How Do You Fill Out the California State Tax Form?


Quick Answer

Taxpayers should fill out their names, domestic and foreign addresses, principal business activity codes, birth dates and Social Security numbers, or individual taxpayer identification numbers, on the relevant spaces of the California income tax Form 540, advises eSmart Tax. They should then indicate their filing status — single, married, registered domestic partner, widow, widower, head of household and so on — on lines 1 to line 5 of Form 540.

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Full Answer

Form 540 reserves lines 6 through 11 for exemptions, notes eSmart Tax. Taxpayers should check the box on line 6 if they, their spouses or their registered domestic partners depend on other taxpayers. Blind people, or those with blind spouses and visually impaired registered domestic partners, can claim exemptions by filling out line 8 and providing the necessary medical evidence. However, they cannot claim this credit if they are dependent on other taxpayers. Form 540 reserves line 9 for senior citizen exemptions, line 10 for dependent exemptions, and line 11 for specific exemption amounts.

On line 12, taxpayers should record any wages received from all states, and on line 13, indicate their federal adjusted gross income, which they should derive from the relevant parts of the federal income tax Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ, explains eSmart Tax. Taxpayers who note differences between their federal and California deductions or incomes should fill out Schedule CA (540), and then input the amount on the document's line 37, column B, onto line 14 of Form 540.

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