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New Legislation Will Increase Guidance at BOE: Steel Newsletter for August, 2012

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on September 3, 2012

This came over the wire from Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel’s office on Friday…

The Michelle Steel Newsletter

“Fighting for California Taxpayers”

Michelle Steel: Fighting for California Taxpayers


Dear Friends:

As we approach the end of the 2011-12 Legislative session, there is a little bit of good news I am happy to share with you. Legislators approved Assembly Bill 2323 earlier this month. This important bill will help California taxpayers by requiring the Board of Equalization to publish certain tax cases, providing taxpayers with more guidance, greater transparency, and stronger accountability from the Board of Equalization. You can read more about my thoughts on the bill in a recent column I wrote for the FlashReport.

Two other good BOE-related bills to pass the Legislature are SB 1548, by Senator Mark Wyland, and AB 2270 by Assemblywoman Diane Harkey.

SB 1548 extends the BOE’s offer in compromise program for five years. The offer in compromise program allows the BOE to compromise a final tax liability when a taxpayer provides proof that he or she cannot afford to pay the full liability and has no prospects of raising enough to pay the full liability within a reasonable amount of time.

AB 2270 aligns the due date for a use tax liability with the due date for income tax returns (April 15), clearly establishing a single filing date that will save taxpayers the time and money of preparing returns for different dates and therefore avoiding the possible penalties and interest that could come with a late payment.

But there continues to be a lot of bad news, too. Fire tax bills have been churning out of the BOE mailroom for a few weeks, and they will continue to be sent to rural homeowners alphabetically by county until December, when – unless we stop this illegal tax in court or in the Legislature – CalFire and the BOE will begin working to send out new bills next year. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has started a new website,firetaxprotest.org, which provides anyone who is being charged this tax the resources to challenge it and claim a refund.

A new sales tax on wood products is awaiting a vote in the Legislature, and so is a plan to increase corporation taxes by $1 billion. There is also a last minute bill, SB 1455, that would extend certain car taxes until 2023 – a $2 billion tax hike. You can see my opposition letter to SB 1455here.

If you have a moment, please call your legislators and urge them to oppose new and higher taxes that will hurt jobs and the economy.

As always, I am honored to serve as your taxpayer advocate. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours truly,
Michelle Steel: Taxpayer Advocate
Michelle Steel
Vice Chair
California State Board of Equalization

In The News

Upcoming Taxpayer Events

On September 7 , I will be hosting a free small business seminar at the Cypress Community Center with State Senator Bob Huff, Mayor Douglas Bailey and the City of Cypress.

This free seminar is geared towards new business owners, entrepreneurs considering starting a business, and business owners that have questions about state or federal tax laws.  Presentations include Basic Sales and Use Tax, Better Business through Better Records, State Income Tax and Small Business, Employee or Independent Contractor, U.S. Small Business Administration Loan Programs and Services, Developing Business Plans, and Business Marketing.

These free small business seminars are an excellent opportunity for small-business owners, and for those thinking of starting small-businesses, to network and to interact directly with state and federal tax agencies; to learn about their rights as taxpayers, and how to navigate our complicated state and federal tax codes. Click here to register.

On September 19, I will be hosting a free restaurant tax seminar with the City of Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association at the Newport Coast Community Center.

This free restaurant tax seminar will cover a variety of topics helpful to restaurant owners, including sales and use tax, employment taxes, marketing their restaurant, forms of ownership, financing their business, and tip reporting.  Representatives from the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, Internal Revenue Service, Employment Development Department, and the U.S. Small Business Administration, will be available to assist attendees. Click here to regester.

Please check the BOE’s website for more upcoming seminars:http://www.boe.ca.gov/info/VirtualSeminars/seminars_inperson.htm


California Gasoline Demand Rose 3.3 Percent in May, Fuel Tax Data Show

Prices Spiked to $4.35 a Gallon in May

California’s gasoline demand rose 3.3 percent in May as prices hit $4.35 per gallon, according to fuel tax data released by the State Board of Equalization (BOE). Diesel consumption increased 7.1 percent in May.

