California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Tough on Missing Forms 1099 and W-2s

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has been given the green light by the California Legislature to disallow deductions for payments made for personal services if the payor fails to provide a Form 1099 or a W-2. For many years the California Revenue and Taxation Code has provided that the FTB may disallow any deductions for personal services if the individual making the payments fails to file the appropriate reporting forms when due. An identical statute applies to corporations. There was some concern that there were technical problems with the statute so the FTB sponsored a bill to “clarify” the statute. That bill became effective on January 1, 2008.

Note that the statute says “may” not must or will. This leaves some room for arguing that this discretion should not be exercised, perhaps because the failure to file the documents wasn’t willful, or was otherwise due to excusable neglect.

In addition to the deductions being disallowed taxpayers can be hit with a penalty of $50 for each form not filed. Perhaps that’s not much for each form, but for even a mid-size company it can add up pretty quickly. In addition the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposes a $50 penalty under Internal Revenue Code § 6721, and in cases of intentional disregard of the filing requirement the penalty goes to $100 per form.

If you have a California income tax audit or a IRS or California tax dispute, and you need tax representation call the Southern California tax lawyers at Brager Tax Law Group, A P.C. We represent clients with California tax problems in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, and the rest of Southern California, and the country.

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