax the information to 916.843.2269.

    If you have a question relating to the IRS audit adjustment call 916.845.4028.

    For general tax information or questions, call 800.852.5711.

    Regardless of which method you use to notify the FTB, you must include a copy of the final federal determination along with all data and schedules on which the federal adjustment was based. Get FTB Pub. 1008, Federal Tax Adjustments and Your Notification Responsibilities to California, for more information. See “Order Forms and Publications.”

    File an amended Form 540 only if the change affected your California tax liability.

  9. How long should I keep my tax information?

    Requests for information regarding your California income tax return usually occurs within the California statute of limitations period, which is usually the later of four years from the due date of the tax return or four years from the file date of the tax return. (Exception: An extended statute of limitations period applies for California or federal tax returns related or subject to a federal audit.)

    Keep a copy of your tax return and the records that verify the income, deductions, adjustments, or credits reported on your return. Some records should be kept longer. For example, keep property records as long as needed to figure the basis of the property or records needed to verify carryover items (i.e., net operating losses) or records needed to track deferred gains on a 1031 exchange.

  10. I will be moving after I file my tax return. How do I notify the FTB of my new address?

    Go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB or call 800. 852.5711, and follow the recorded instructions to report a change of address. You may also use form FTB 3533, Change of Address. This form is available at ftb.ca.gov/forms. If you change your address online or by phone, you do not need to file form FTB 3533.

    After filing your tax return, report a change of address to us for up to four years, especially if you leave the state and no longer have a requirement to file a California tax return.

  11. Are all domestic partners required to file joint or separate tax returns?

    No, only domestic partners who are registered with the California Secretary of State are required to file using the married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately filing status.

Owe Money? Web Pay lets you pay online, so you can schedule it and forget it! Go to ftb.ca.gov/pay for more information.

Additional Information

California Use Tax General Information

The use tax has been in effect in California since July 1, 1935. It applies to purchases of merchandise for use in California from out-of-state sellers and is similar to the sales tax paid on purchases you make in California. If you have not already paid all use tax due to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, you may be able to report and pay the use tax due on your state income tax return. See the information below and the instructions for Line 91 of your income tax return.

In general, you must pay California use tax on purchases of merchandise for use in California made from out-of-state sellers, for example, by telephone, over the Internet, by mail, or in person.

You must pay California use tax on taxable items if:

  • The seller does not collect California sales or use tax, and
  • You use, gift, store, or consume the item in this state.

Example: You live in California and purchase a dining table from a company in North Carolina. The company ships the table from North Carolina to your home for your use and does not charge California sales or use tax. You owe use tax on the purchase.

However, not all purchases require you to pay use tax. For example, you would include purchases of clothing, but not exempt purchases of food products or prescription medicine.

For more information on nontaxable and exempt purchases, you may refer to Publication 61, Sales and Use Taxes: Exemptions and Exclusions, on the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s website at cdtfa.ca.gov.

For information about California use tax, please refer to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s website at cdtfa.ca.gov and type “Find Information About Use Tax” in the search bar.

Complete the Use Tax Worksheet or use the Use Tax Lookup Table on page 15 and 16, to calculate the amount due.

Extensions to File

If you request an extension to file your income tax return, wait until you file your tax return to report your purchases subject to use tax and make your use tax payment.

Interest, Penalties and Fees

Failure to timely report and pay the use tax due may result in the assessment of interest, penalties, and fees.

Application of Payments

For purchases made during taxable years starting on or after January 1, 2015, payments and credits reported on an income tax return will be applied first to the use tax liability, instead of income tax liabilities, penalties, and interest.

Changes in Use Tax Reported

Do not file an Amended Income Tax Return to revise the use tax previously reported. If you have changes to the amount of use tax previously reported on the original return, contact the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

For assistance with your use tax questions, go to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s website at cdtfa.ca.gov or call their Customer Service Center at 800.400.7115 or (TTY) 711 (for hearing and speech disabilities). For California income tax information, contact the Franchise Tax Board at ftb.ca.gov.

