Steve Sims EA llc


Announcements and Updates

Gutting of the California Tax Board, a real problem for small businesses.


With the passage of SB 86 & AB 102, dismantling of the Board of Equalization (BOE) may be completed by the Governor on Thursday when he signs the budget. Some lawmakers say SB 86 & AB 102 may be illegal and dismantling of BOE cannot be rushed through. Several groups/individuals expressed concerns that the replacement of elected officials by civil servants would result in fewer cases being determined in favor of the taxpayer.  

If the board loses its authority as a tax court, big business will still be able to hire attorneys and fight the state in civil court. Smaller businesses would lose an avenue for representation.

The concern of both large and small businesses is whether the Franchise Tax Board and BOE become more aggressive in proposing adjustments on positions taken on tax returns.  Will a permanent civil servant be as open and sympathetic in reviewing a taxpayers position?  While I can understand the concerns, having been the Taxpayers' Rights Advocate for the FTB (a civil servant) I continuously fought for taxpayers rights and objectively reviewed taxpayers arguments on issues. I believe there are civil servants capable of doing the job. However, the selection process for judges to fill these positions should be strictly monitored.  Also, replacing a civil servant for poor/questionable performance should not take an act of God.  

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