Law & Legal & Attorney Tax Law

Tax Filing Requirements in California

    • Learn the income tax filing requirements in California.tax forms image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com

      Most states collect income and property taxes as part of the overall revenue generation and budgeting plan for the state. Each state has its own rules on how personal income taxes must be accounted for, and California is no exception. California sets up its personal income tax collection model the same way as the federal government in some respects--it requires individuals to annually file a statement of their income and tax liability, and to receive a refund or pay additional tax if necessary.

    Who Must File

    • Three types of people are liable for California state income tax, and must file an income tax return each year: any California resident; any individual who is a part-year California resident; or any nonresident who can legally claim income that is taxable by the state of California. The only exceptions to these provisions are certain government officials or individuals who can claim nonresidency for a consecutive period of 546 days based on an employment-related contract, such as someone with a California residence who works outside the country for long periods of time.

    Taxable Income

    • Under the California income tax laws, taxable income is determined by whatever income the resident or part-time resident earns that is considered taxable under California law, regardless of whether it is earned within the state of California. With regard to nonresidents, taxable income is considered to be any income earned by the nonresident while employed in California or any income that was earned from California sources and is considered taxable under California law.

    Determining Residency

    • The final important factor with regard to filing income taxes in California is determining whether or not you are a resident. For purposes of California law, residency is defined as being "domiciled" in the state of California. A "domicile" is a residence maintained for living in, and is defined as "the place to which you intend to return when you are absent." If you are in California for any reason other than a temporary one, you are considered a domiciled resident of California for income tax filing purposes in the state.

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