Senate sends governor plan to extend taxpayer-advocate program
Sen. Bob Hertzberg bill would help those who have been overcharged
SACRAMENTO – Concurring unanimously in Assembly amendments, the Senate today sent to Gov. Brown a plan to extend a soon-to-expire program to help taxpayers who are overcharged by the state Franchise Tax Board.
“Filing taxes can be challenging,” said Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, author of Senate Bill 540. “It's even more frustrating for individuals who, through no fault of their own, fall victim to administrative errors and delays from the tax collection agency. This bill will help ensure that California will work harder to correct problems that can cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.”
In addition to extending the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate program indefinitely, SB 540 would:
- Increase the maximum annual taxpayer relief amount that may be granted for a taxable year from $7,500 to $10,000 and indexes that amount to inflation.
- Eliminate the requirement for a taxpayer to file an application for relief.
- Require that the FTB be notified of relief granted by the program and that records of relief be retained for at least one year.
Created in 2009, the advocate program has provided relief to many taxpayers. For example, $1.1 million worth of interest was recently abated for a group of 50 taxpayers covering multiple years because of erroneous written advice contained in California tax-form instructions.
In other cases, more than $4,000 in interest was forgiven to taxpayers because of erroneous actions while processing returns and unreasonable delays in issuing bills by the FTB.
Sponsored by the Franchise Tax Board, SB 540 is supported by the California Chamber of Commerce; the California Taxpayers Association; and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
Gov. Brown has 30 days to sign SB 540, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.
For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 540, click HERE or visit Hertzberg’s Web site at the address below.
Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map HERE or athttp://sd18.senate.ca.gov/district. After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through the Think Long Committee of California. More HERE or at www.senate.ca.gov/hertzberg
MEDIA CONTACT: Ray Sotero
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate District 18
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4018 office; 916 834-1128 cell