California State Controller gives tax season advice

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – With the April 15 Tax Day a little more than a month away, California State Controller Betty Yee stopped by Good Morning San Diego with some tips for those who haven’t started their income tax returns yet.

• First of all, don’t panic! The best tip is to e-file.
• It’s fast, easy, and in many cases FREE. There is a free service called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).
• Software products use a simple step-by-step process to complete your return.
• Most users can complete their return in about 20 minutes using FTB’s free CalFile program, which is available at ftb.ca.gov
• IRS-certified volunteers will prepare your federal and state tax returns for FREE.
• The program is geared towards those who make $55K or less, senior citizens, and non-English speaking taxpayers.
• There are more than 1,000 VITA sites located throughout the state from now until April 15.
• In San Diego County, many free tax prep sites are offered. San Diego residents may call 2-1-1 to set up a VITA appointment.
• For free tax prep sites all around California, visit ftb.ca.gov
• The cash-back California Earned Income Tax Credit, or CalEITC, is designed to help low-income working families.
• CalEITC and the companion federal EITC can increase your refund by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You don’t have to pay this money back, and you can use it to pay for food, bills or whatever you need.
• So far this tax season, more than 55,000 San Diego County families have received CalEITC, sharing a total of more than $11 million. Those numbers are sure to grow as more people file.
• CalEITC has been expanded to make it much easier for those age 18 and over with no dependents to receive the credit. As in the past, the credit is also available to those with kids – In fact, if you have dependents, you can get even more money.
• In total, about 3 million families are eligible for CalEITC this tax season.
• There’s no trick to receiving the state and federal EITCs – You just need to file your tax returns.

• Visit ftb.ca.gov to learn more.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, KUSI