Time is running out to get your state taxes filed, even if you plan to do it electronically.

There is the midnight deadline for filing, but remember that in California everyone has an automatic six month extension if needed, so long as you don't owe taxes to the state.  

About 12 million taxpayers are expected to ask for an extension. 

Daniel Tahara with the Franchise Tax Board says you don't need your own software to do file online with the state.

"There's actually two free e-file options we offer. One's Ready Return the other one's Cal-File," Tahara said. 

Your tax return is already done for you with Ready Return, just review and approve it.  

With Cal-File, you go through the return step by step.  

The state estimates 91 percent of us file electronically these days. 

The IRS says this year's average tax refund is about $2,800.

See if you owe anything or file electronically, here. 

Keeping Proper Documentation

Now that the tax filing deadline is here, it's time to focus on all those documents that support your return.

Keep copies of your returns forever. They can help when you apply for a mortgage or disability insurance or need the value of your assets.

To save space, you can scan the returns and keep a digital archive.

Also save your canceled checks, receipts for home purchase costs, home improvements, and statements for credit-card and bank accounts, your home mortgage, stocks and mutual funds.

The IRS could audit you for up to three years, so keep those documents for at least that long.

Taking to Social Media 

And even the taxman in California is getting into social media these days.

The state's FTB is finding Facebook is getting a lot of attention from taxpayers who have comments or complaints.

"We've been noticing that they'll send us a message on Facebook and Twitter letting us know what the issue was, and asking if there is something else they can do or someone else they can talk to to try and get a resolution," Tahara said. 

Tahara says his office monitors Facebook and Twitter several times a day a least.

"But more often than not we're checking it every hour or so just to make sure that we're not missing anything," he said. 

Tahara says Twitter isn't used by taxpayers for direct communication, but tweets do get the attention of the FTB.  

He sees social networks playing an even bigger part in the tax process in the future.

Businesses Cash in on Tax Day Blues 

A number of businesses are taking a little of the sting out of Tax Day today.  

Arby's is giving out free snack-sized curly fries, with a coupon.

Boston Market is offering two half-chicken individual meals for $10.40.  

With a coupon, Office Depot will shred up to five pounds of paper today, including old tax records.

And, McDonald's is keeping up its Tax Day tradition of free small coffee during breakfast hours. 

 

// ]]>