Collection Fees

The FTB is required to assess collection and filing enforcement cost recovery fees on delinquent accounts.

Deceased Taxpayers

A final return must be filed for a person who died in 2017 if a tax return normally would be required. The administrator or executor, if one is appointed, or beneficiary must file the tax return. Print “deceased” and the date of death next to the taxpayer’s name at the top of the tax return.

If you are a surviving spouse/RDP and no administrator or executor has been appointed, file a joint tax return if you did not remarry or enter into another registered domestic partnership during 2017. Indicate next to your signature that you are the surviving spouse/RDP.

You may also file a joint tax return with an administrator or executor acting on behalf of the deceased taxpayer.

If you file a tax return and claim a refund due to a deceased taxpayer, you are certifying under penalty of perjury either that you are the legal representative of the deceased taxpayer’s estate (in this case, attach certified copies of the letters of administration or letters testamentary) or that you are entitled to the refund as the deceased’s surviving relative or sole beneficiary under the provisions of the California Probate Code. You must also attach a copy of federal Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer, or a copy of the death certificate when you file a tax return and claim a refund due.

Innocent Joint Filer Relief

If you file a joint tax return, both you and your spouse/RDP are generally responsible for paying the tax and any interest or penalties due on the tax return. However, you may qualify for relief of payment on all or part of the balance as an innocent joint filer. For more information, get FTB Pub. 705, Innocent Joint Filer - Relief From Paying California Income Taxes, at ftb.ca.gov/forms or call 916.845.7072, Monday - Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except holidays.

Military Personnel

If you are a member of the military and need additional information on how to file your tax return, get FTB Pub. 1032, Tax Information for Military Personnel. See “Order Forms and Publications.”

Requesting a Copy of Your Tax Return

The FTB keeps personal income tax returns for three and one-half years from the original due date. To get a copy of your tax return, write a letter or complete form FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Personal Income Tax or Fiduciary Return. In most cases, a $20 fee is charged for each taxable year you request. However, no charge applies for victims of a designated California or federal disaster; or you request copies from a field office that assisted you in completing your tax return. See “Where To Get Tax Forms and Publications” to download or order form FTB 3516.

Local Benefits

You cannot deduct the amounts you pay for local benefits that apply to property in a limited area (construction of streets, sidewalks, or water and sewer systems). You must look at your real estate tax bill to determine if any nondeductible itemized charges are included in your bill. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for real estate tax or get federal Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax-For Individuals, Chapter 22.

Vehicle License Fees for Federal Schedule A

On your federal Schedule A (Form 1040), you may deduct the California motor vehicle license fee listed on your Vehicle Registration Billing Notice from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The other fees listed on your billing notice such as registration fee, weight fee, and county fees are not deductible.

Voting Is Everybody’s Business

You may register to vote if you meet these requirements:

  • You are a United States citizen.
  • You are a resident of California.
  • You will be 18 years old by the date of the next election.
  • You are not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony.

You need to re-register every time you move, change your name, or wish to change political parties. In order to vote in an election, you must be registered to vote at least 15 days before that election. If you need to get a Voter Registration Card, call the California Secretary of State’s voter hotline at 800.345.VOTE or go to sos.ca.gov.

To register to vote in California, you must be:

  • A United States citizen and a resident of California,
  • 18 years old or older on Election Day,
  • Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, and
  • Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

Pre-register at 16. Vote at 18. Voter pre-registration is now available for 16 and 17 year olds who otherwise meet the voter registration eligibility requirements. California youth who pre-register to vote will have their registration become active once they turn 18 years old.

If you wish to receive a paper Voter Registration or Pre-Registration Application, call the California Secretary of State’s Voter Hotline at 800-345-VOTE or simply register online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. For more information about how and when to register to vote, visit sos.ca.gov/elections.

