Accounting News

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Shaming Tax Delinquents

The State of California has a policy of publicly shaming tax delinquents in their state. State law requires the Franchise Tax Board to disclose the 500 largest tax delinquents every year. To make the list you need to owe the state over $100,000. They also need a lien placed by the state for the past due tax balance.

The program started in 2007 and the board estimates it has lead to a recovery of over $175 million. It is unclear whether it was this program that caused the payment or if standard measures may have reached the same outcome. The latest list was updated on the 23rd.

Since this is California the list is sure to have a few celebrities. Number eight with $2,598,968.65 owed is Dionne Warwick. I am glad they give the numbers down to the penny because we wouldn't want there to be any rounding errors on a liability of over two and a half million. Dionne has been on the list for several years now. New to the list is Steven Seagal with $347,849.67 in past due taxes.

So lets put our two celebrities in context. If you want to be first on the list you will have to beat out Halsey Minor who has $10, 711,669,29. To even make the list you will need to owe the State of California $130,759.87. The top five hundred owe $29.6 million.

To get off the list the total doesn't have to be paid in full. You just need to be current on a payment plan. This is where a qualified accountant earns their pay. They will work with the taxing authority to reach an agreement before it reaches the level of public shaming. This tax resolution service takes the headache away from the filer.

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