California businesses that collect sales tax from customers must correctly report the sales and remit the tax on time or face a possible 25% fraud penalty. The CA Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) found that one restaurant owner significantly underreported sales and underpaid the related sales tax. On that basis, the CDTFA determined that he was not only subject to the 25% fraud penalty, but that he also met the criteria for a higher penalty of 40%. That is, evidence showed he knowingly collected sales tax to be remitted and failed to remit the full tax collected; also, the amount exceeded an established threshold. The CA Office of Tax Appeals upheld the penalty. If you have questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.
A local minimum wage raise is coming for employees of the City of Petaluma. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the hourly minimum wage rate for employers with 26 or more employees will be $15.00, and $14.00 for employers with fewer than 26 employees. By ordinance, the minimum wage must be adjusted annually, based on the Bay Area Consumer Price Index. This ordinance applies to all employees who work two or more hours per week in Petaluma and are covered by state minimum wage law. It doesn’t apply to federal, state or county agencies or school districts. A youth minimum wage rate applies to those who are ages 14 to 17 during the first 160 hours of employment in occupations new to them. If you have any questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.
Beginning in late September and during October 2019 the CA Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will be sending 66,500 Notices of Assessment to taxpayers who filed as head-of-household but don’t qualify for that status. Taxpayers who disagree with the Notice of Proposed Assessment may log onto https://bit.ly/2k5JFOs. You may need to create an account. Or, contact the FTB by mail at Franchise Tax Board, PO Box 942840, Sacramento, CA 94240-5340, to file a protest. If you have questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA with questions.
A new California state website just went live, with new features. As the CA Franchise Tax Board announced not long ago, its new website went live on Sunday, June 23. The site focuses on tasks, instead of customer types (individuals, businesses, tax professionals). Now that the site is up and running, you may use it to request forms online. According to Frequently Asked Questions about the site, 95% of the content that was on the old website will still be there, but forms from before 2007 will be gone. Interested parties can obtain older forms through an online process. For more info: https://bit.ly/2F1PKjW
Disabled veterans in California get a tax break. The California State Board of Equalization has announced increases in the property exemption amounts and the household income limit for disabled veterans’ exemptions for 2020. For the 2020 assessment year, the exemption amounts are $143,273 for the basic exemption (up from $139,437 for 2019) and $214,910 for the low-income exemption (up from $209,156 for 2019). The household income limit for those claiming the low-income exemption is $64,337 (up from $62,6147 for 2019). Contact your Linkenheimer CPA with questions.
Disaster relief continues for certain Californians. The CA Franchise Tax Board has updated its Disaster Loss webpage, for victims of storms and fires that plagued the state in recent months. The updated list now includes many CA counties that suffered storm damage in 2019, and several counties which suffered wildfires in late 2018. Taxpayers directly affected by federally declared disasters may be eligible for tax relief, including extensions of time to file and pay taxes until 4/30/19. If you have questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA. Here’s the full list and more information: https://bit.ly/298JVSt
If you’re a California resident who owes estimated CA tax payments, your next payment due date is rolling up fast. By April 15, the first installment of your 2019 state tax is due. Generally, you must make estimated payments if you expect to owe at least $500 for 2019, after you subtract withholding or credits you may have, or face penalties. To learn more about who is required to make estimated payments, how to pay, and how to obtain a handy worksheet to calculate the correct amount, click on https://bit.ly/2FJ03wl or contact your Linkenheimer CPA for help.