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California Laws | Revenue and Taxation Code
DIVISION 2. OTHER TAXES
PART 10.5. SENIOR CITIZENS PROPERTY TAX ASSISTANCE AND POSTPONEMENT LAW

This section shall not apply where the tax preparer has advanced the taxpayer an amount of money equal to or greater than the amount of the taxpayer's tax refund. (18843)

20646. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the provisions of any law effecting changes in this part shall be applied with respect to claims filed for property tax assistance for fiscal years beginning after enactment. (18844)

PART 10.7. TAXPAYERS' BILL OF RIGHTS (21001-21028) (18845)(Text)

21001. This part shall be known and may be cited as the "Katz-Harris Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act." (18846)

21002. The Legislature finds and declares that taxes are the most sensitive point of contact between citizens and their government, and that there is a delicate balance between revenue collection and freedom from government oppression. It is the intent of the Legislature to place guarantees in California law to ensure that the rights, privacy, and property of California taxpayers are adequately protected during the process of the assessment and collection of taxes. (18847)

The Legislature further finds that the California tax system is based largely on self-assessment, and the development of understandable tax laws and taxpayers informed of those laws will improve both self-assessment and the relationship between taxpayers and government. It is the further intent of the Legislature to promote improved taxpayer self-assessment by improving the clarity of tax laws and efforts to inform the public of the proper application of those laws. (18848)

The Legislature further finds and declares that the purpose of any tax proceeding between the Franchise Tax Board and a taxpayer is the determination of the taxpayer's correct tax liability. It is the intent of the Legislature that, in the furtherance of this purpose, the Franchise Tax Board may inquire into, and shall allow the taxpayer every opportunity to present, all relevant information pertaining to the taxpayer's liability. (18849)

21003. The Franchise Tax Board shall administer this part. Unless the context indicates otherwise, the provisions of this part shall apply to Part 10 (commencing with Section 17001) and Part 11 (commencing with Section 23001). (18850)

For purposes of this part, "board" means the Franchise Tax Board. (18851)

21004. (a) The board shall establish the position of the Taxpayers' Rights Advocate. The advocate or his or her designee shall be responsible for coordinating resolution of taxpayer complaints and problems, including any taxpayer complaints regarding unsatisfactory treatment of taxpayers by board employees or problems identified by board employees. The advocate shall report directly to the executive officer of the board. (18852)

(b) The advocate or his or her designee shall give highest priority to reviewing and taking prompt and appropriate action, including staying actions where taxpayers have suffered or will suffer irreparable loss as the result of board action. Applicable statutes of limitation shall be tolled during the pendency of a stay. Any penalties and interest which would otherwise accrue shall not be affected by the granting of a stay. (18853)

(c) (1) The advocate may review any application for relief pursuant to this subdivision and abate any penalties, fees, additions to tax, or interest assessed on a taxpayer, if it is determined by the advocate that the penalties, fees, additions to tax, or interest that have been assessed, or any part thereof, is attributable to any of the following: (18854)

(A) Erroneous action or erroneous inaction by the board in processing documents filed or payments made by taxpayers. (18855)

(B) Unreasonable delay caused by the board. (18856)

(C) Erroneous written advice that does not qualify for relief under Section 21012. (18857)

(2) Relief may be granted pursuant to this subdivision only if no significant aspect of that error or delay can be attributed to the taxpayer involved and relief is not available under any other provision of this part, Part 10 (commencing with Section 17001), or Part 11 (commencing with Section 23001), including any relief granted under any regulation or other administrative pronouncement of the board. (18858)

(3) (A) (i) Any relief granted pursuant to this subdivision in which the total reduction in penalties, fees, additions to tax, or interest exceeds five hundred dollars ($500) shall be submitted to the chief counsel, for concurrence. (18859)

(ii) If the total relief granted pursuant to this subdivision, including penalties, fees, additions to tax, and interest, exceeds seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500), the chief counsel shall notify the board. (18860)

(B) Whenever relief is granted under this subdivision, there shall be placed on file in the office of the executive officer of the board a public record with respect to that relief. The public record shall include the following: (18861)

(i) The taxpayer's name. (18862)

(ii) The total amount involved. (18863)

(iii) The amount payable or refundable due to the error or delay. (18864)

(iv) A summary of why the relief is warranted. (18865)

(4) A refund may be paid as a result of relief granted under this subdivision only if the applicable statute of limitations, with respect to filing a claim for refund, remains open as of the date that the basis for providing relief, as authorized in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, of paragraph (1), as reflected in a written communication received by the advocate. (18866)

(d) No other entity may participate in the grant or denial of relief pursuant to this section. (18867)

(e) On January 1 of each calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2009, the board shall increase the amount specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) to the amount computed under this subdivision. That adjustment shall be made as follows: (18868)

(1) The Department of Industrial Relations shall transmit annually to the board the percentage change in the California Consumer Price Index, as modified for rental equivalent home ownership for all items, from June of the prior calendar year to June of the current calendar year, no later than August 1 of the current calendar year. (18869)

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