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How to File California Tax Returns Online


Visit the website of the California Franchise Tax Board.


Click the "Individual" tab if filing as an individual, and click the "Business" tab if filing as a business.


Click "e-File" on the navigation bar.


Choose an e-file service. The State of California offers a variety of different online filing options to meet your unique needs, including ReadyReturn, CalFile and FREE e-File. Decide which service suits you best based on the descriptions provided, and click the link to access it.


Use the website's server to fill out your tax return. The online form will present you with a series of questions, usually spread across several pages, that you can answer based on the information on your tax forms. Typically, the questions will correspond directly to fields on your tax forms, and will instruct you where to look on your forms to find the answers.


Submit your completed online form when you finish answering each applicable question. The Franchise Tax Board will register your information and present you with tentative information about your tax refund or debt.

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