Tax board issues pay-up notices to 1 million Californians

01/23/2014 12:23 PM

01/24/2014 7:17 AM

More than a million people who didn’t file a California tax return in 2013 are getting explain-or-pay-up letters from the state Franchise Tax Board.

The letters went out in recent weeks to those who had income reported by employers, banks, the IRS or other sources, but who didn’t file a state tax return last year on their 2012 income. They have 30 days to respond, either by paying what they owe or offering proof they aren’t required to file.

“It runs the spectrum from procrastinators to (tax) evaders,” said FTB spokesman John Barrett, who urged anyone getting the letters to heed the 30-day deadline. “File (a return), pick up the phone or use the website, but respond to our notice. Ignoring it means we’ll assess tax, penalties and interest based on the information we have.”

Barrett said the penalties can be up to 50 percent of the tax amount owed. Last year, the FTB’s collection efforts against non-filers brought in more than $727 million.

In Sacramento County, more than 21,100 taxpayers are getting letters. In other counties, the numbers are: El Dorado County (2,280); Placer County (4,980) and Yolo County (2,180).

To request tax forms or reply to the notice, contact the FTB at (866) 204-7902 or online at (search for “Request/Demand for Tax Return”).

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