The California Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill No. 321, which adds an exemption until January 1, 2024, to existing state sales and use tax laws related to "the sale of, or the storage, use, or consumption of, a new, used, or remanufactured truck with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or more that is purchased for use without this state." To claim the exemption, the taxpayer must provide:
For months, many out-of-state retailers have been working to determine the extent to which they may owe tax to California for sales made in prior years, even though they had no physical nexus in California. Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Wayfair v. South Dakota, California took the position that out-of-state retailers who utilize Amazon to hold inventory and make sales to customers in California have sufficient nexus to meet the requirements to collect and pay sales/use tax to California. This was true even if the business sent inventory to Amazon outside of California and Amazon made the determination to store inventory in California.
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently issued a news blast that many payments sent by mail to the state tax agency in June were delayed significantly due to post office issues. When the mail finally caught up on June 9th, the FTB received some 115,000 payments for estimated taxes and other purposes. The agency is working to process all the backlogged payments now and will post them with a timely date of June 15, 2019. However, this should serve as a reminder to try to issue online payments to tax agencies whenever possible!
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently released some initial data on the 2019 tax filing season. As of June 1st, the FTB had processed 17.4 million personal income tax returns, a vast majority (88%) of which were e-filed. A total of $11.7 billion in personal income tax refunds were issued to 12 million individual taxpayers, 98% of whom received their refunds within 30 days of filing. The FTB also received 1.1 million business entity returns and issued 92,000 refunds to business taxpayers, totaling $553 million. To read the full update, click here.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently finalized the federal government's answer on the charitable contribution work-around certain states have attempted to implement to reduce the effect of the cap on state and local tax deductions for federal filing purposes. Citing Internal Revenue Code section 170, the IRS determined that contributions made by taxpayers to a fund or entity designed as an alternative to paying property taxes, for example, is not a charitable contribution, because the donation is not made with a charitable intent, and the taxpayer receives a privilege or benefit in exchange for the donation.
A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel presided over by Frederic Block recently issued its opinion in Vasquez, et al. v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., finding that the "ABC test" for worker classification adopted last year in Dynamex Ops. W. Inc. v. Superior Court should apply retroactively to all wage-and-hour cases in California.
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently announced that interest rates for personal income tax underpayments and overpayments, corporate underpayments, and estimate penalties will increase to 6 percent for 2019. The corporate overpayment interest rate will increase to 2 percent this year. For more information, click here.
Effective January 1, 2019, under California Labor Code Section 2810.4, customers of certain port trucking companies may be held liable for unpaid wages due to commercial truck drivers, as well as any related assessments. According to the DLSE:
The California Public Utilities Commission recently released a decision finding that text messaging services could be subject to Public Purpose Program surcharges, as suggested by Commissioner Carla J. Peterman. The proposed decision does not have legal effect at this time, and the Commission is opening an additional phase during which it will consider transparency, competition, and methods to implement the proposed fees. For more information, click here: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M238/K227/238227359.PDF.
January 24, 2019 Update: On January 17, 2019, Assembly Bill AB 71 (Melendez) (seeking to statutorily supersede the narrow holding in Dynamex, by codifying the widely accepted factors in Borello) was referred to the Assembly Committee on Labor & Employment. Assembly Bill AB 5 (Gonzales) (seeking to codify Dynamex and clarify the decision's application in state law) is an active bill and pending referral to a committee.