California Franchise Tax Board tax tips

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The Franchise Tax Board announced it is now accepting 2012 state tax returns, and announced the following updates on law changes and filing services for California taxpayers.

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Due to changes contained in this federal legislation, the California Schedules CA (540 & 540NR), 540/540A and 540NR Booklets, and other products that reference federal Schedule A, are delayed as FTB staff analyzes the changes. The most California taxpayers use Schedule CA to make adjustments for differences between federal and state tax laws.

Taxpayers who file using FTB’s CalFile, ReadyReturn, or Form 540 2EZ are not affected. Check FTB’s website for updates about when these schedules will be released.

Standard deduction

The standard deduction for single or filing separately tax statuses increased from $3,769 to $3,841. For joint, surviving spouse, or head of household filers, it increased from $7,538 to $7,682.

Exemption credit increases

The dependent exemption credit increased from $315 to $321 per dependent. The personal exemption amount for single, filing separately, and head of household filers increased from $102 to $104. For joint or surviving spouses, it increased from $204 to $208.

Tax rates increase for some

Income tax rates increased by up to 3 percent for individuals making $250,000 or more.

The income tax changes apply retroactively to all income earned or received since Jan. 1, 2012. The law waives the underpayment of estimated tax penalty that results from a retroactive tax law change that takes place during the year.

New CalFile features make filing easier

CalFile accepts taxpayers with income of up to $339,464, itemized deductions, and some tax credits. This year’s version of CalFile offers new features to make it easier and more convenient for taxpayers to complete their return. Taxpayers have the new option to receive an email confirmation verifying the return was filed and the ability to save information and come back later to finish the return.

Free online filing in minutes.

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