Saturday, December 15, 2007

End of Year Tax Tips Offered for California Taxpayers


With tax season just around the corner, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today offered Californians tips on planning for next year’ filings.

"Taking stock of your taxes now can make reporting easier and faster for you next year," said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. "The FTB offers services to help you look ahead to see if you are ready for April 15."

A few ways to help prepare for the filing of your 2007 tax return:

* Use the tax calculator available at www.ftb.ca.gov to estimate your tax. Now is a great time to project taxes due for 2007 before April 15 arrives. If you are under withheld, you have time to make added tax payments now to avoid problems later. To make a tax payment online, try FTB’s Web Pay service.
* Check your estimated tax payments. Claiming the wrong estimated payments is the most common error made on state tax returns. You can check your estimated payment on FTB’s Website. FTB renamed the View Payments and Balance Due application to My FTB Account. My FTB Account will be available January 2, be sure to check it to verify estimated tax payments. Customer Service Numbers are required for My FTB Account.
* Get organized. Now is a good time to start collecting the receipts and documents you will need to file your tax return. Items to collect include: last year’s tax return, receipts for charitable contributions, and your car registration. Watch your mail for W-2s and 1099s and put them in a safe place.
* Need an email reminder to file? You can request one from FTB’s Website via the Email Reminder to File. The reminder also contains links to other areas of the Website that provide information to make filing easier such as e-file information, tips to avoid common mistakes, and what to do if you cannot pay.
* Looking for a tax professional? Last year, 68 percent of taxpayers had their returns professionally prepared. If you choose to hire someone to prepare your tax return, be sure it is someone you know or you can trust. These organizations may be helpful in finding a tax professional:
o CPAs and Public Accountants are licensed by the California Board of Accountancy. To locate a CPA, contact the California Society of Certified Public Accountants at (800) 922-5272 or visit www.calcpa.org.
o Enrolled Agents are licensed by the federal government. To locate one near you, contact the California Society of Enrolled Agents at (800) 829-7765 or visit www.csea.org.
o Tax preparers registered with the California Tax Education Council can be found by calling (877) 850-2832 or visiting www.ctec.org. Read on->

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