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Tax Day Approaches In California; Here's What's New This Year

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Thanks to a quirk in the calendar, taxpayers have until Monday to file their federal returns this year – even though April 15 is this Friday. California tax returns and payments are due Monday as well.

In an unmarked office complex east of Sacramento, 525 seasonal Franchise Tax Board employees sort through tax returns and payments. These machines scan 10,000 pages an hour.

Fifteen million pieces of mail pass through this facility every year, though the FTB encourages e-filing, which is increasing.

One building over, the FTB’s call center employees are hard at work.

State Controller Betty Yee says if you can’t afford your tax bill, pay as much as you can now – and then contact the FTB.

“We will try to set up a payment plan so that those taxes can be paid,“ Yee says. “And generally, that’s pretty easy to do for those who owe $25,000 or less and are able to pay that over a five-year period.”

This year, there’s a new form to fill out if you wish to file as “head of household.” It’s also the first year of California’s Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working Californians – part of last year’s state budget deal.

 taxes

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio