"There aren't any new tax breaks or credits" this year, says Dan Tahara with California's Franchise Tax Board. And last fall's voter approval of Proposition 30 means the tax rates are going up on individuals who make more than $250,000 a year and families that earn more than $500,000.
But Tahara says there is some important relief for small business owners whose expenses exceed their revenues. That's known as a net operating loss. "In previous years, people weren't allowed to take those losses as a deduction on their tax returns. But that tax break has now been reinstated, so we expect to see people start claiming those again this year."
As always, the FTB says Californians should get in touch right away to set up an installment plan if they can't pay their taxes on time. And new this year - the FTB will be processing checks in a matter of days, not weeks. So filers should make sure they have enough money in their accounts so their checks don't bounce.