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TaxWise 2007

California Instructions/ Form 540

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

The California software must be loaded onto your TaxWise program, AND California
residency must be indicated on the MAIN INFO screen.

Make sure you have


loaded the state
software!

One way to insure if you have loaded the state software is to find the
CA540 PG1 and other CA forms, following the federal forms, located on
the Find a form screen, or in the list of forms on the left side of your
screen, in the “tree view”. If you have an active EFIN you may download
the state software from the TaxWise Webpage at www.taxwise.com. A
transmitting computer will be automatically updated with each
transmission when updates are available.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

STARTING THE STATE RETURN


If you start the state return before
the following forms are complete,
TaxWise will not be able to
complete the 540 return correctly!

You must first complete your client’s federal return before starting the
California return. Information from W-2’s, 1099’s and the federal return is
used to complete the state return. Make sure the following forms are
complete before beginning the Form 540:

Main Information Screen


Form(s) W-2
Forms(s) 1099
Federal Tax Forms
Federal Schedules
Any income supporting forms.

FORMS W2, W2-G, AND 1099R

California requires that the state ID box on forms W2, W2-G and 1099R be filled in with
the employer’s state ID number. If you have one of the forms above with a blank State
I.D. you may enter 0’s in this field. How you complete the income statements will
determine how TaxWise applies the information based on California tax law.

TaxWise requires that all forms W-2, W2-G and 1099R be completed prior to
beginning the tax return.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

State Disability Insurance (SDI)

State Disability Insurance (SDI) can be included as an itemized deduction on the federal
return, but must be deducted from the state itemized deduction amount on Schedule CA
(540). By following the instructions below, TaxWise will insure that SDI is reported
correctly for both federal and state purposes.

Many employers will enter CA SDI in box 14 of the Form W-2. DO NOT input this
information in box 14 of your screen, instead, enter the SDI amount in box 19 “Local tax”
and the letters “SDI” in box 20 “Local name” (see example below). For additional
information on SDI and to calculate excess SDI please see Volunteer Reference Manual
page 30.

This will cause TaxWise to automatically add this amount as a deduction on federal
Schedule A, Line 5.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

More SDI information!

CA SDI amount must also be entered in the box located at the extreme
bottom of the W2 input form. If CA SDI has been replaced by another
type of paid disability insurance, enter the Code Type of this insurance in
the "LIT" box (located to the left of the SDI amount box) at the bottom of
the W2 input screen). Enter the amount of alternate disability insurance in
the SDI box, as you would normally do. The ONLY acceptable Codes in
the "LIT" box are as follows:

SDI VD VP VPDI VI

Note: California SDI is an itemized deduction for the federal but not for the State.
Completing this step allows TaxWise to automatically calculate the correct
amount of California itemized deductions.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

W-2G/California Lottery & Gambling Losses


CA Lottery income is NOT taxable to
California, therefore, an
adjustments must be made on the
California Schedule CA, line 21a.

"X" the box on W2G for CA lottery winnings that are to be excluded from
the CA return. This will cause TaxWise to deduct this income on the
California Schedule CA, line 21a.

Example of
how Ca
Lottery
income
should be
deducted
on the
California
Schedule
CA.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

1099R – Pension and Railroad Retirement Income:

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Railroad


Retirement income is NOT
taxable to California.

Generally federal and state treat pension income the same.


Additional and more detailed information can be found in the
Volunteer Reference Manual, pages 17-21, 87-88 and 117.

If your client received a 1099R with Tier 1 or Tier 2 Railroad retirement


income, “X” the “Railroad” box on Form 1099R to indicate the taxable
income from this 1099R qualifies for subtraction on the California
Schedule CA.

Checking this box will cause TaxWise to deduct the income on the California
Schedule CA.

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California Instructions/ Form 540

Note the placement of the taxable portion of Railroad Retirement Benefits


located in Column B of the 540 Schedule CA, line 16.