It’s Your Right ... Register and Vote

If You File Electronically

If you e-file your tax return, make sure all the amounts entered on the paper copy of your California return are correct before you sign form FTB 8453, California e-file Return Authorization for Individuals, or form FTB 8879, California e-file Signature Authorization for Individuals. If you are requesting direct deposit of a refund, make sure your account and routing information is correct. Your tax return can be transmitted to FTB by your preparer or electronic e-file service only after you sign form FTB 8453 or form FTB 8879. The preparer or electronic e-file service must provide you with:

  • A copy of forms FTB 8453 or FTB 8879.
  • Any original Forms W-2, 592-B, 593, 1099-G, and other Forms 1099 that you provided.
  • A paper copy of your California tax return showing the data transmitted to the FTB.

You cannot retransmit an e-filed tax return once we’ve accepted the original. You can correct an error by filing an amended Form 540 to correct your previously filed tax return.

Instructions for Filing a 2017 Amended Return

Important Information

Protective Claim

If you are filing a claim for refund for a taxable year where litigation is pending or where a final determination by the IRS is pending, check box a for “Protective claim for refund” on Schedule X, Part II, Line 1. Specify the pending litigation or reference to the federal determination on Part II, line 2 so we can properly process your claim.

Do not attach your previously filed return to your amended return.

Do not file an amended return to correct your SSN, name, or address, instead, call or write us. See “Contacting the Franchise Tax Board” for more information.

Use Tax

Do not amend your return to correct a “use tax” error reported on your original tax return. Enter the amount from your original return. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) (formerly known as the Board of Equalization) administers this tax. Refer all questions or requests relating to use tax to the CDTFA at cdtfa.ca.gov or call 800.400.7115.

Amount You Want Applied To Your 2018 Estimated Tax

Enter zero on Form 540, line 95 and get the instructions for Schedule X for the actual amount you want applied to your 2018 estimated tax.

Voluntary Contributions

You cannot amend voluntary contributions. Enter the amount from your original return.

Direct Deposit

You cannot use direct deposit on your amended return. You will receive a paper check.

Purpose

Use Form 540 to amend your original or previously filed California resident income tax return. If the FTB adjusted your return, you should use the amounts as adjusted by the FTB. Check the box at the top of Form 540 indicating AMENDED return and follow the instructions. Attach Schedule X and all required schedules and supporting forms.

When to File

Generally, if you filed federal Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, file an amended California tax return within six months unless the changes do not affect your California tax liability. File an amended return only after you have filed your original or previously filed California tax return.

California Statute of Limitations

Original tax return was filed on or before April 15th: If you are making a claim for refund, file an amended tax return within four years from the original due date of the tax return or within one year from the date of overpayment, whichever period expires later.

Original tax return was filed within the extension period (April 15th – October 15th): If you are making a claim for refund, file an amended tax return within four years from the date the original tax return was filed or within one year from the date of overpayment, whichever period expires later.

Original tax return was filed after October 15th: If you are making a claim for refund, file an amended tax return within four years from the original due date of the tax return (April 15th) or within one year from the date of overpayment, whichever period expires later.

If you are filing your amended tax return after the normal statute of limitation period (four years after the due date of the original tax return), attach a statement explaining why the normal statute of limitations does not apply.

If you are filing your amended return in response to a billing notice you received, you will continue to receive billing notices until your amended tax return is accepted. You may file an informal claim for refund even though the full amount due including tax, penalty, and interest has not yet been paid. After the full amount due has been paid, you have the right to appeal to the CDTFA or to file suit in court if your claim for refund is disallowed.

To file an informal claim for refund, check box l for “Informal claim” on Schedule X, Part II, Line 1 and mail the claim to:

INFORMAL CLAIMS UNIT, MS F-283
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 1468
SACRAMENTO CA 95812-1468

Financially Disabled Taxpayers

The statute of limitations for filing claims for refunds is suspended during periods when a taxpayer is “financially disabled.” You are considered “financially disabled” when you are unable to manage your financial affairs due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is deemed to be either a terminal impairment or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. You are not considered “financially disabled” during any period that your spouse/RDP or any other person is legally authorized to act on your behalf on financial matters. For more information, get form FTB 1564, Financially Disabled – Suspension of the Statute of Limitations.

