BOE Chairman Applauds Success of Southern California Appeals and Settlement Unit

Board of Equalization (BOE) revenue collection in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-13 was $3.5 billion more than it was in FY 2011-12. According to BOE Chairman Jerome E. Horton, with proper funding, the BOE could accelerate an estimated 990 appeals and settlement cases FY 2014-15 and ongoing.

The newly established Appeals and Settlement Unit in Southern California is playing an important role in increasing the flow of revenue to the state, reducing government and taxpayer costs, and greatly enhancing efficiency. The Accelerated Settlement Program shaves as much as 24 months off the tax appeals process.

“A more efficient government is a more effective and responsive government,” said Chairman Horton. “This efficiency is reducing the cost of appeals, litigation, and administration, which benefits the state and California taxpayers.”

The BOE, like other tax agencies, finds that the sooner tax disputes are resolved, the sooner the taxpayers know how to comply with the law and pay their fair share without penalties, interest, and expensive legal fees. Also, resolving cases early and obtaining voluntary payment reduces the cases that wind up with lingering accounts receivable balances.

The new Appeals and Settlement Unit accelerates the resolution of cases that could otherwise take years to resolve and reduces the cost of appeals, litigation, and administration. Without continued funding, the appeals and settlement case inventory would immediately begin to accumulate at the rate of 990 cases annually starting in FY 2014-15, and increase every year thereafter, frustrating taxpayers and creating a backlog for the BOE. Backlogs severely hamper the timely resolution of cases—and ultimately undermine voluntary taxpayer compliance.

The Appeals and Settlement Unit successfully exceeded its projections for accelerated revenue in its first two and a half years by $48 million, for a total of $195 million in accelerated revenue. The unit is on task to continue this accomplishment. The Executive Director of the BOE, Ms. Cynthia Bridges confirms, “Taxpayers and tax practitioners attest to its success in decreasing their costs when they have a dispute, and increasing their confidence in the effectiveness and fairness of the state’s tax system.”

Chairman Horton would like to hear from those who have participated in the BOE’s Appeals and Settlement Program. Please send your feedback on your experience in the Appeals and Settlement Program via email to Dist4Proposal@boe.ca.gov.

For more information on the BOE’s Settlement Program, please visit http://www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/boe393n.htm.

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