How to file California state taxes (for FREE!) | How to | GBR

How to file California state taxes (for FREE!) | How to | GBR

Hey everyone, it’s Casey, Editor of It’s no secret that I am a serious procrastinator so of course
that means I haven’t done my taxes yet. But, I figure I can’t be the only person
who hasn’t done my taxes so I’m gonna walk you guys through the tax form for
my home state of California so we can finally finish up and get our taxes
filed on time. Now, the California tax form is called
the 540 and like the federal form 1040, there are several versions you can pick
from depending on the complexity of your tax situation. You can find all of the
tax forms and publications that you’ll need to complete your taxes at the State
of California Franchise Tax Board website. Or you can just go to your local
post office or library and pick up a hard copy for yourself. Now today I’m
going to go over just the regular form 540, since that’s what most of you will
be completing this year. Here are the things that you’ll need to have in front
of you in order to fill out your 540 form. First you’ll need your W-2. Secondly,
any additional forms or statements you’ve received in the mail like your
1099. If you’ve already done your federal taxes, it’s helpful to have your 1040 on
hand as well. And finally, have the tax table in front of you as reference. Once
you have all of these documents in front of you, you can transfer the appropriate
numbers to the corresponding lines on your 540. Now, when it comes to actually
filing your taxes e-filing is almost always the best way to go. Not only are
your taxes going to be received and processed faster, so you hopefully get
that refund sooner, but the post office gets crazy around April and you might as
well save yourself a stamp and some time by just filing online. And yes it is possible to e-file your state taxes for free. We
recently published an article on that breaks it all
down for you so visit the link in the box below to learn more. So now that you
know how to get your state taxes done, let’s stop putting it off any longer and
get them in today.


  1. Helping a friend file from out of state, on non resident form. Line 31-42 is a confusing mess, I can't figure out why the exemption isn't plugged in before line 31 which request the tax amount from the table. Why would it do that? And then it isn't clear where the exemptions really indeed go. I can't find any help.

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