Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2010

Sales And Use Tax Law


Article 1. Returns and Payments

Section 6456

6456. Relief of spouse. (a) Under regulations prescribed by the board, if:

(1) A tax liability under this part was understated by a failure to file a return required to be filed under this part, by the omission of an amount properly includable therein, or by erroneous deductions or credits claimed on a return, and the understatement of tax liability is attributable to one spouse; or any amount of the tax reported on a return was unpaid and the nonpayment of the reported tax liability is attributable to one spouse,

(2) The other spouse establishes that he or she did not know of, and had no reason to know of, that understatement or nonpayment, and

(3) Taking into account whether or not the other spouse significantly benefited directly or indirectly from the understatement or the nonpayment and taking into account all other facts and circumstances, it is inequitable to hold the other spouse liable for the deficiency in tax attributable to that understatement or nonpayment, then the other spouse shall be relieved of liability for tax (including interest, penalties, and other amounts) to the extent that the liability is attributable to that understatement or nonpayment of tax.

(b) For purposes of this section, the determination of the spouse to whom items of understatement or nonpayment are attributable shall be made without regard to community property laws.

(c) This section shall apply to all calendar quarters subject to the provisions of this part, but shall not apply to any calendar quarter that is more than five years from the final date on the board-issued determination, five years from the return due date for nonpayment on a return, or one year from the first contact with the spouse making a claim under this section; or that has been closed by res judicata, whichever is later.

(d) For purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), "reason to know" means whether or not a reasonably prudent person would have had reason to know of the understatement or nonpayment.

(e) For purposes of this section, with respect to a failure to file a return or an omission of an item from the return, "attributable to one spouse" may be determined by whether a spouse rendered substantial service as a retailer of taxable items to which the understatement is attributable. If neither spouse rendered substantial services as a retailer, then the attribution of applicable items of understatement shall be treated as community property. An erroneous deduction or credit shall be attributable to the spouse who caused that deduction or credit to be entered on the return.

(f) Under procedures prescribed by the board, if, taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it is inequitable to hold the other spouse liable for any unpaid tax or any deficiency (or any portion of either) attributable to any item for which relief is not available under subdivision (a), the board may relieve the other spouse of that liability.

History.—Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 181, in effect January 1, 1994. Stats. 1996, Ch. 1087, in effect January 1, 1997, deleted former paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) which stated, "On the application for a seller's permit described in Section 6066, both spouses names appear as applicants," renumbered former paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of subdivision (a) as (1), (2), and (3), respectively, deleted "or" after "this part," and added "or any . . . one spouse," after ";spouse" in new paragraph (1); added "or the nonpayment" after "understatement" in paragraph (4) and added "or nonpayment" after "understatement" twice in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) and in subdivisions (b) and (d); added "is more than . . . or that" after "quarter that", deleted "a statute of limitations," after "closed by", and substituted "whichever is later" for "or otherwise" after "res judicata"," in subdivision (c); and substituted "(2)" for "(3)" after "paragraph" in subdivision (d). Stats. 2000, Ch. 1052 (AB 2898), in effect January 1, 2001, added "a" after "understated by" in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), and added subdivision (f).