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California: Public Humiliation for Sales Tax Delinquents


 It would be a shame to make California's Top 500 Sales and Use Tax Delinquencies list

Each quarter, the State Board of Equalization publishes a list of the Top 500 Sales and Use Tax Delinquencies. In the second quarter of 2013, tax delinquencies totaled $547.7 million. That's a lot of missing revenue.

The goal of the list is not to publicly humiliate delinquent taxpayers--that's just a perk. The goal is to encourage delinquent taxpayers to come forward and pay their bills. Does it work? It seems that it does. Since the start of the program in 2007, 93 people on the list have remitted more than $90 million in delinquent taxes to the BOE: 78 are making payments, and 15 have paid in full and cleared their names.

California isn't the only state that does this; Minnesota publishes its own list of shame each quarter, as does Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, and others. In all such states, taxpayers who are slated to make the list are notified 30 days before the list is published. That gives them time to come forward and pay.

48 taxpayers were added to the California list this quarter, raising the amount owed to the state by $40.6 million. At the top of the newcomer list, the amount owed is $1,968,907.94. The lowest amount is a mere $429,453.36. Ouch.

Read the full list here. If nothing else, it may inspire you to pay your sales and use taxes on time.

Worried about making the list? Automation can ease your mind.

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photo credit: BlueRobot via photopin cc


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.