Reporting from Sacramento — More than 90,000 California businesses could be charged a new collection fee of up to $925 a year starting next week if they don't pay their back taxes to the state quickly enough, state tax officials announced Monday.
A law passed this year directs the California Board of Equalization to assess the fee on unpaid liabilities after giving the taxpayer a 90-day notice. Taxpayers can avoid the fee by settling their obligations before the 90 days are up.
The Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved the new fee to cover costs that the state incurs to collect delinquent taxes. This fee is in addition to existing penalties and interest charges that businesses already face for paying late.
The Board of Equalization collects state sales and use taxes and hears appeals on franchise and personal income disputes. The new collection fee ranges from $185 a year (for a tax bill of up to $2,000) to $925 a year (for a bill of more than $50,000).