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.. Calif is real close to <taxable income SAME as on 1040> .

It should never be very close (unless both are roughly zero).

California doesn't tax Social Security benefits. The feds do - for those with income over the appropriate thresholds. SS was an issue for the OP.

CA doesn't tax unemployment benefits. The Feds do.

The Fed and CA standard deductions are different. For itemizers, CA doesn't allow some deductions the Feds do (notably, a deduction for state income or sales taxes).

The Feds have a personal exemption which reduces taxable income. CA uses a personal credit which reduces tax instead.

I could keep going, but those are some of the generally applicable items.

--Peter
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