Tax Filing Alert: San Francisco, California, Filers

Filed in CPA Blog by on February 23, 2015
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Were you “supposed” to file a tax return in previous years, such as 2013… but just forgot? Here’s an alert on the necessity of filing, even if you “forgot.” It slipped your mind, you thought you didn’t have to, you just would have rather forgotten? As a top tax service in San Francisco, we deal with many, many people and many, many reasons why people don’t file (even when they are supposed to).

San Francisco Tax ServiceWe’re not going to lecture you. You knew / should have known that filing a Federal and a California tax return was necessary for your personal or business situation.  You know.  But… you didn’t file. Now you realize that you should have. What’s really bizarre is that we actually have high income or high net worth individuals, or even small business owners in San Francisco who should have filed, but did not.  People who really have reasons to file, and didn’t.

A Forgotten Reason to File: You Might (Actually) Get a Refund

Now here’s another reason. In many cases, you might actually be getting a refund. Yes a refund. In fact the state of California has indicated reiterated its long-standing program to attempt to locate tax non-filers, and refund them money. Yes, refund them money.

Of course it’s more likely that you’ll owe money.  But the longer you delay, the more that interest and penalties pile up. And believe us, both the Federal government and the State of California have ways to find you, and make it pretty painful for not having filed a return.

Here is information from the official press release –

Since the 1950s, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has contacted people who earned income in California but did not file a tax return. The letters are sent throughout the year, starting in January. Last year, FTB collected more than $715 million through this effort, helping to ensure everyone pays their fair share.

Each year, FTB receives more than 500 million income records from banks, employers, state government, the IRS, and other third parties. FTB matches these income records against its database of tax returns. The program detects others who earned income but did not file a return through sources such as occupational licenses and mortgage interest payments.

Those contacted by FTB have 30 days to file a state tax return or show why one is not required. For those who do not respond, FTB estimates a tax bill based on income records. The assessment includes interest, fees, and penalties that can total as much as 50 percent of the tax due.

Some taxpayers might not have filed because they earned too little. But these taxpayers also may want to file returns. If they had too much withheld from wages or overpaid estimated taxes, filing a return is the only way to get a refund.

State tax law allows taxpayers four years to claim a refund. For 2010 returns, that window generally closes on April 15, 2015. There is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund.

Source: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/press/2015/06_02092015.shtml

Our Promise to You as a Top San Francisco Tax Service

As a top tax service in San Francisco, we have a promise to you. We won’t guilt you, or lecture your for non-filing. Our job is to make your life easier, and first we’ll catch you up to the legal retirements. Then we’ll make a plan so that you can stay current with your California and Federal tax filing requirements. Reach out to us by email or contact us by phone: we offer a free 15 minute phone consultation, and we can discuss your situation. The first step is to recognize you can’t get away from taxes.

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