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California Tax Policy Conference to be held in Los Angeles this year

The 17th annual California Tax Policy Conference will be in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 7-9. This is first year the conference will be held in Los Angeles.

The workshops will showcase lively discussions on tax incentives and benefits available in California and other states; the ethical framework and rules under which state tax matters are processed; critical issues in current tax policy and practice; currently available remedies in tax matters before various administrative forums and in tax litigation matters; and the present Section 25137 process.

In addition, four state tax commissioners will discuss tax policy and administrative issues that are currently impacting their states and regions.

Some of the speakers and participants who will be attending include:

• State Controller Kathleen Connell;

• State Board of Equalization Chair Claude Parrish

• James Speed, Executive Director, State Board of Equalization;

• Gillian Spooner, director of tax policy, KPMG LLP, Washington D.C.;

• Gerald H. Goldberg, Executive Officer, California Franchise Tax Board

• Tax Commissioners Elizabeth Harchenko (Oregon), Arthur Roth (New York), and June Summers Haas (Michigan);

• Richard Pomp, law professor at the University of Connecticut

• Paul Frankel, partner with Morrison & Foerster LLP in New York; and

• Other prominent tax attorneys and law professors.

For more information, call us at 916.845.7998.

Ask the Advocate
picture of Debbie Newcomb Taxpayer Advocate
Debbie Newcomb
Taxpayer Advocate


Q: What are the general tax requirements for reporting losses attributable to rolling blackouts?

A: In general, losses attributable to rolling blackouts would have the same tax requirements as any other loss experienced during the year. Taxpayers are allowed to deduct losses incurred in trade or business, losses incurred in transactions entered into for profit, as well as losses on nonbusiness property arising from casualty or theft.

To qualify as a casualty loss (business or nonbusiness) the loss must be sudden, unexpected or unusual, and it cannot be compensated by insurance.

If it's a business casualty, i.e. if business assets were damaged or lost during a blackout, 100 percent of the loss is deductible.

If the loss resulting from a blackout is a nonbusiness casualty, the deductible amount of the loss is the lesser of the adjusted basis of the property or the decrease in fair market value, and the amount must exceed $100 and 10 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income.

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Corporation mergers on fast track
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corporation had incurred them directly. This includes the obligation of the disappearing corporations to prepare and file tax and information returns as well as the obligation to pay any tax liability due.

By our issuing a certificate of satisfaction we certified to the Secretary of State that we are satisfied, from the available evidence, that all taxes imposed on the disappearing corporation were paid or were secured by bond, deposit, or otherwise. Without the certification of satisfaction requirement, mergers of qualifying corporations will be completed faster.

submitted to the Secretary of State by the surviving corporation. However, before the Secretary of State could file the merger agreement and finalize the merger, they had to request and receive a certificate of satisfaction from us.

Here's why: According to California law, upon the merger of two or more corporations, the separate existence of the disappearing corporations ceases, and the surviving corporation assumes all of the debts and liabilities of each disappearing corporation in the same manner as if the surviving

September/October 2001

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