Remember, how you complete the


income statements will determine the
accuracy of your client’s tax return.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540
Make sure you have
completed the forms
listed on page 3.

Once the federal return is complete and correct, double click on CA


540 PG 1. Most line amounts on page 1 of the 540 are
automatically entered.

FORM 540 PG 1

Step 1 – Name and Address


This step should be completed by TaxWise. Double check the taxpayers name
and address for state purposes. Also, see Volunteer Reference Manual page 13
for more information.

Step 1a – SSA
This step should be completed by TaxWise. Double check for accuracy.

You probably will not have any red


errors on page 1 of the 540, but you
should double check all the entries!

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California Instructions/ Form 540

Step 2 – Filing Status


This step should be completed by TaxWise. State filing status must be the
same as the filing status used on the federal return. See Volunteer
Reference Manual page 13. Call FTB Volunteer Hotline for information on
Registered Domestic Partners.

Remember, State filing status and


exemption credits must be the
same as used on the federal
return.

Step 3 – Exemptions

This step should be completed by TaxWise. The number of state exemption


credits must be the same as the number of exemption credits used on the federal
return. There is a difference in the treatment of exemption credits between
federal and state.

2 X $ 91=$182
0 X $ 91= 0
0 X $ 91= 0

164
1 X $285=285

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540
State exemption credits
are subtracted from
actual tax due.

State exemptions are automatically calculated by TaxWise in Step 3 from


information entered on the Interview Worksheet, line 50, Main Information
Screen, and form 1040, line 37a. State exemption credits are subtracted from
actual tax, not taxable income.

California gives additional credits to individuals over the age of 65 and to the
visually impaired. If both spouses on a return are over the age of 65 or blind then
they receive two additional exemption credits. If the credit is for visual impairment
and it is the first year claiming the credit, a physician’s statement must be
attached to the back of the return. See the volunteer reference manual for more
details and the definition of visual impairment.

Personal $ 91.00
Blind $ 91.00
Senior $ 91.00
Dependent $285.00

The definition of a dependent for California purposes is the same as for federal.

PERSONAL & BLIND


EXEMPTIONS

1 X 91 = $ 91
1 X 91 = $ 91

1 X 285= $ 285

DEPENDENT
EXEMPTIONS

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

Step 4 – Taxable Income


Most of this step will be completed by TaxWise. (You will notice that most of the
line amounts are in yellow, which means calculated field!) However, it is
important that you review each line to make sure the information was transferred
from the federal return correctly.

Move down through the return double checking each line for accuracy. If the
return shows a California adjustment for line 14 or line 16 you must check CA
SCH CA (Schedule CA) for accuracy. Press F9 when the cursor is on line 14 to
link to the Schedule CA.

If you have an amount entered on line 14 or


line 16 of the 540 pg 1, it is important that you
open the California Schedule CA and double
check the adjustments.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

SCHEDULE CA – CALIFORNIA ADJUSTMENTS


You can press F9 while on line
14 of the 540 pg 1 to link to
the California Schedule CA.

California does not tax certain types of income that may be taxable
on the federal return. If there are differences between the federal
and state taxable income, you must complete a California Schedule
CA. TaxWise will automatically figure most of these adjustments
for you, but it is very important that you check to make sure all
adjustments are correct. Differences between federal and state tax
law can be found in the Volunteer Reference Manual beginning on
page 115.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

Line 14 on 540 Pg 1 includes all income that is taxed on the federal return and
not taxed by California. Line 14 should always be the same as the figure
calculated on line 35, Column B, on the California Schedule CA. Line 14
decreases taxable income.

California does not tax:

• State Income Tax Refunds


• Unemployment Compensation

• Social Security Benefits

• Tier I and Tier II Railroad Retirement Benefits

• California Lottery

• Interest earned from U.S. Savings bonds, U.S. Treasury bills, or


any other bonds of the U.S. and U.S. territories.

