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California State Income Tax

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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California State Income Tax Guidelines

If you are a California resident or have earned money in California in the last year and are wondering whether you need to file a California income tax return, the following guidelines apply. First of all, you must file if your gross income or your adjusted gross income exceeded the amount defined by California law, based on your filing status, your age, and the number of dependents you claim. In addition, if you are a California resident, you must include any income you have from any source in the world (your worldwide gross income) in order to determine your filing requirements.

Many people live in the state of California for part of the year. If you fall into this category, you must file a California state return if you had any income taxable by the state. This includes all income earned while a resident of the state and all California source income for the time you were a nonresident. An example of California source income would be income from a business you own in California or interest earned from a bank in California. In all cases, if you owe at least one dollar in taxes, you must file a California tax return.

California State Income Tax Resources

You can go online to several California state websites that will help you to determine your filing status and will answer some of your questions about your own taxes. You may, however, find that there have been significant changes that you don't quite understand, or your own financial situation may have changed dramatically. These scenarios can leave you a little daunted about filing your own taxes, while getting an accountant may be very expensive.

You have another alternative when dealing with California state income tax issues. You can locate an online tax filing preparation website. They will offer you the advantage of walking you through the process while providing you with instructions and the support you need to feel confident that you are completing your return correctly. You can also file electronically, and you will be pleased to know that online filing rates are fairly low. Another advantage to online filing is that you will receive your refund much faster and can have it direct deposited to your bank account.


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