Hoping that a public shaming will succeed where stern letters and liens have failed, the Franchise Tax Board publishes the names and hometowns of the top state tax delinquents twice a year.
This year, the Franchise Tax Board claims that 150 individuals and corporations resolved their tax debts after receiving a letter warning of the public list. The total amount still owed is nearly $170 million.
Here's the full text of the press release:
The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today updated its Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers list with 298 individuals and 52 businesses comprising the new list. Combined they owe the state more than $168 million.
In August, FTB sent letters to 500 taxpayers who potentially could appear on the list if they failed to resolve their tax liabilities. 150 taxpayers resolved their accounts, and paid more than $5.3 million, to prevent their being publicly named on the list. More than $274 million has been collected from the top debtors program since its October 2007 inception.
Being on the Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayer list carries added provisions including:
Suspension of state-issued licenses including driver’s licenses and occupational or professional licenses.
Publishing professional license information.
Prohibiting state agencies from entering into contracts with listed debtors.
Publishing the names and titles of corporate officers of listed corporations.
FTB removes a taxpayer from the list once the tax is paid or the taxpayer agrees to make payments under an approved installment agreement or offer in compromise. Tax liabilities under appeal, in litigation, or in bankruptcy proceedings are not included on the list.
Individuals on the list can contact FTB at 888.426.8555 to resolve their accounts. Business taxpayers can call 888.426.8751.
The Top 500 list is published twice a year in April and October.
The Board of Equalization has a similar list of the state’s top sales and use tax delinquencies, which they update quarterly.