California State Income Tax - Tax Year 2012
California Income Tax Table
|Tax Bracket (Single) ||Tax Bracket (Couple) ||Marginal Tax Rate|
The California Income Tax
California collects a state income tax at a maximum marginal tax rate of 10.30%, spread across seven tax brackets. Like the Federal Income Tax, California's income tax allows couples filing jointly to pay a lower overall rate on their combined income with wider tax brackets for joint filers. California's maximum marginal income tax rate is the 2nd highest in the United States, ranking directly below Hawaii's 11.00%.
California doubles all bracket widths for married couples filing jointly except the $1,000,000 bracket. If you encounter difficulties dealing with the California Franchise Tax Board, you can contact the California Taxpayer's Advocate Hotline toll-free at 1-800-883-5910. There are -39 days left until Tax Day, on April 15th 2013.
California Tax Deductions
Income tax deductions are expenses that can be deducted from your gross pre-tax income. Using deductions is an excellent way to reduce your California income tax and maximize your refund, so be sure to research deductions that you mey be able to claim on your Federal and California tax returns. For details on specific deductions available in California, see the list of California income tax deductions.
- The California standard deduction is $3,769.00 for individuals and $7,538.00 for married couples filing jointly. The standard deduction may be chosen instead of filing an itemized deduction on your California tax return.
- California's personal income tax exemptions include a personal exemption of $102.00. You can deduct one single exemption from your gross income if you are responsible for supporting yourself financially.
- California has a dependent exemption of $315.00. You may claim one dependent examption for each of the children, relatives, or others who live with and are supported by you as described § 152 of the IRC (Internal Revenue Code).
- California allows limited itemized deductions. You may be able to claim most of the same deductions on your California income tax return as you do on your Federal return, but more limitations and phase-outs may exist for higher income taxpayers. For more information, see the list of California itemized deductions.
California Income Tax Forms
How To File Your California Income Tax Return
Where To Send Your California Tax Return
Income Tax Returns (No Payment Included)
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 942840
Sacramento, CA 94240-0002
Income Tax Returns (Payment Included)
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 942867
Sacramento, CA 94240-0001
e-Filing: Submit Your California Tax Return Online
You can save time and money by electronically filing your California income tax directly with the Franchise Tax Board. Benefits of e-Filing your California tax return include instant submission, error checking, and faster refund response times. Most tax preparers can electronically file your return for you, or you can do it yourself using free or paid income tax software, like the examples listed below.
California's free eFile program allows all California taxpayers to instantly file their income tax return over the internet. California provides several free resources for eFile users, including ReadyReturn (which can automatically generate simple tax returns for you), and CalFile, a free software program offered by the Franchise Tax Board. In addition, California supports e-filing your return through a variety of third-party software packages.
The benefits of e-filing your California tax return include speedy refund delivery (in as little as 7 days by direct deposit) , scheduling tax payments, and instant filing confirmation. If you have questions about the eFile program, contact the California Franchise Tax Board toll-free at 1-800-852-5711.
To e-file your California and Federal income tax returns, you need a piece of tax software that is certified for eFile by the IRS. While most in-depth tax software charges a fee, there are several free options available through the states, and simple versions are also offered free of charge by most tax software companies.
The two most popular tax software packages are H&R Block At Home, sold by the H&R Block tax preparation company, and TurboTax Federal & State, sold by the Intuit software company. Both companies produce multiple editions for simple to very complex tax returns, so be sure to carefully compare the features offered by each package.
Getting Your California Tax Refund
If your state tax witholdings are greater then the amount of income tax you owe the state of California, you will receive an income tax refund check from the government to make up the difference.
It should take one to three weeks for your refund check to be processed after your income tax return is recieved. E-filing your return and filing early can help ensure your refund check gets sent as quickly as possible.
Once you've filed your tax return, all you have to do is wait for your refund to arrive. If you want to check the status of your California tax refund, you can visit the California Franchise Tax Board Income Tax Refund page.
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- Our state ranking and income tax figures are based on a family of four (married parents with two children) earning the national median household income of $50,000 per year. Deductions and personal exemptions are taken into account, but some state-specific deductions and tax credit programs may not be accounted for.
- Before the official 2013 California income tax rates are released, provisional 2013 tax rates are based on California's 2012 income tax brackets.
- The 2013 state personal income tax brackets are updated from the California Franchise Tax Board and Tax Foundation data.
- California tax forms are sourced from the California Franchise Tax Board income tax forms page, and are updated on a yearly basis. Please make sure the California forms you are using are up-to-date.