Federal Notices

If you were notified of an error on your federal income tax return that changed your AGI, you may need to amend your California income tax return for that year.

If the IRS examines and changes your federal income tax return, and you owe additional tax, report these changes to the FTB within six months. You do not need to inform the FTB if the changes do not increase your California tax liability. If the changes made by the IRS result in a refund due, you must file a claim for refund within two years. Use an amended Form 540 to make any changes to your California income tax returns previously filed.

Include a copy of the final federal determination, along with all underlying data and schedules that explain or support the federal adjustment. Note: Most penalties assessed by the IRS also apply under California law. If you are including penalties in a payment with your amended tax return, see Schedule X, line 8a instructions.

Children With Investment Income

If your child was required to file form FTB 3800, Tax Computation for Certain Children with Investment Income, and your taxable income has changed, review your child’s tax return to see if you need to file an amended tax return. Get form FTB 3800 for more information.

Contacting the Franchise Tax Board

If you have not received a refund within six months of filing your amended return, do not file a duplicate amended return for the same year. For information on the status of your refund, you may write to:

FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 942840
SACRAMENTO CA 94240-0040

For telephone assistance see General Phone Service on page 95.

Filing Status

Your filing status for California must be the same as the filing status you used on your federal income tax return, unless you are a same-sex married individual or RDP. If you are a same-sex married individual or an RDP and file single for federal, you must file married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately for California. If you entered into a same-sex marriage for taxable year 2013 and going forward, your filing status for California would generally be the same as the filing status that was used for federal. If you are a same-sex married individual or an RDP and file head of household for federal, you may file head of household for California only if you meet the requirements to be considered unmarried or considered not in a registered domestic partnership.

Exception for Filing a Separate Tax Return

A married couple who filed a joint federal tax return may file separate state tax returns if either spouse was:

  • An active member of the United States armed forces (or any auxiliary military branch) during the year being amended.
  • A nonresident for the entire year and had no income from California sources during the year being amended.

Changing Your Filing Status

If you changed your filing status on your federal amended tax return, also change your filing status for California unless you meet one of the exceptions listed above.

Married/RDP Filing Jointly to Married/RDP Filing Separately

You cannot change from married/RDP filing jointly to married/RDP filing separately after the due date of the tax return.

Exception: For taxable years 2000 and after, a married couple who meets the “Exception for filing a separate tax return” shown above may change from joint to separate tax returns after the due date of the tax return.

Filing Separate Tax Returns to Married/RDP Filing Jointly

If you or your spouse/RDP (or both of you) filed a separate tax return, you generally can change to a joint tax return any time within four years from the original due date of the separate tax return(s). To change to a joint tax return, you and your spouse/RDP must have been legally married or an RDP on the last day of the taxable year.

To amend from separate tax returns to a joint tax return, follow the Form 540 instructions to complete only one amended tax return. Both you and your spouse/RDP must sign the amended joint tax return.

2017 California Tax Rate Schedules

Tip: To e-file and eliminate the math, go to ftb.ca.gov. To figure your tax online, go to ftb.ca.gov/tax-rates.

Use only if your taxable income on Form 540, line 19 is more than $100,000. If $100,000 or less, use the Tax Table.