Line 16 includes all income that is not taxable on the federal return but is taxable
to California. The amount on Line 16, 540 Pg 1, should always be the same as
the amount on California Schedule CA line 35, Column C. Line 16 increases
taxable income.

California does tax:

• Foreign earned income or foreign social security.

• Interest income from bonds issued by a state other than


California.

• Interest income from municipal bonds issued by a county, city,


town, or other local government unit in a state other than
California.

• Interest income from obligations of the District of Columbia


issued after December 27, 1973.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

California Schedule CA

Line 7 Wages, Salaries, Tips, Etc.


Generally, you will not make any adjustments on this line.

Line 8 Taxable Interest Income


The most common type of interest you will calculate is simple interest from a
taxpayer’s checking or savings account. If your client has any interest income
that should be adjusted for state purposes, TaxWise will automatically make this
adjustment for you. This information will come from the Federal Schedule B.
1. Open the Federal Schedule B.
2. Highlight or click on line b, Payer information

Refer to your “California


Volunteer Reference Manual”
for more information about
California Adjustments.

3. Press F9 to link to the “New Interest Statement Interest Income”


4. Click “OK”

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

California Schedule CA (cont.)

Line 8 Taxable Interest Income (cont.)

5. Designate interest income entries on federal Schedule B interest statement


with a "+" for interest that needs to be added to the state and is exempt from
the federal return. Place a "-" in the column for interest which is non-taxable
to the state and taxable to the federal return. TaxWise will transfer this
addition/subtraction amount on the California Schedule CA, line 8 in the
appropriate state adjustment (St Adj.) column.

Note: The “New Interest Statement Interest Income” screen must be completed
for TaxWise to report the taxability of income on the California return correctly.

For more information on interest income, see Volunteer Reference Manual pages
17 and 116.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

California Schedule CA (cont.)

Line 9 Ordinary Dividends


Dividend income is entered on the Federal Schedule B, Part II – Ordinary
Dividends. If your client has California adjustments for dividend income,
TaxWise will automatically make this adjustment from information entered on the
“Dividend Income Worksheet”.

1. Open the Federal Schedule B


2. Highlight or click on line 5a, payer information for Ordinary Dividends

3. Press F9 to link to the “New Dividend Stmt Dividend Income”


4. Click “OK”

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California Instructions/ Form 540

California Schedule CA (cont.)


5. Designate dividend income entries with a “+” for dividend income that
needs to be added to the state and is exempt from the federal return.
Place a “-“ in the column for dividend income which is non-taxable to the
state and taxable to the federal return. TaxWise will transfer this
addition/subtraction amount on the California Schedule CA, line 9 in the
appropriate state adjustment column. More information can be found in
Volunteer Reference Manual pages 17 and 117.

Note: The “New Dividend Statement of Dividend Income” screen must be


completed in order for TaxWise to calculate the amount of dividend income
taxable to California correctly.

If your client has exempt interest dividends from mutual funds, please see the
Volunteer Reference Manual, page 14, for additional information.

Don’t forget to double check 540 Schedule CA, line 13, for Capital Gain & Loss
accuracy. A CA Schedule D may need to be completed in TaxWise in order for
the program to carry over the information correctly from the federal return.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

California Schedule CA (cont.)


Line 10 State Tax Refund
TaxWise will automatically transfer the amount of state tax refund to Schedule
CA, line 10, column B. Information can be found in the Volunteer Reference
Manual, page 116.

Line 13 Capital Gain or (loss)

If your client is reporting a Capital Loss Carryover on his/her federal return, there
is a possibility that TaxWise will add the carryover back on the state return as an
addition.

Watch for Capital Loss


Carryovers that are
added back into the
California return

(Capital Loss Carryover continued on page 19)

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

In order to remove the Capital Loss Carryover as an addition (column C of the


schedule CA), you must open the CA Sch D and enter the Capital Loss
Carryover amount on line 6. This will cause TaxWise to include the carryover on
the state return, therefore removing the addition from the Schedule CA.

