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Tax Law - California


California Tax Resources

This Guide identifies California tax law resources including resources on income and franchise tax law, sales and use tax law, and property tax law. Sales and use taxes in California are collected by the Board of Equalization, whereas income and franchise taxes are collected by the Franchise Tax Board.

Property taxes are collected by the county, but governed by California state law. Taxes are collected on behalf of the county; incorporated cities within the county; school districts; and other taxing agencies; including special districts. Once collected, these taxes are distributed to the various entities by the Auditor-Controller Division of the Department of Finance.

The County Tax Collector does not determine the amount of property tax to be paid. The County Assessor determines the person or entity to be assessed, and the value of the property, and transmits that information to the County Auditor-Controller.

For information on Federal Income tax law, see the Legal Research Guide on Federal Tax Resources, available on our website at www.saclaw.org/pages/federal-tax-law.aspx. 

SELF HELP

California Tax Facts KFC 860.A16 C35
This Guide, published by the California Taxpayers Association, describes the taxes imposed by California's state and local governments, including information on who pays the taxes, how much revenue is collected, and much more.

LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS & LAW SUMMARIES

California Jurisprudence (Cal. Jur.) 3d KFC 80 .C35 (Ready Reference)
Volume 38, Income Taxes, provides a general discussion of California state laws imposed on personal income and covers topics including the state's taxing authority, particular rules for special classes of taxpayers, and payment of taxes. It also provides citations to the California state constitution, California state codes, and cases.
Electronic Access: On the Law Library's computers, using WestlawNext.

Witkin's Summary of California Law, 10th Edition KFC 80 .W5 (Ready Reference)
Volume 9, Taxation, provides a detailed discussion of various California state tax laws, including personal income taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes, and vehicle taxes. Also includes a review of significant state and federal tax case decisions.
Electronic Access: On the Law Library's computers, using WestlawNext.

PRACTICE GUIDES

Business Taxes Law Guide KFC 912 .B8 E7
This four-volume loose leaf set, published by the state Board of Equalization (BOE), features selected portions of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, accompanied by BOE rules, case annotations, and practice tips for board hearings. If relevant, provisions from other code titles, e.g. the Government Code, are included.
Electronic Access: On the California Board of Equalization Website at: boe.ca.gov/lawguides/business/current/btlg/business-taxes-law-guide.html

California Estate and Gift Tax Planning: Forms and Practice Manual KFC 894 .T46
This manual provides an in-depth analysis of the estate tax consequences of both simple and sophisticated estate planning strategies, including explanations of the Unified Gift & Transfer Tax System, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, formula clauses for the Estate Tax Marital Deduction, Q DOTS, Disclaimers, and uses of various types of Irrevocable Trusts.

California Payroll Guide KFC 870 .3 L36
Covers California laws, regulations, and policies affecting payroll professionals. Includes numerous forms.

California Small Business Guide: Formation, Operation, and Taxation KFC 337 .C345
This practice guide provides close examination of California and federal corporate law, with emphasis on tax planning and tax consequences.

California Tax Handbook KFC 860 .A15 C35
The California Tax Handbook is a comprehensive, one volume guide to California tax law. It covers and explains every tax the state of California levies and includes an overview of the previous year's major legislative changes. Published annually.

CCH California State Tax Reporter KFC 860 .A6 C3
This title provides a detailed explanation of California tax laws with references to legislation, regulations, cases, and administrative rulings. It is organized by tax type.

Guidebook to California Taxes KFC 860 .Z9 .G8
This title, published annually, gives a general picture of the taxes imposed by the state of California and the general property tax levied by local governments.

Practical Guide to California Taxes: The Impact of Economic Crisis KFC  860 .W75
The Practical Guide provides an in-depth examination of changes in state legislation that has taken place in response to the recent economic climate.