Schedule X

Use if your filing status is Single or Married/RDP Filing Separately

If the amount on Form 540, line 19 is
over – But not over – Enter on Form 540, line 31 of the amount over –
$0 $8,223 $0.00 + 1.00% $0
8,223 19,495 82.23 + 2.00% 8,223
19,495 30,769 307.67 + 4.00% 19,495
30,769 42,711 758.63 + 6.00% 30,769
42,711 53,980 1,475.15 + 8.00% 42,711
53,980 275,738 2,376.67 + 9.30% 53,980
275,738 330,884 23,000.16 + 10.30% 275,738
330,884 551,473 28,680.20 + 11.30% 330,884
551,473 AND OVER 53,606.76 + 12.30% 551,473

Schedule Y

Use if your filing status is Married/RDP Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child

If the amount on Form 540, line 19 is
over – But not over – Enter on Form 540, line 31 of the amount over –
$0 $16,446 $ 0.00 + 1.00% $0
16,446 38,990 164.46 + 2.00% 16,446
38,990 61,538 615.34 + 4.00% 38,990
61,538 85,422 1,517.26 + 6.00% 61,538
85,422 107,960 2,950.30 + 8.00% 85,422
107,960 551,476 4,753.34 + 9.30% 107,960
551,476 661,768 46,000.33 + 10.30% 551,476
661,768 1,102,946 57,360.41 + 11.30% 661,768
1,102,946 AND OVER 107,213.52 + 12.30% 1,102,946

Schedule Z

Use if your filing status is Head of Household

If the amount on Form 540, line 19 is
over – But not over – Enter on Form 540, line 31 of the amount over –
$ 0 $16,457 $ 0.00 + 1.00% $0
16,457 38,991 164.57 + 2.00% 16,457
38,991 50,264 615.25 + 4.00% 38,991
50,264 62,206 1,066.17 + 6.00% 50,264
62,206 73,477 1,782.69 + 8.00% 62,206
73,477 375,002 2,684.37 + 9.30% 73,477
375,002 450,003 30,726.20 + 10.30% 375,002
450,003 750,003 38,451.30 + 11.30% 450,003
750,003 AND OVER 72,351.30 + 12.30% 750,003

How to Figure Tax Using the 2017 California Tax Rate Schedules

Example: Chris and Pat Smith are filing a joint tax return using Form 540. Their taxable income on Form 540, line 19 is $125,000.

Step 1:

Using Schedule Y, they find the taxable income range that includes their taxable income of $125,000.

Step 2:

They subtract the amount at the beginning of their range from their taxable income.

Example: $125,000 − 107,960 = $17,040

Step 3:

They multiply the result from Step 2 by the percentage for their range.

Example: $17,040 × .0930 = $1,584.72

Step 4:

They round the amount from Step 3 to two decimals (if necessary) and add it to the tax amount for their income range. After rounding the result, they will enter $6,338 on Form 540, line 31.

Example: $4,753.34 + 1,584.72 = $6,338.06

How To Get California Tax Information

Where To Get Income Tax Forms and Publications

By Internet

You can download, view, and print California income tax forms and publications at ftb.ca.gov/forms or you may have these forms and publications mailed to you. Many of our most frequently used forms may be filed electronically, printed out for submission, and saved for record keeping.

By phone

To order California tax forms and publications:

  • Refer to the list on the next page and find the code number for the form you want to order.
  • Call 800.338.0505.
  • Follow the recorded instructions.
  • Enter the three-digit form code when you are instructed.

Allow two weeks to receive your order. If you live outside California, allow three weeks to receive your order.

In person

Many post offices and libraries provide free California tax booklets during the filing season.

Employees at libraries and post offices cannot provide tax information or assistance.

By mail

Write to:

TAX FORMS REQUEST UNIT
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 307
RANCHO CORDOVA CA 95741-0307

Letters

If you write to us, be sure your letter includes your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number and your daytime and evening telephone numbers. Send your letter to:

FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 942840
SACRAMENTO CA 94240-0040

We will respond to your letter within 10 weeks. In some cases, we may call you to respond to your inquiry, or ask you for additional information. Do not attach correspondence to your tax return unless the correspondence relates to an item on the return.