Capital Loss
Carryover amounts
must be entered as
a negative on line
6 of the CA
Schedule D.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

Line 15 Total IRA Distributions


Enter the amount, if any, of your client’s California basis.

In general, the taxability of IRA distributions is the same for federal and state.
Differences occur when a contribution was made during 1975, or 1982 through
1986. To calculate the difference in basis between federal and state, your client
will have to provide records detailing the amount of contributions made and
deductions taken for those years. An IRA Adjustment Worksheet can be found in
the General Information Section of your Volunteer Reference Manual, page 19-
20. More information can also be found in FTB Publication 1005.

Line 16 Total Pensions and Annuities

California and federal law generally treat pension and annuity income the same.
However, if your client received a 1099R with Railroad Tier 1 or Tier 2 income,
see page 6 of this instruction booklet.

Note: California treats Railroad Retirement Tier 1 and Tier 2 income the same as
social security income. Any amount of Tier 2 income listed on Schedule CA
line16, column A, also needs to be entered on line16, column B.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

Line 20 Social Security Benefits

TaxWise will automatically deduct the amount of social security benefits taxed for
federal purposes. If Tier 1 Railroad Retirement income is entered on line 20,
column A, of the Schedule CA, then the same amount must be entered on line
20, column B.

Line 21 Other Income


California Lottery
TaxWise will deduct California lottery winnings on the California Schedule CA. If
your client has California Lottery winnings, see page 5 of this instruction booklet.

California Schedule CA – Part II

California itemized deductions differ from federal itemized deductions. California


does not allow a deduction for state or foreign taxes paid or a deduction for SDI.
That about takes care of
the California Schedule
CA. Let’s go back to form
540, page 1.

FORM 540 PAGE 1 (cont.)

Step 5 – Tax
This step should be completed by TaxWise. TaxWise will calculate this figure
from information entered on the federal return and the form(s) W-2 or form(s)
1099.

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California Instructions/ Form 540

FORM 540 PAGE 2

Step 6 – Special Credits & Nonrefundable Renters Credit


This step contains several lines that will not be carried over from the federal
return.

Line 28 & Line 29 – Credits


To claim the Joint Custody Head of Household credit:
1. Highlight line 28 on form 540.
2. F1 to link.
3. Select Joint Custody Head of Household .
4. Copy and paste credit name and code.
5. Enter the credit amount.

TaxWise should complete the remainder of the form.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

Line 31 - Non Refundable Renters Credit

Remember, the Non-Refundable Renters Credit is


one of the few line items that is NOT automatically
entered on the California return. You MUST
remember to ask your client if they qualify!

To claim the nonrefundable renter’s credit:

This credit is not automatically entered by TaxWise. If the taxpayer


meets the Nonrefundable renter’s credit requirements you must
complete the non-refundable renters credit worksheet and
answering the questions correctly.

If your client qualifies for the Nonrefundable renter’s credit, follow the
steps below:
1. Check “Yes” on page 1 of CA 540.
2. Complete the Nonrefundable renters credit worksheet. (TaxWise will put
the form in your tree as soon as you mark “yes” on Form 540 page 1)

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California Instructions/ Form 540

Non-Refundable Renters Credit (cont.)

3. Complete the worksheet. TaxWise will enter the appropriate amount for
your client’s filing status. Although the amount of renter’s credit can be
manually entered on form 540, using the worksheet eliminates the most
common qualification errors.

To claim renter’s credit your client must:

• Have income less than $32,272.00 for single or married filing


separate filers and less than $64,544.00 for married filing joint,
head of household or qualifying widow(er).

• Have paid rent on a principal residence located in California for


6 months or more in 2006. Property cannot be exempt from
property tax.
See the Volunteer Reference
Manual for more renter’s credit
information.

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California Instructions/ Form 540

Non-Refundable Renters Credit (cont.)

