Oct.15 tax deadline approaches

The California Franchise Tax Board reminds taxpayers that Thursday, Oct. 15, is the deadline for filing 2019 state personal income tax returns to avoid penalties.

As of Oct. 3, Californians filed more than 18.1 million personal income tax returns, 16.7 million of them electronically. The state has issued 13.8 million refunds totaling more than $14.8 billion.

Taxpayers can file electronically free of charge using FTB’s CalFile program. CalFile and a list of other free or fee-based e-file services are available at FTB’s website here.

E-filing provides faster refunds, increased accuracy, and immediate confirmation that FTB received a return. For quick refunds, FTB encourages taxpayers to opt for direct deposit to their bank accounts.

Taxpayers can use FTB’s electronic payment options. Web Pay allows taxpayers to authorize a payment from a bank account to cover return balances. Individual taxpayers can also go to their MyFTB account to securely access their tax information and to view and schedule tax payments.

Payments were due July 15, but installment plans are available on the FTB website for taxpayers facing financial hardship. Those who owe $25,000 or less and can repay within five years generally qualify.

Taxpayers who are 18 or older, work, and have low income, can take advantage of the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and receive up to $2,982 cash-back. And those who qualify for CalEITC and have at least one child under the age of 6 as of the end of the tax year, may qualify for $1,000 for the Young Child Tax Credit.

Taxpayers affected by the California wildfires may have more time to make certain payments and file their 2019 state income tax returns. On Aug. 28 and Oct. 7, taxpayers in the following California counties were granted an extension to file state personal income tax returns and make certain payments until Dec. 15: Butte, Del Norte, Fresno, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Yolo