Your Rights As A Taxpayer

The FTB’s goals include making certain that your rights are protected so that you have the highest confidence in the integrity, efficiency, and fairness of our state tax system. FTB 4058, California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, includes information on your rights as a California taxpayer, the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Program, and how to request written advice from the FTB on whether a particular transaction is taxable. See “Where To Get Income Tax Forms and Publications.”

Privacy Notice

The Franchise Tax Board considers the privacy of your tax information to be of the utmost importance.

Reasons for Information Requests

We ask for tax return information so that we can administer the tax law fairly and correctly.

Rights and Responsibility

You have the right to see our records that contain your personal information. To obtain information about your records, you may write to:

DISCLOSURE OFFICER MS A181
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO Box 1468
Sacramento CA 95812-1468

or call: 800.852.5711 within the United States, or 916.845.6500 outside of the United States.

Your Responsibility

California Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 18501 and 18621 require you to file a tax return on the forms we prescribe if you meet certain requirements. It is mandatory that you furnish all requested information. You may be charged penalties and interest, and in certain cases, you may be criminally prosecuted if you do not provide the information we ask for, or you provide fraudulent information.

Information Disclosures

As provided by law, we may give your tax information to other tax officials to determine your tax liability or collect tax amounts you owe. If you owe the Franchise Tax Board money we may also give your information to employers, financial institutions, county recorders, or others who hold assets belonging to you.

For full text of Franchise Tax Board’s Privacy Notice, get FTB 1131 ENG/SP.

Need help with your tax return?

We provide free assistance to individuals with limited income and/or over the age of 60 who need help in completing simple federal and state income tax returns. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for vita.

MyFTB: The window to your info ftb.ca.gov

The window to your information … MyFTB

MyFTB is a secure online service allowing you to:

  • View estimated tax payments, recent payments made, and the total balance due on your account.
  • Look up your California wage and withholding and FTB-issued 1099-G and 1099-INT records.
  • Update your mailing address and phone number.
  • Pay online with Web Pay.
  • Link to additional services offered by the FTB:
    • File your tax return with CalFile
    • Apply for an installment agreement
    • Check your refund status
    • Request a paper copy of your filed tax return
    • Sign-up for estimated tax payment email reminders

Go to ftb.ca.gov and login or register for MyFTB.

Automated Phone Service

(Keep This Booklet For Future Use)

Automated Phone Service

Use our automated phone service to get recorded answers to many of your questions about California Taxes and to order current year Personal Income Tax Forms and Publications. You can also:

  • Get current year tax refund information.
  • Get balance due and payment information.

Have paper and pencil ready to take notes.

Telephone:
800.338.0505 from within the United States
916.845.6500 from outside the United States

Answers To Tax Questions

Call our automated phone service, follow the recorded instructions and enter the 3-digit code.

Code
Filing Assistance
100
Do I need to file a tax return?
111
Which form should I use?
112
How do I file electronically and get a fast refund?
201
How can I get an extension to file?
203
What is the nonrefundable renter’s credit and how do I qualify?
204
I never received a Form W-2. What do I do?
205
I have no withholding taken out. What do I do?
206
Do I have to attach a copy of my federal tax return?
209
I lived in California for part of the year. Do I have to file a tax return?
210
I did not live in California. Do I have to file a tax return?
215
Who qualifies me to use the head of household filing status?
222
How much can I deduct for vehicle license fees?
 
Penalties
403
What is the estimate penalty rate?
 
Notices And Bills
503
How do I file a protest against a Notice of Proposed Assessment?
506
How can I get information about my Form 1099-G?
 
Tax For Children
601
Can my child take a personal exemption credit when I claim her or him as a dependent on my tax return?
 
Miscellaneous
611
What address do I send my payment to?
619
How do I report a change of address?

Order Forms and Publications

If your current address is on file, you can order California tax forms and publications. Call our automated phone service, follow the recorded instructions and enter the 3-digit code.

