Friday, April 6, 2012

CA non-resident nightmare!

Q.  I've been informed I must file a California non-resident return as I received a K-1 form with enough California source income to require filing. I'm struggling with a CA non-resident return, and I'm about to give up. Short of hiring someone which I can't really afford, do you have any suggestions?

A.  With 32 years of filing California returns, when it comes to the non-resident returns, I still sweat bullets! Why, because California usually does not conform to federal law, and although you start out with your federal adjusted income, the manual adjustments which need to be made can be mind boggling! It helps to remember that California taxes you on your world wide income, and then the prorations begin.

My best suggestion is to figure out approximately how much tax you would owe if you were a full year resident. Then, get an extension to file Form 3519 and pay the amount you would owe if a full year resident.

After April 15th, call the people at the Franchise Tax Board - see links to California on left side - and you should be able to get through. If filling out a non-resident return is the bad news, at least the people at the Franchise Tax Board are truly helpful and should be able to help you out.

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