TaxWise will automatically enter the correct amount of Non-Refundable


Renters Credit according to your client’s filing status.

If TaxWise did not enter an amount on line 31:

Did you:
Mark “Yes” on Form 540 page 1?
Clear all red errors on the Non-Refundable Renters Credit Worksheet?
Enter the total number of months rented on the worksheet?
Double check the California Adjusted Gross income for your clients?

More information on Renter’s Credit can be found in the Volunteer Reference


Manual beginning on page 27.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

Step 7 – Other Taxes


This step should be completed by TaxWise, most frequently based on
information entered on a 1099-R. Line 36, Other Taxes, will show the amount of
additional tax owed on retirement plan income received by a client prior to the
age of 59 ½.

Step 8 – Payments
This step should be completed by TaxWise. If no withholding is shown on line 38,
or you disagree with the amount, corrections must be made on the form(s) W-2,
form(s) 1099, and other supporting forms. If the taxpayer made 2001 CA
estimated tax, you must enter that amount on line 39 of Step 8.

Child and Dependent Care Expenses – CA 3506

The CA 3506 will come pre-filled with information TaxWise has transferred from
the federal child and dependent care form. TaxWise requires that Part I be
completed. It is also necessary to enter a telephone number on CA 3506 to e-file
the return. If your client does not have the provider telephone number you may
select F3 to clear the field. You must either enter the telephone number or clear
the field to prevent e-file reject.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

Step 9 – Overpaid Tax or Tax Due


This step should be completed by TaxWise.

Step 10 – Contributions
Enter the amount, if any, that the taxpayer would like to contribute to any of the
funds listed in Step 10.

Step 11 – Refund or Amount You Owe


TaxWise will figure the amounts for Step 11. Line down to check all calculations.

Step 12 – Interest and Penalties


TaxWise will figure the amounts for Step 12. Line down to check all calculations.

DO YOU WANT TO FILE THIS FORM ELECTRONICALLY?

You will find this red highlighted question on all Form 540 PG 2. You must check
the “YES” box if you are going to electronically file for state on every form, or set
default in “Change Initial Forms”.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE

Electronically filing with TaxWise allows two options for the taxpayer to sign the
return. Each taxpayer & his/her spouse (if applicable) must either electronically
sign the state return, or physically sign the state 8453. (see page 31 in this
handout). The electronic signature or self-select PIN eliminates the requirement
for Form 8453 to be signed.

To use the electronic signature option for the state return, you must mark “Yes”
on the form CA 540, page 2.

When you check the “Yes” box, TaxWise will place form CA 8879 in your tree.
You will need to know your client’s 2005 California AGI in order to complete this
form.

If you DO NOT want your client to electronically sign the return, mark the “No”
box on form CA 540, page 2.

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

CALIFORNIA SIGNATURE DOCUMENTS FORM 8453

A California Form 8453 must be electronically filed with state transmitted forms if
your client did not electronically sign his/her state return.

Under the correct social security number, choose CA 8453 from the tax forms
screen. Line down to check all calculations. Double check to make sure there
are no red error fields.

Indicate how the taxpayer wants their refund (electronically transferred, mailed,
etc.) or to pay the balance due (electronically transferred or mail in the check).
TaxWise will prompt you to this field with red highlights.

Original signatures for both taxpayer and spouse must be on all the state
signature documents. Give this form back to the taxpayer and inform him/her
to keep this copy with their tax return.

2 3

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TaxWise 2007
California Instructions/ Form 540

CALIFORNIA SIGNATURE DOCUMENTS FORM 8453

A California Form 8453 must be electronically filed with state transmitted forms if
your client did not electronically sign his/her state return.

Under the correct social security number, choose CA 8453 from the tax forms
screen. Line down to check all calculations. Double check to make sure there
are no red error fields.

Indicate how the taxpayer wants their refund (electronically transferred, mailed,
etc.) or to pay the balance due (electronically transferred or mail in the check).
TaxWise will prompt you to this field with red highlights.

