How to File a Tax Extension in California


If you live in and file state taxes in California, you need to know how to file a tax extension so that you are not penalized for filing a late return. If you know that your federal and state returns are going to be late, you will need an extension on both tax returns, which will give you more time to complete and file your returns. However, the extension is not for money owed for taxes.

Things You'll Need

  • Federal 4868
  • FTB 3519
  • File Form 4868 with the federal government if you are not going to have your tax return complete by April 15. You do need to pay any amount you will owe for taxes with the form. If you wait to pay any amounts owed until you file your tax return, you will owe penalties and interest on that money. The extension gives you until October 15 to file, but only until April 15 to paid money owed.

  • File your state tax return by October 15 and you do not need to ask for an extension. California allows you an automatic extension without requesting one in writing. However, you must follow one or more of the next steps, which may pertain to your particular tax status.

  • File your tax return by October 15. If you are positive that you have a refund coming, you can e-file and use direct deposit to receive your refund faster or file a paper return and have a check mailed to you before the extension deadline of October 15.

  • Use the worksheet FTB 3519 to figure out if you will owe any money to the state government. If you are unsure if you will get a refund or owe money, use this form and send it along with a payment to the government taxing authority before April 15. Then file your completed tax return by October 15. If you overpaid, you would receive a refund. Note: If you do not sens in a payment of money owed by April 15, you will be charged penalties and interest.


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