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FTB Seeks Tax Returns from 750,000 Non-Filers

Released February 4, 2008

SACRAMENTO – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced today that it will contact more than 750,000 California taxpayers who earned California income but failed to file state income tax returns last year.

“Last year, California taxpayers voluntarily filed more than 15 million tax returns and paid nearly $28 billion in state income taxes. Honest taxpayers do their part to ensure that necessary dollars go towards critical services such as education and public safety. They should not have to foot the bill for those that unfairly avoid filing tax returns,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang.

The FTB receives more than 350 million income records annually from third parties such as the IRS, banks, employers, state departments, and other sources. In addition to wage earners and self-employed people who have not filed, the FTB’s filing enforcement program also detects other nonfilers through occupational licenses and mortgage interest payments.

The FTB matches this information against the records of tax returns filed. If there is not a return on file, FTB will notify nonfilers that they have 30 days to file their return or show why a tax return is not due. If a return is required but not received, the FTB will issue a tax assessment based on the state’s estimate of tax due with added penalties and fees that can add up to 50 percent of the taxes owed.

Similar annual filing enforcement programs have been used since the 1950s. The majority of nonfilers who respond and become current in their tax filings voluntarily comply in subsequent years.

The FTB has information for those who receive notices on its Website. Go to www.ftb.ca.gov and select the Bills and Notices tab, then the Request/Demand for Tax Return, Get more information link. Taxpayers can request more time to respond, retrieve information that can assist them in filing a tax return, request tax forms, learn about payment options, and much more. Individuals can also call the FTB at 866.204.7902 to get information.