How To File California State Taxes
If you are a California resident, you will certainly want to know how to file California state taxes. There are three basic ways to file California state taxes: using paper forms, online, or with the help of an accountant. This article will describe these methods and help you figure out which way is right for you.
To file California state taxes, you will need one or more of the following:
- All of your tax statements (all of your W-2's, 1099's, etc. for last year)
- A computer with access to the internet
- An accountant
- A bank account
- File California state taxes the traditional way. You can find paper forms and instructions for filing taxes at any local Post Office branch. This is, however, the most tedious method, and the most intimidating.
- Try e-filing on the Franchise Tax Board website. California's CalFile online tax filing system is a simpler way to file California state taxes. If you work a 9-5 job and file a W-2, this option is most certainly for you. Go to the California state website and follow the directions on how to file electronically. If you are owed a refund be sure to specify a bank account as this will help get you your refund quickly.
- Hire an accountant. If you really want to minimize your chances of making a mistake and facing a future tax audit when you file California state taxes, turn to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a tax preparation company. This is an expensive option, but some CPA's and tax preparation companies guarantee their work. If you have complex tax issues, such as mileage deductions or if you run a business with employees, this can be a highly attractive option.
Even if you don't owe any taxes, you still need to file with the Franchise Tax Board.