I really like the user experience for Free File Fillable Forms for crunching out the 1040. Is there something equivalent for the State of California? CalFile has more of a Q&A format like Turbo Tax or something and sometimes it's not immediately obvious what region of the 540 pertains to the specific question. I'm much prefer a form to copy all my numbers into like Fillable Forms. Anyone know of something similar for CA?

  • Just a note, "shopping" questions are not allowed on Money.SE
    – Michael
    Apr 14 '17 at 16:47
  • 5
    I think this is asking more about asking if California directly offers a free enter-numbers-into-form electronic filing option; not asking for a commercial filing option. I think asking about methods for governments to get tax filing information would be on-topic as long as it sticks to those methods specifically provided by the government.
    – user42405
    Apr 14 '17 at 19:21
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    I agree with @PeterCooperJr. This isn't really a shopping question, as Free File Fillable Forms is not a commercial product. It is provided by the IRS, and it is not unreasonable to ask if there is something like that from the California Franchise Tax Board where you can simply fill in the form online, without the extra features of a commercial product. Apr 14 '17 at 20:49
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    I flagged for moderator attention to reopen, and the reply was "I think those are still off-topic. Maybe open a question on meta?" So I asked on meta: Where's the line between “Asking for a software recommendation” and “How to file taxes for my state”?
    – user42405
    Apr 17 '17 at 14:41


On the California Franchise Tax Board site, the list of "All e-file options" (which one gets to via the right-nav) lists several free filing options, but the only one that files directly with the state is their CalFile system. There does not appear to be something directly analogous to the IRS's Free Online Fillable Forms system. It does appear that you have an option to see a "printed" copy before actually filing, so if you're not sure what line the information in a question will go to, you may be able to do some experimenting to figure it out.

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