Has your client received a Demand Notice? May 2019 Tax News

We are aware that some tax professionals may be confused, or not entirely informed by their clients, regarding the “notice and demand” penalty assessed pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC) Section 19133. When we become aware of a taxpayer who received California-source income (via a 1099 form, a K-1, or some other similar vehicle), and cannot locate a tax return from that taxpayer, we may issue a demand notice for Tax Return (Demand). The Demand requests the taxpayer do one of the following within a certain time period: file a tax return, prove a return was filed, or explain why there is no filing requirement.

If the taxpayer does not respond or file a tax return is not filed within the time period specified in a demand notice, we assess a 25 percent penalty of the total tax assessed before applying any payments or credits (R&TC Section 19133). Therefore, the taxpayer may owe penalties and interest even if their tax return, when filed, shows the tax was paid timely or a refund is due. This penalty is assessed as of the date of the Notice of Proposed Assessment and may be assessed in addition to the delinquent filing and late payment penalties (R&TC Sections 19131 & 19172 or 19172.5).

Therefore, we recommend that you carefully review all notices received by any of your clients. You may want to request a copy of the notice from your client, as many people confuse the demand penalty with the failure to file penalty. The result of such confusion may be a 25 percent penalty based upon the tax amount, without regard to any payments or credits.