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State of California Franchise Tax Board

Addressing joint tax penalties

Can FTB waive accuracy-related penalties for SSMCs due to reasonable cause?

Yes, but there are no special rules to grant a waiver of penalties for SSMCs. “Reasonable cause” is a standard exception to most penalties imposed under the Revenue and Taxation Code and the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, reasonable cause exists where the failure to comply occurs despite the exercise of ordinary business care and prudence.

Will a penalty be imposed for underpayment of estimated tax for SSMCs who file a joint tax return?

Yes, unless the exceptions that normally apply are available. See the instructions for FTB Form 5805, Underpayment of Estimated Tax for Individuals and Fiduciaries, for information on estimated tax penalty exceptions.

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