Chat with an FTB Representative

CalFileFrequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use CalFile if this is my first time filing a California tax return?
  2. Why do you recommend creating a deluxe account where I need to provide information from a prior year California tax return?
  3. Can I file a previous year tax return with CalFile?
  4. How much time do I have to use CalFile?
  5. How do I finish a return I started and saved?
  6. What do I need to do after I e-file my return?
  7. I forgot to print my return before I e-filed. How do I get a copy?
  8. I found a mistake after I e-filed my return. What do I do?
  9. Can I cancel an electronic payment I scheduled in CalFile?
  10. I tried to submit my return, but I got an error message. Did you receive my return?

  1. Can I use CalFile if this is my first time filing a California tax return?

    Yes. Create a basic account. You do not need to provide information from a previously filed California tax return.

  2. Why do you recommend creating a deluxe account where I need to provide information from a prior year California tax return?

    By providing information from a prior year California tax return you will have access to all our online services and will have more features when you use certain services. In CalFile, you will be able to import information we have in our records to help you complete your tax return faster.

  3. Can I file a previous year tax return with CalFile?

    Yes, this year, for the first time, CalFile is accepting the previous year (2012) tax return. For more information, review the 2012 qualifications.

  4. How much time do I have to use CalFile?

    CalFile has many screens or pages that ask you for the information needed to complete your tax return. You have 20 minutes on each screen. Every time you continue from one screen to the next, your 20 minutes begins again. If you cannot complete a screen in 20 minutes, you can save your information and come back later to finish.

  5. How do I finish a return I started and saved?

    Login to your account. Then click on the CalFile link to continue your saved return.

  6. What do I need to do after I e-file my return?

    You need to keep your completed return, other tax documents (e.g., Forms W-2, W-2G, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-R), and California Online e-file Return Authorization for Individuals, for four years from the due date of the return or four years from the date the return was filed, whichever is later.

    If you owe tax and did not schedule an electronic payment, you still need to pay the amount you owe. We offer several payment options.

  7. I forgot to print my return before I e-filed. How do I get a copy?

    Login to your account and click on the CalFile link. You can view the return you filed and print the PDF for your records. You need Adobe Reader to view and print your return.

  8. I found a mistake after I e-filed my return. What do I do?

    If you need to change your filing status, income, credits, tax amounts, or payments, you will need to complete an Amended Individual Income Tax Return (Form 540X). You cannot use CalFile to correct your return.

    For other changes please contact our Taxpayer Services Center:

    Telephone: 800.852.5711
    916.845.6500 from outside the United States
    Press 1 for personal income tax, then press 6 to speak to a representative during business hours.
    TTY/TDD: 800.822.6268 for persons with hearing or speech impairments.
  9. Can I cancel an electronic payment I scheduled in CalFile?

    Yes. To cancel your payment you must call our e-Programs Customer Service Unit at least two business days before the payment date. The phone number is 916.845.0353.

  10. I tried to submit my return, but I got an error message. Did you receive my return?

    If you did not receive a page with a Confirmation Number, we did not receive your return and it has not been filed.

    Login to your account and click on the CalFile link. You will see information about the status of your CalFile return. If you can Begin or Continue your return, it has not been filed. If you can only View your return, it has been successfully filed.

Start My Return