Property Taxes Law Guide KFC 880 .A25 P7
This three-volume loose leaf set, published by the state Board of Equalization (BOE), features selected portions of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, accompanied by BOE rules, case annotations, and practice tips for board hearings. If relevant, provisions from other code titles, e.g. the Government Code, are included.
Electronic Access: On the California Board of Equalization Website at: boe.ca.gov/lawguides/property/current/ptlg/property-taxes-law-guide.html

Taxing California Property KFC 880 .T39
This title examines each step of the assessment process, presenting a complete analysis of the issues in addition to practice tips, checklists, charts, maps, deadlines, and forms. Also includes a comprehensive analysis of Proposition 13, otherwise known as the Jarvis-Gann initiative. Electronic Access: On the Law Library's computers, using WestlawNext.

FORMS

California state income tax forms are individuals and businesses are available free on the California Franchise Tax Board web site located at https://www.ftb.ca.gov/

Additional forms and publications are available on the Board of Equalization's website at boe.ca.gov/formspubs/

West's California Code Forms, with Practice Commentaries: Revenue and Taxation Code KFC 30 .W482 R48
Provides copies of blank and completed California state tax forms, including instructions for completing the tax forms and practice commentary. Also includes sample formats for pleadings to file in tax dispute actions.

STATUTES & REGULATIONS

Barclays Official California Code of Regulations KFC 35 .A23 (Ready Reference)
Title 18: Public Revenues.
Electronic Access: provided by the California Office of Administrative Law at ccr.oal.ca.gov/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=CCR-1000&Action=Welcome

California Revenue and Taxation Code
The unannotated code as published by the California Legislature.
leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml

California Income Tax Laws and Regulations, Annotated KFC 870 .A29 C345
This volume includes the full text of the Personal Income Tax, Corporation Tax, and Earned Income Tax divisions of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, with their corresponding regulations. Annotations include rulings, court decisions, and decisions of the Board of Equalization. Published annually.

Deering's Revenue and Taxation Code, Annotated KFC 30.5 D4 R4 (Compact)

West's Annotated California Codes, Revenue and Taxation KFC 30. W 48 R49
Electronic Access: On the Law Library's computers, using WestlawNext.

WEBSITES & COMMUNITY RESOURCES

California Franchise Tax Board
www.ftb.ca.gov
This website provides information on California state taxes for individuals, including all California state tax forms and publications, answers to frequently asked tax questions, and links to other helpful tax information and assistance web sites. Online filing options www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/efile/allsoftware.shtml

California State Board of Equalization (BOE), Tax Appeals Assistance Program
boe.ca.gov/tra/taap.htm
Assistance is offered to qualifying appellants with state income tax, consumer use tax, and Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act appeals, in which a decision by the Board of Equalization has been requested. Qualified law students, who are supervised by BOE tax counsels, advise individuals (appellants) with appeals under $20,000. The BOE's Tax Appeals Assistance Program does not assist with appeals of property tax assessment. The video Your Assessment Appeal walks you through the process of preparing and presenting an appeal of your Property Tax Assessment at your county Board of Equalization or Assessment Appeals Board.

Other useful publications from the BOE include the California City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates (www.boe.ca.gov/cgi-bin/rates.cgi), and the Sales and Use Tax Exemptions and Exclusions(www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub61.pdf).

California Tax Service Center
www.taxes.ca.gov/
This website provides resources for individual taxpayers or small business owners, and contact information for state and federal tax agencies.

California Taxpayers Association
www.caltax.org/
The association conducts research and advocacy on significant tax and spending issues in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.

Sacramento County Assessor's Office
www.assessor.saccounty.net/Pages/default.aspx
Look up accessed value, exemptions and exclusions. Certain properties, or portions thereof, are exempt from taxation under the California Constitution. See the state BOE video on Property Tax Exemptions for Nonprofit, Faith-based, Welfare and Veterans' Organizations at www.boe.ca.gov/info/VirtualSeminars/VirtualSeminar_PropTax.html. For more information on filing an assessment appeal and contact information, see www.assessor.saccounty.net/Pages/AssessmentAppeals.aspx.

Sacramento County, Department of Finance, Tax Collection
www.finance.saccounty.net/Tax/Pages/default.aspx
Online tax bill information and tax bill payment methods.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS GUIDE, OR IF YOU NEED HELP FINDING OR USING THE MATERIALS LISTED, DON'T HESITATE TO ASK A REFERENCE LIBRARIAN.

Revised 1/2014 jc