Code
California Forms and Publications
900
California Resident Income Tax Booklet: Form 540, Resident Income Tax Return
965
Form 540 2EZ Tax Booklet
903
Schedule CA (540), California Adjustments – Residents, FTB 3885A, Depreciation and Amortization Adjustments, and Schedule D, California Capital Gain or Loss Adjustment
969
Large Print Resident Booklet
970
Resident Booklet on Audio CD
907
Form 540-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
908
Schedule X, California Explanation of Amended Return Changes
909
Schedule D-1, Sales of Business Property
910
Schedule G-1, Tax on Lump-Sum Distributions
911
Schedule P (540), Alternative Minimum Tax and Credit Limitations – Residents
913
Schedule S, Other State Tax Credit
914
California Nonresident Income Tax Booklet: Long and Short Form 540NR, Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return
917
Schedule CA (540NR), California Adjustments – Nonresidents or Part-Year Residents
918
Schedule P (540NR), Alternative Minimum Tax and Credit Limitations – Nonresidents or Part-Year Residents
932
FTB 3506, Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit
938
FTB 3514, California Earned Income Tax Credit
937
FTB 3516, Request for Copy of Personal Income Tax or Fiduciary Tax Return
921
FTB 3519, Payment for Automatic Extension for Individuals
922
FTB 3525, Substitute for W-2 Wage and Tax Statement
923
FTB 3526, Investment Interest Expense Deduction
939
FTB 3532, Head of Household Filing Status Schedule
940
FTB 3540, Credit Carryover and Recapture Summary
949
FTB 3567, Installment Agreement Request
924
FTB 3800, Tax Computation for Certain Children with Investment Income
929
FTB 3801, Passive Activity Loss Limitations
925
FTB 3805E, Installment Sale Income
928
FTB 3805P, Additional Taxes from Qualified Retirement Plans
926
FTB 3805V, Net Operating Loss (NOL) – Individuals
943
FTB 4058, California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights
927
FTB 5805, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals and Fiduciaries
919
FTB Pub. 1001, Supplemental Guidelines to California Adjustments
920
FTB Pub. 1005, Pension and Annuity Guidelines
945
FTB Pub. 1006, California Tax Forms and Related Federal Forms
946
FTB Pub. 1008, Federal Tax Adjustments and Your Notification Responsibilities
941
FTB Pub. 1031, Guidelines for Determining Resident Status
942
FTB Pub. 1032, Tax Information for Military Personnel
934
FTB Pub. 1540, California Head of Household Filing Status

Current Year Refund Information

If you file by mail, wait at least 8 weeks after you file your tax return before you call to find out about your refund. You need your social security number, the numbers in your street address, box number, route number, or PMB number, and your ZIP Code to use this service.

Balance Due and Payment Information

Wait at least 45 days from the date you mailed your payment before you call to verify receipt. You need your social security number, the numbers in your street address, box number, route number, or PMB number, and your ZIP Code to use this service.

General Phone Service

Telephone assistance is available year-round from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Hours are subject to change.

Telephone:
800.852.5711 from within the United States
916.845.6500 from outside the United States
800.829.1040 for federal tax questions, call the IRS
TTY/TDD:
800.822.6268 for persons with hearing or speech disability
711 or 800.735.2929 California relay service

Large-print forms and instructions – The Resident Booklet is available in large print upon request and is also available on audio CD. See “Order Forms and Publications” or ‘’Where To Get Income Tax Forms and Publications.’’

Asistencia en español

Asistencia telefónica está disponible durante todo el año desde las 7 a.m. hasta las 5 p.m. de lunes a viernes, excepto días feriados. Las horas están sujetas a cambios.

Teléfono:
800.852.5711 dentro de los Estados Unidos
916.845.6500 fuera de los Estados Unidos
800.829.1040 para preguntas sobre impuestos federales, llame al IRS
TTY/TDD:
800.822.6268 para personas con discapacidades auditivas o del habla
711 ó 800.735.2929 servicio de relevo de California