Assemblymember Marie Waldron
The California State Board of Equalization is an agency familiar to our small businesses. Known as the BOE, it’s a place businesses file their quarterly sales taxes, fee and tax appeals, including fire fee and property tax appeals. The BOE handles tax fraud, taxpayer rights issues and criminal tax enforcement. Effective July 1, most BOE responsibilities, including permit, audit and collections have been transferred to the California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), under the Governor’s office.
In the past, quarterly returns would be filed with the BOE. As a result of the restructure, business owners will file through the CDTFA website at: http://www.cdtfa.ca.gov. For businesses filing their 2nd Qtr. sales tax this month, select “File a Return” and use the express login or resale number that you have previously used on the BOE website.
While the BOE, with its five elected board members, will retain its constitutional responsibilities, including taxpayer assistance, most functions have been transferred to the new agency.
The restructure also creates the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA). The longstanding right of California taxpayers to have their tax appeals heard by BOE officials, answerable to the voters, will now be transferred to unelected OTA officials appointed by the Governor.
The BOE was established by a constitutional amendment in 1879. Will a massive restructure, hastily crafted during the budget process, of a historic, constitutionally mandated agency that administers over 30 tax and fee programs that generated $60.5 billion in revenue during 2014-2015, result in greater efficiencies, or end in disaster? Business owners deserve to have stability along with the ability to remedy issues with CDTFA oversight. It is my hope that this new agency will continue to be responsive to small businesses and to California’s taxpayers.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.