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Tax News
Form 540 Gets a Mini-Makeover

October 2009 - Each year our forms section revises the previous year forms and publications to reflect the new tax year, new information, and law changes. As we get ready for the 2010 filing season, California needs even more lines on the California Form 540 to accommodate recent legislation. As a result, the Form 540 must grow beyond its standard two pages to fit all the lines necessary. As a practitioner, the biggest change you'll see is that the Form 540 is three pages instead of two.

First of all, you'll probably notice that the signature box is now on page one of the computer-generated (scannable) 540. Line numbers also changed for many items. Lines added to the return include information for reporting the New Jobs Credit and Voluntary Contributions.

The forms for the 2009 tax year are still in review and are not finalized. Certain legislation is still pending and, of course, there is always the possibility that late federal legislation could impact our forms. Do you have suggestions for improving our forms, such as ideas for making them simpler or easier to understand? Go to and search for draft forms.

Back to October 2009 Tax News