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Extended Tax Day For Angelenos Is Here, What Help Can You Get From The Federal Tax Board?

Don’t Miss Out on Programs for Tax Relief, Filing Options, and Scam Protection

By Dolores Quintana

The California Franchise Tax Board issued a vital reminder to taxpayers today, underscoring that October 16 marks the final opportunity for most Californians to file and remit their 2022 taxes in a timely manner, thus avoiding punitive measures.

Furthermore, FTB has proffered valuable insights to assist individuals facing multiple tax obligations during this year’s filing season. Additionally, they have disseminated guidance on the process of claiming tax credits, tax return submission at no cost, tax relief pertaining to natural disasters, and strategies for safeguarding against fraudulent schemes.

State Controller and FTB Chair Malia M. Cohen emphasized the importance of this impending deadline: “We want to ensure that October 16 remains ingrained in every Californian’s memory as the ultimate cutoff for tax filing and payment. Additionally, I wish to remind Californians that by submitting a state tax return, they become eligible to claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit and the Young Child and Foster Youth state tax credits, contingent upon meeting the requisite income criteria. These refundable credits can potentially restore hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the households grappling with financial challenges.”

In parallel with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), FTB has extended this year’s original tax filing and payment due date of April 18, 2023, to October 16, 2023, for residents in 55 California counties designated under a federal disaster declaration due to the severe winter storms occurring in late 2022 and early 2023.Further information is accessible on FTB’s Emergency Tax Relief page.

Each year, Californians submit over 20 million state personal income tax returns. FTB anticipates an additional three million tax returns to be filed by October 16, 2023, compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, with approximately one million more outstanding returns at present.

Disaster declarations linked to last winter’s storms extended the deadline for various personal and business tax payments covering two tax years. To facilitate the prompt and precise processing of these tax payments, FTB urges taxpayers not to amalgamate payments for distinct tax years. Instead, they should dispatch separate checks for each payment type, such as personal income tax and quarterly estimated payments. For a comprehensive understanding of these procedures, please refer to FTB’s Disaster declaration tax payments page.

Those employing electronic filing should adhere to the software instructions for inputting disaster information. In case an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice associated with the postponement period, they should contact the number indicated on the notice for penalty waiver.

Residents with income up to $30,000 may qualify for the CalEITC, which offers the potential of cashback or a reduction in tax liabilities. Eligible individuals with a child under the age of six can also access up to $1,083 through the YCTC, which no longer mandates income requirements, provided that all other CalEITC and YCTC conditions are met. Additionally, those earning less than $59,187 may be eligible for the federal EITC. Collectively, a family can receive up to $11,435 through the combination of CalEITC, YCTC, and the federal EITC. The FYTC offers a maximum credit of $1,083 for tax year 2022 and onwards. To claim CalEITC, YCTC, and FYTC, a state tax return must be filed, while the federal EITC is claimed through the federal return. To estimate these credits, visit ftb.ca.gov/caleitc.

Most taxpayers have the option to electronically file their state tax returns without incurring charges by utilizing FTB’s CalFile program. CalFile, along with a comprehensive list of other free or fee-based e-filing services, can be accessed through FTB’s website. To ensure a prompt and secure refund, FTB advises taxpayers to opt for direct deposit into their bank accounts. E-filing offers benefits such as expedited refunds, enhanced accuracy, and immediate confirmation of return receipt by FTB.

Taxpayers are also encouraged to take advantage of FTB’s electronic payment option, Web Pay. This service empowers taxpayers to authorize tax payments directly from their bank accounts. Individual taxpayers can conveniently schedule payments and access their tax information securely through their MyFTB accounts.

FTB encourages taxpayers who may face difficulty in settling their entire tax liabilities to file their returns punctually and remit as much as they can afford promptly to mitigate the accrual of penalties and interest. For individuals with tax debts not exceeding $25,000, which can be repaid within five years, FTB typically extends eligibility for payment plans.

FTB vehemently urges taxpayers to remain vigilant against potential scams. Scammers frequently exploit unsuspecting taxpayers by impersonating IRS or FTB personnel. Their tactics may involve duping taxpayers into sending money erroneously or disclosing sensitive information that could be exploited for the submission of fraudulent tax returns and the misappropriation of refunds. 

In cases where individuals receive suspicious correspondence from FTB or the IRS, they are advised to contact FTB at 800-852-5711 or the IRS at 800-829-1040. Concerned taxpayers can also consult the FTB Letters page and peruse FTB’s Scams page for information on common scam types.

A new statute empowers FTB to grant individual taxpayers a one-time waiver of penalties incurred due to late tax filing or payment. To avail of this relief, taxpayers must remain compliant with all tax return filing obligations, refrain from having previously benefited from a one-time penalty abatement, and possess no outstanding tax liabilities apart from the timeliness penalty they wish to have canceled. This relief applies to tax year 2022 and beyond. Commencing on October 17, 2023, FTB will begin accepting requests for one-time penalty abatement. For additional information, please visit FTB’s One-time penalty abatement page or call 800-689-4776.

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