Original signatures for both taxpayer and spouse must be on all the state
signature documents. Give this form back to the taxpayer and inform him/her
to keep this copy with their tax return.

E-FILE SIGNATURE AUTHORIZATION FORM - CA 8879

Complete Form CA 8879 if your client is electronically signing the state return.
1. Check Practitioner PIN.
2. Both taxpayer and spouse (if applicable) or practitioner must enter a self
selected PIN.
3. Enter your clients’ 2005 California AGI
4. Both taxpayer and spouse must check the “DO NOT authorize box.

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California Instructions/ Form 540

HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD

A Head of Household Schedule (Form CA 4803e) should be submitted with every


e-filed return filed using the head of household filing status. Without the schedule
a taxpayer filing head of household can be chosen to receive a questionnaire in
the mail. If that questionnaire is not returned within a specific timeframe an
assessment using the single filing status tax amount is issued to the taxpayer.

It is always in the taxpayer’s best


interests to help them complete the
HOH Questionnaire.

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California Instructions/ Form 540

Important Information

Refunds can be directly deposited and even split into two different accounts.
Balances due can be automatically debited from a bank account. Complete the
information at the bottom of Form 540 Pg. 2. The request can include the same
bank information as entered on the federal return or information for a different
bank for state refund or debit.

If you check the first box in this section any state tax refund will be
automatically deposited into the same bank, using the same information,
as entered on the federal return. The banking information may not appear
on the 540 form when viewed through TaxWise but will appear on the
printed form and the information will be sent through the e-file process.

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Important Information (cont.)

If using the debit option for a balance due when e-filing a state tax return you
must manually enter the banking information twice. The FTB Website will allow
the taxpayer to pay by credit card. The taxpayer also has the option to mail the
payment and payment voucher (FTB 3582 e-file) directly to the Franchise Tax
Board.

You may also request debit of state estimate payments using TaxWise.

Volunteer Procedures

As a volunteer tax assistant you should be careful to provide your clients with
accurate information, follow the procedures in the volunteer reference manual
and protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information.

Questions regarding state tax law should be referred to the Franchise Tax
Board Volunteer Hotline 1-800-522-5665. You can also order forms, reference
manuals, quick reference guides, and posters using this toll-free number, and
locate additional TCE/VITA sites statewide. Please do not give this number to the
taxpayer; it is for the use of volunteers only.

If a taxpayer needs to contact the Franchise Tax Board, please have them call 1-
800-852-5711 for customer service or 1-800-338-0505 for automated telephone
service.

If you did not receive a volunteer reference manual you can obtain one by calling
the volunteer hotline or your local volunteer program coordinator.

All information contained in a tax return is confidential. Volunteers should only


discuss information about returns prepared when seeking tax or procedural help
from their local volunteer program coordinator or the volunteer hotline.
Information regarding a taxpayer’s return cannot be retained from year to year.
Please destroy all records on TaxWise at the end of each volunteer tax
program season. Credibility of the VITA/TCE program will be lost if disclosure of
information is made to unauthorized individuals. Please examine your site
location for maximum privacy for volunteers and clients.

Under no circumstances should you accept any form of payment either for your
services or on behalf of the Franchise Tax Board. For more information please
see the volunteer reference manual.

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California Instructions/ Form 540

Site List

Franchise Tax Board maintains and updates a site information database. The
database is used to create a site list, which is updated every three weeks during
filing season and distributed to over 800 different agencies. The list is updated on
the Internet at www.ftb.ca.gov on a weekly basis.

Please don’t forget to inform FTB if there are changes in your site hours or
location. You can contact your local volunteer program coordinator or the
volunteer hotline to provide changes in site hours or location. You may also call
the volunteer hotline to inform FTB of any changing information such as phone
number, contact name, or projected closing date of the site.

Hope you enjoyed your


TaxWise Training. Here’s to
a great E-File Season!

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