Individual e-file Frequently Asked Questions
Individual e-file allows you to file your return electronically using software. Nearly all taxpayers can e-file their personal income tax return, including those filing nonresident or part-year resident returns.
Ask your tax professional to e-file for you. Thousands are authorized by the FTB to provide e-file services for their clients. You can also find an e-file provider in your area by using our locator service .
Do it yourself. You can e-file wherever you have Internet access. Here are the options available to you:
- CalFile - FTB's online e-file application, and
- All Approved e-file Software Companies - Compare the products we have approved for do-it-yourself e-file.
Signing your e-file return is easy. Depending on the software you use you may either sign your return using the traditional pen-on-paper method or you may sign electronically using a self-select PIN process. Your software will guide you through the necessary steps to sign your return.
Is there a fee to e-file?
We do not charge a fee to e-file. However, your tax professional or the software company you use to e-file your own return may charge a fee. Some software companies offer free services to certain eligible taxpayers. We recommend that you check out the costs and eligibility requirements to find the one that best suits your situation.
How will I know that FTB received my return?
FTB provides an electronic acknowledgment that shows whether or not your return was received and accepted. You can get this acknowledgment in several ways.
- If you used a tax professional. they will receive the acknowledgment.
- If you e-filed your own return. your software will tell you how to get your acknowledgment.
Generally, no. You keep your completed return with your other
tax documents (e.g. Forms W-2, W-2G, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, and 1099-R).
However, if you owe money and do not choose one of our electronic payment options, you must mail your payment with a Voucher for Individual e-filed Returns (form FTB 3582).
What are forms FTB 8453 / FTB 8453-OL?
Forms FTB 8453 and FTB 8453-OL are the California e-file Return Authorization for Individuals forms. By signing this, you authorize the transmission of your return to us. You must sign this form before you or your tax professional e-files your return.
This form has a brief summary of your return information, including the amount of your refund or the amount you owe. It also shows if you chose to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account or if you chose to pay by electronic funds withdrawal.
What is form FTB 8879?
Form FTB 8879. the California e-file Signature Authorization for Individuals, is used to record and print taxpayer and tax preparer signature information when a return is authorized and signed electronically using our self-select and practitioner PIN methods.
What is form FTB 8455?
Form FTB 8455. the California e-file Payment Record for Individuals, is used to record and print payment information when a return is signed electronically. Note: This form is optional. Some software companies may report or document payment information on a separate form, record, or summary page.
How do I get my refund when I e-file?
You can have your refund deposited directly to your account in 7 days or less. Select Direct Deposit and provide your banking information when Direct Deposit is offered by your tax professional or by your e-file software. If you do not select Direct Deposit, you will get a paper check in about 10 days.
How do I pay my tax when I e-file?
You have the following choices for paying tax:Source: www.ftb.ca.gov