Requirements To File A 2015 California 540 2EZ (Resident Income Tax Return)
The California Resident Income Tax Return 540 2EZ is used to file California state income tax by California residents. The 2015 return is due by April 18, 2016. To qualify to file the California Resident Income Tax Return 540 2EZ, there are conditions that must be met. Let’s identify each and review in detail:
Filer must have been a California resident for the entire tax year.
Filer can have any filing status except married filing separate. And the criterion for each filing status is as follows:
If filing as single or head of household, total income cannot be greater than $100,000
If filing as a married filing jointly, registered domestic partner filing jointly or qualified widower, total income cannot be greater than $200,000
If filing as a dependent – single filer, total income must be more than $13,394.00
If filing as a dependent – married filing jointly, registered domestic partner or qualified widower, total income must be more than $26,838
If filing as a dependent – head of household, total income must be more than $19,038
If claiming the senior exemption, must be aged 65 years or older as of January 1st of the following tax year.
*note: if you are a dependent and have a dependent you cannot file Form 540 2EZ
Filer can only have up to three dependents. The only exemptions allowed are the personal exemption, no more than three dependent exemptions, and the senior exemption (only if you cannot be claimed as a dependent).
Filers cannot have any adjustments to total income. Such adjustments include, but are not limited to student loan interest deduction, Individual Retirement Account (IRA) deduction, etc.
Filer cannot be blind.
Filer can only have income generated from:
wages, salaries, tips,
interest and dividends
taxable scholarships and fellowship compensation grants (only if report on their Federal Form W-2)
capital gains from mutual funds (only if reported on Federal Form 1099-DIV, box 2a only)
paid family leave
U.S. Social Security
tier 1 and tier 2 railroad retirement
Filer can only claim the standard deduction. The 2015 California Standard Deduction for non-dependents is as follows:
Married filing jointly $8,088
Registered domestic partner filing jointly $8,088
Head of household $8,088
Qualifying widower $8,088
You can find out more about Standard Deductions and how to calculate Standard Deductions for dependents here.
Filer can only have withholding payments. Meaning the only income that can be used when filing this form are California payments having only the federal tax withholdings shown on federal Form W-2 and federal Form 1099-R.
Filer can only claim the nonrefundable renter’s credit and the refundable California Earned Income Tax Credit.
In order to claim the nonrefundable renter’s credit, the filer must meet the following criteria:
Filer was a California resident all year
Filer’s California adjusted gross income (AGI) is:
Single: $38,259 or less
Married filing jointly, registered domestic partner filing jointly, head of household or qualified widower $76,518 or less
Filer paid rent for at least half the tax year for California property that served as their principal residence
The property rented by the filer was not exempted from California property tax
Filer did not live with another person that can claim them as a dependent for more than half a year
Filer was not a minor living with and under the care of a parent, foster parent, or legal guardian.
Filer or their spouse was not granted a homeowner’s property tax exemption during the year
If the above criterion is met, the credit amount allowed is:
Head of household, qualified widower, married filing jointly, or registered domestic partner filing jointly: $120
You can read more about the nonrefundable renter’s credit here.
In order to claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit, the filer must meet the following criteria:
Both the adjusted gross income and earned income cannot be larger than:
$6,580 if there are no qualifying children
$9,880 if there is one qualifying child
$13,870 if there are two or more qualifying children
If there is no qualifying child, the filer must be between 25 and 65 years old at the end of the tax year
Investment income cannot be larger than $3,400 for the entire tax year
You must have a principal residence in California for over half the tax year
Filer files as single, married filing jointly, registered domestic partner filing jointly, or head of household
You can read more about the California Earned Income Tax credit here.