1040-CA ELF: Federal attachment overview

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California Franchise Tax Board requires the federal return to be attached to the California return as follows: 

UltraTax CS automatically includes the required attachments for any electronically filed Form 540 or 540NR, regardless of whether or not the federal return is actually being filed electronically with the IRS.

Exception to requirement for federal attachment:

Taxpayers who file a married filing joint return for California purposes where Form 540 or Form 540NR includes the Registered Domestic Partner (RDP) Adjustments Worksheet and who file single returns for federal purposes are not required to attach a copy of the federal return to the joint California return.

For electronic filing, UltraTax CS defaults to the FTB requirements above for attaching the federal return to the California return. Use the Include/suppress federal attachment in electronic record (Force) field on Screen CAELF to force or suppress the federal attachment in the California electronic record.

For paper-filed returns for taxpayers who are not RDP filers, UltraTax CS prints the federal return with the California return when required. For RDP filers, UltraTax CS always prints the federal return with the California return unless the Suppress printing of federal return attachments for RDP returns checkbox is checked in Setup > 1040 Individual > California tab > Other Return Options.

Note: FTB does not always reject an electronically filed California return when the federal attachment is required but missing. Instead of issuing an e-file rejection, FTB may suspend processing of the return until the federal attachment is submitted. If including the federal attachment with the California electronic record, clear all schema errors in the federal return regardless of whether or not the federal return is actually being field with the IRS. If the federal attachment is included with the California electronic record, FTB validates the federal attachment regardless of whether or not it is required. If there are schema errors in the federal attachment, FTB will reject the California return.

Related topic: 1040 California frequently asked questions

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