Surprising California
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Returning Member

Surprising California

My California tax due for 2019 is 5 (five) times greater than previous years, with no significant changes in my financial situation, deductions, payments, etc.  (about $5000 due in 2019 vs. $1000 due previously). Federal tax is comparable over years and looks ok.  Income is social security and a state pension. Any ideas?

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Expert Alumni

Surprising California

Many factors could cause a smaller refund or an unexpected tax owed. Below are some common culprits:

  • Although tax law changes lowered the rates for multiple tax brackets, your refund may not be as big as you expected because less income tax was taken out of your paychecks throughout the year. If you didn't update your W-4 for 2019 for any life and/or income changes (many people didn't), it’s highly possible that this is why your refund isn’t as large as you expected.
     
  • Your income may have increased to where you were in a higher tax bracket in your state. Even if you had more state tax withheld, it may not have been enough to account for the extra income. 
     
  • Another change may be due to ineligibility for certain credits in 2019. You may have been eligible for certain credits in prior years, but life changes in 2019 made you ineligible for these same credits. 
     
  • Additionally, you may have mistyped a dollar amount somewhere or accidentally missed an important question during the interview process. A typo or an incorrectly answered question can have an obvious effect on your bottom line. You may want to review all of your entries.

To check for all of these potential factors and more, may I recommend reviewing your prior year return, line-by-line, and comparing it to this year's forms? This will help you determine the changes between 2018 and 2019. 

 

Here's how to look at your current year return forms:

  • In the left-hand menu bar, click on Tax Tools, then click Tools.
  • Under Other helpful links, click View Tax Summary.
  • Your Tax Summary will be displayed. In the left-hand menu bar, you will see a new option: Preview My 1040. Click it, and this will allow you to see the forms. It is important to check your 1040 before you check your state return, as much of your entries on the 1040 will impact the state return.
  • If you want to view your state entries, Click on Tax Home in the left-hand menu bar. In the center of your screen, scroll down until you see State Taxes. Click on it to review your state entries.

Looking directly at the forms may also help you identify a data entry error that may be skewing your numbers.

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Returning Member

Surprising California

Thanks! I found my mistake. 

 

Unfortunately, Turbotax says CA Form 5805 has not been released, so I cannot file my state return. However, CA Franchise Tax Board website confirms that this form was approved on January 3. Why the delay?

 

 

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Expert Alumni

Surprising California

With so many governments releasing forms so late, all the programmers can do is react with most common, implement,  test, and work their way through the forms. When I checked, I found the form available. State form availability.

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Returning Member

Surprising California

California Form 5805 is listed on your site as available. Unfortunately the Turbotax application on my desktop  says that it has not yet been released. Is there a difference between "available" and "released?"  

 

 

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