California’s Franchise Tax Board said it would no longer directly mail tax booklets to taxpayers in the Golden State, as more taxpayers and preparers migrate to electronic filing.
Taxpayers will receive a letter in January with information on filing options, including e-filing, and how to obtain a full, printed tax booklet. All the tax information can also be found online at ftb.ca.gov.
Last year's tax booklet mailing used approximately 43 million sheets of paper, but fewer than 4 percent of taxpayers used forms removed from the booklets, according to the FTB. This year, the cash-strapped state will save at least $1 million in printing and postage expenses alone.
More than 11 million state tax returns, or 75 percent of all the returns the state received last year, were e-filed. Of the returns filed on paper, most were printed from commercial tax preparation software products or downloaded from the FTB's website.
The IRS also recently announced it would halt mailing tax packages due to the growth of e-filing (see IRS to Stop Mailing Paper Tax Packages).
The FTB's website offers a wide array of electronic filing options for California taxpayers, from the free CalFile and ReadyReturn services to other free and fee-based services offered by private software companies.
By January, the most commonly used forms will be available at local libraries and post offices. Seniors and low income taxpayers can visit their local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites for free tax preparation and filing. Assistance is generally available from February 1 through April 15.
For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit taxes.ca.gov.