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State of California Franchise Tax Board

Tax Amnesty Week #1 Results

Tax amnesty kicked off last week with exciting results, according to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Through February 5, the FTB has received 12,000 applications pledging to pay the state $3.2 million in past due tax revenue. One amnesty application came in for the 1971 tax year.

“Our amnesty program is starting strong,” said State Controller and FTB Chair Steve Westly. “We already have 12,000 people who have come forward. This is a win-win for the taxpayers and the state.”

California is offering a tax amnesty program from February 1 through March 31, 2005. Amnesty applies to income, franchise, sales, or use taxes for tax years 2002 and earlier. Taxpayers can avoid criminal prosecution and get most penalties and fees waived by paying the tax and interest.

Amnesty applies for tax years 2002 and prior, for individuals and businesses that:

  • Did not file required California tax returns.
  • Failed to report all income.
  • Claimed excessive deductions.
  • Did not pay past taxes on time.

Excluded from participating are taxpayers currently under criminal investigation for tax-related matters; or taxpayers with abusive tax shelter transactions that were eligible to participate in either last year’s Voluntary Compliance Initiative or the 2003 IRS Offshore Voluntary Compliance Initiative. These taxpayers are eligible for amnesty for non-abusive tax shelter items.

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