California: Pay Your Taxes or Be Publically Named
- Sep 12, 2014 | Gail Cole
The California State Board of Equalization has updated the online list of Top 500 Sales and Use Tax Delinquencies in California. All told, tax delinquencies cost the state $484.4 million in the third quarter of 2014.
Tax collectors in California don’t photograph themselves holding large guns, as sometimes happens in the Philippines, nor do they hire drummers to drive tax delinquents to distraction, as in Bangalore. Instead, they simply make the list public after notifying taxpayers of their imminent publicity and giving them 30 days to pay what they owe.
44 taxpayers were added to the most recent list. Together, they owe the state $32.4 million.
Dozens of states publish information about tax delinquents to inspire them to come forward and pay. It can be effective. Since California began its program in 2007, the BOE has “received $12.2 million from 145 qualifying taxpayers who came forward to pay their debts.” Some have paid their bills in full, while others have worked out installment plans.
Sales tax automation software helps keep honest taxpayers off the list of shame.