BOE’s fuel tax report showed Californians consumed 1.28 billion gallonsof gasoline in May, a 3.3 percent increase from the 1.24 billion during the same period last year. However, during the first five months of 2012, California gas consumption was changed little from the first five months of 2011 (a 0.1 percent increase) despite a growing population and more people commuting to work. In California, average gasoline prices were up 12 cents to $4.35 in May, a 2.9 percent increase over last May’s average price according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

California’s diesel consumption was 228 million gallons in May, up 15 million gallons or 7.1 percent from a year ago.  That’s the highest level since December 2011. During the first five months of 2012, diesel consumption squeezed up 1.2 percent, matching the average increase of 2011.  California’s average diesel prices were down 5 cents to $4.32 per gallon in May.

Nationally, the EIA reports regular gasoline averaged $3.79 a gallon, down 17 cents from May of last year. The EIA diesel retail prices reported the national average price of diesel was down 7 cents, to $3.98 from a year earlier.

The BOE Chief Economist reports in the Economic Perspective (August 2012) that despite the economic stresses during the decade between 2000 and 2010, including an 86 percent increase in gasoline prices, U.S. household spending jumped 27 percent. Spending on gasoline increased significantly for all households, a minimum of $378 for the lowest-earning households, and up to a maximum of $1,187 for the top-earning households.

California gasoline and diesel fuel figures are net consumption that includes audit assessments, refunds, amended and late tax returns and the State Controller’s Office refunds. The information is based on fuel tax receipts paid by fuel distributors in California.  BOE updates the fuel reports at the end of each month.

California Fuel Statistics and Reports www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/spftrpts.htm

State Taxable Gasoline Gallons Report: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/reports/MVF_10_Year_Report.pdf

State Taxable Diesel Gallons Report: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/reports/Diesel_10_Year_Report.pdf

Friday, August 31, 2012

In this Issue…
In the News 

Upcoming Events 
An update on taxpayer education events coming up in September.

Gasoline Demans Rose 3.3 percent, Prices Spiked, in May 
California’s gasoline demand rose 3.3 percent in May as prices hit $4.35 per gallon.


Orange County Office
16715 Von Karman Ave., Suite 200
Irvine, CA 92606
Phone (949) 724-2578
Fax (949) 724-2805

Capital Office
450 N Street, MIC:77
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916) 445-5713
Fax (916) 323-0546


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Steel speaks at her free small-business seminar in Costa Mesa.


Full house at the Costa Mesa small-business seminar.

The Steel Summary

16th—Steel hosts a free tax seminar for nonprofit and exempt organizations in Costa Mesa.

21st— Board of Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.

22nd— Board of Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.

23rd— Board of Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.28th—Steel hosts a free small-business tax seminar with Assemblyman Jeff Miller in Corona.


3rd—Labor Day

7th— Steel hosts a free small-business tax seminar with State Senator Bob Huff and Mayor Douglas Bailey in the City of Cypress.

12th—Board of Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.

13th—Board of Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.

14th—Board of Equalization Meeting in Sacramento.

19th— Steel hosts free restaurant-tax seminar in Newport Beach.

28th— Steel speaks at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club Monthly Meeting.


Taxpayer Links

Helpful Links for California Taxpayers

Board of Equalization Links

Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate

Electronic Filing (E-Services)

Board of Equalization Forms

Seller’s Permit Application

Verify Permit or License

Homeowner and Renter Taxpayer Assistance Appeal

California Use Tax Form

Claim for Refund Form

Franchise Tax Board Links

Franchise Tax Board Home Page

California Tax Service Center

Forms and Publications

Form 540 & Form 540A







Joel Angeles 
Chief Deputy
Ken Lopez-Maddox
Senior Advisor, Legislation and Policy
Neil Shah
Deputy & Senior Advisor
Arie Dana 
Communications Director
Keith Chatprapachai
Senior Professional Advisor
Peter Kim
Taxpayer Advocate
Rosalyn Vasquez 
Tax Counsel
Ray Morquecho 
District Representative
Tyler Diep 
Senior Advisor
Tim Treichelt 
Tax Counsel III

[Questions or Comments?] 

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