Which Form Should I File for 2010?

  Form 540 2EZ Form 540A Form 540 Short Form 540NR Long Form 540NR
Residency California resident the entire year California resident the entire year California resident the entire year Not a California resident the entire year Not a California resident the entire year
Filing Status Single, married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, qualifying widow(er) Any filing status Any filing status Single, married/RDP filing jointly, head of household, qualifying widow(er) Any filing status
Dependents 0 - 3 allowed All dependents you are entitled to claim All dependents you are entitled to claim 0 - 5 allowed All dependents you are entitled to claim
Amount of Income Total income of:
  • $100,000 or less if single or head of household
  • $200,000 or less if married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)

Note:You cannot use Form 540 2EZ if you (or your spouse/RDP, if married) can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, and your TOTAL income is less than or equal to $11,220 if single; $22,490 if married/RDP filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); or $15,290 if head of household.

Any amount of income Any amount of income Total income of $100,000 or less Any amount of income
Sources of Income Only income from:
  • Wages, salaries, tips
  • Taxable interest, dividends and pensions
  • Unemployment compensation reported on Form 1099G
  • Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants (only if reported on Form(s) W-2)
  • Paid family leave
  • U.S. social security benefits
  • Tier 1 and tier 2 railroad retirement payments
  • Capital gains from mutual funds
Only income from:
  • Wages, salaries, tips
  • Interest and dividends
  • Unemployment compensation reported on Form 1099-G
  • Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants
  • Paid family leave
  • U.S. social security benefits
  • Tier 1 and tier 2 railroad retirement payments
  • Fully and partially taxable IRA distributions, pensions, and annuities
  • Alimony
  • Capital gains from mutual funds (reported on Form 1099-DIV, box 2a only)
All sources of income Only income from:
  • Wages, salaries, tips
  • Taxable interest
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Paid Family Leave
Note: California does not tax unemployment compensation
All sources of income
Adjustments to Income No adjustments to income Allowed if the amount is the same as your federal adjustments to income

Note: If you claimed educator expenses or the tuition and fees deduction, do not file Form 540A. Instead, file Form 540.
All adjustments to income
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Military pay adjustment (R&TC Section 17140.5)
  • Paid family leave
All adjustments to income
Standard Deduction Allowed Allowed Allowed Allowed Allowed
Itemized Deductions No itemized deductions Allowed if the amount is the same as your federal itemized deductions (except for state, local, and foreign taxes paid) All itemized deductions No itemized deductions All itemized deductions
Payments Only withholding shown on Form(s) W-2 and 1099R
  • Only withholding shown on Form(s) W-2 and 1099-R
  • Estimated tax payments
  • Payments made with extension voucher
  • Excess State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI)
  • Withholding from all sources
  • Estimated tax payments
  • Payments made with extension voucher
  • Excess State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI)
Only withholding shown on Form(s) W-2 and 1099s showing California tax withheld
  • Withholding from all sources
  • Estimated tax payments
  • Payments made with extension vouchers
  • Excess State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Voluntary Plan Disability Insurance (VPDI)
Tax Credits
  • Personal exemption credit
  • Up to three dependent exemption credits
  • Nonrefundable renter's credit
  • Senior exemption credit
  • Personal exemption credit
  • Dependent exemption credit
  • Nonrefundable renter's credit
  • Senior exemption credit
  • Blind exemption credit
  • Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit
All tax credits
  • Personal exemption credit
  • Up to five dependent exemption credits
  • Blind exemption credit
  • Nonrefundable renter's credit
All tax credits
Other Taxes Only tax computed using the 540 2EZ Table
  • Tax computed using the tax table
  • Mental Health Services Tax
All taxes Taxes computed using only the tax table All taxes