What is a “Big” California Tax Debt?

So, you may have made an error on your taxes, or forgot to change back your tax withholdings on your paycheck stub after covering some unexpected expenses and ended up owing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxes or California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) taxes. Or perhaps, you were audited by the IRS or California’s income taxing entity, the FTB. Either way, you are staring a tax bill and wondering if it you owe more than “average”.

Unfortunately, if you owe a California FTB tax debt, they will tell you, and the public at large that you owe a big tax debt. They will even post your name online, try to suspend your drivers license and state issued professional license that you may have in order to force you resolve your tax liability. This is known as the “Top 500 past due balances” list and its most recent victims has just been published.

Initially started as a list of the top 250 by California Assembly Bil No. 1424, it has been amended and expanded to the top 500 individual taxpayers who owe $100,000 or more in California FTB tax debt and is published twice a year.

The current list updated in June 2024 has the lowest liability published as $102,409.61. With penalties and interest on tax liabilities, you may be closer to being published than you think. There are tax collection defense strategies that can be implemented to keep you off of this list, or remove yourself from this list if you see your name on the list. But it is up to you to pursue those tax defense strategies before the tax man pursues you. So, if you do have a California Tax Debt that is getting “Big” you may need a consultation with our law firm to determine if there is an FTB collection defense that may work to keep your name from being published as a top 500 past due balance.

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