Income taxes for the State of California become due on the 15th of April. You can submit your taxes and file the return before that date. However, if you think that you will not be able to file your personal tax return before that date, you can ask for an extension of up to six months to file the return.

The application for the extension of return must be submitted before the deadline. If you fail to submit the application before the deadline, you will be penalized for late submission of the tax return.

The extension is only granted for filing the return. You are still expected to submit the estimated taxes before the deadline has passed.

Seven Easy Steps for Tax Extension

Calculating your state income taxes can be complicated, especially if you are not good in accounting or aware of the tax laws. Many people who attempt to calculate income taxes on their own come up with the wrong figures, over or understating their tax liability due to the rush of filing returns on time.

Instead of submitting inaccurate tax returns, it is better to ask for a California tax extension for your return filing deadline and submit an estimate of your tax liability for the year. Here are seven steps that are involved in submitting an application for extension of the tax return deadline.

Step 1 – Download Form 4868

In California, Tax Extension Form 4868 is used to ask for an extension of the return filing deadline. The form can be downloaded from the Franchise Tax Board website for the state of California. It can also be downloaded from the IRS website.

Step 2 – Decide the Mode of Form Submission

You can submit the tax return online through the State’s income tax submission portal on the FTB website. You can also print out a copy of the form, fill it in by hand and post it to the Tax Office.

Do note that online submission of the application is instant while sending it by post takes at least a couple of days. If you plan to submit the form by post, send it at least 3 – 5 working days prior to the deadline.

On the other hand, if you are submitting the form on the 15th of April, then electronic submission is your only option.

Step 3 – Make an Estimate of Your Taxes

If you are using the services of a tax consultant, they can prepare an estimate of the taxes for you. However, if you are calculating the tax liability yourself, you will need to know three things.

First, you must be aware of your total taxable income for the year. Taxable income is calculated by taking all your income for the year and subtracting deductible expenses from it.

Apply the tax rate to the taxable income to find out the total of taxes you are due for the year.

Step 4 – Determine If You Have Prepaid Any Taxes

If you are employed, income taxes will already have been deducted from your income by the employer. You salary slips will note how much taxes have been deducted from the income for each period and you can calculate the amount of taxes that have already been paid to the state on your behalf.

The taxes you have already paid will be deducted from total tax liability to calculate the taxes you still need to submit.

Step 5 – Complete the Tax Extension Form

The California State tax extension form requires additional information such as your address, SSN, details of taxes that you owe, amount you have paid, and the amount that you are submitting with the extension request. Once you have filled out the information, your form is ready for submission to FTB.

Step 6 – Submit the California Income Tax Extension Form

Submission of the form online is easy and takes a few minutes. If you are sending the form by mail, make sure to send it to the correct address and post it a few days before the tax submission deadline.

Step 7 – Pay the Taxes

You will be required to pay the amount that you have noted on the form. You have two options for submission of tax. You can pay the tax through your bank, credit card, check, money order or use multiple payment options. You can also request to get a payment plan to clear the taxes due over a period of time.