The Franchise Tax Board is offering key tips for California taxpayers before the April 18 filing deadline.
“This year, everyone has three extra days to file and pay their taxes, thanks to the observance of Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., an IRS-recognized holiday that falls on April 15,” said State Controller and FTB Chair Betty T. Yee. “With tax day just a week away, I want to be sure Californians are aware of free filing services and valuable cash-back credits available to them.”
Yee said millions of low-income, working Californians might qualify for hundreds or even thousands of dollars by claiming credits on their tax returns. Taxpayers with earned income of $30,000 or less might be eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), which provides as much as $3,160 for a family with three or more children.
Filers qualifying for CalEITC may also be eligible for up to $1,000 in Young Child Tax Credits (YCTC) if they have one child under six at the end of the tax year. Combined, CalEITC, YCTC, and the federal Earned Income Tax Credit can have a significant financial impact on many low-income individuals and families. To learn more about these credits, visit www.ftb.ca.gov/caleitc.
Free Tax Help
Most taxpayers are eligible to file their state returns for free online with FTB’s easy-to-use tool, CalFile. CalFile allows taxpayers to file directly with FTB and provides instant confirmation. Free in-person tax preparation is also available for low-to-moderate-income taxpayers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Residents should visit ftb.ca.gov and search for free tax help for a list of VITA locations statewide.
Check refund status tool
Those who have already filed and expect a refund can use the Check Your Refund Status tool at ftb.ca.gov. FTB also provides this service in Spanish. In addition, the MyFTB account service allows taxpayers to view their tax documents, check balances due, access tax calculators, send secure messages to FTB staff, and more.
Automatic tax filing extension
California taxpayers get an automatic extension to file until Oct. 17 this year. However, any taxes owed must be deposited or postmarked by April 18, 2022. Taxpayers who are unsure of whether they will owe money can refer to FTB’s Tax Calculator.
Taxpayers can also pay with Web Pay directly from their bank accounts. Payments are also accepted by MasterCard, VISA, American Express, or Discover for a service fee of 2.3 percent.
Apply for a payment plan
FTB recommends that taxpayers file returns on time and pay to avoid penalties and interest. Payment plans are available for taxpayers who face financial challenges. Those who owe $25,000 or less and can repay the balance due within five years generally qualify.
Get questions answered
FTB’s Live Chat allows taxpayers to ask an FTB representative general tax questions and get help with FTB’s website in real-time. However, Live Chat is not a secure channel, and taxpayers should not offer personal information such as a Social Security numbers or bank account information. Taxpayers may also call FTB at 800-852-5711.
[Information via news release from the Franchise Tax Board.]