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Tax News
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Federal legislation on alternative minimum tax, mortgage debt relief

You may have heard that late legislative changes to patch the federal Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) law could push back the start of the federal tax filing season and delay the time it will take taxpayers to receive their refunds. California’s AMT law is similar to the federal AMT but not dependent on federal calculations.

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) systems and processes are ready to accept state tax returns starting on January 2, 2008. We expect many individuals who file simple tax returns and are owed state tax refunds will be able to file their California return early in the tax season as they normally would. However, we are anticipating delays in the normal flow of state tax returns due to the fact that the filing of federal and state returns are typically tied closely together. We are adjusting our work plans accordingly to prevent service impacts on taxpayers and professionals with their state tax filing needs.

In late December, Congress also passed the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007. Check our February issue for an update on how California taxpayers may be affected by this legislation.

"My FTB Account" debuts

The online Web application formerly known as View Payments and Balance Due has transformed into My FTB Account. The new name reflects its broader, enhanced capabilities.

Previously, taxpayers and their authorized representatives could view:

  • Estimated tax payments, estimate transfers, and extension payments waiting to be applied to a tax return.
  • The most recent payments applied to a balance due.
  • The total balance due as of the date the service is accessed.
  • A summary by tax year of the balance due.

Now, in addition to what was previously available, it will also be possible to view:

  • California wage and withholding information.
  • FTB-issued 1099-G and 1099-INT information.

To check out My FTB Account on our Website, enter "preview My FTB Account" in the search field.

2008 Southern California practitioner seminars

You are invited to participate in a unique opportunity - hear directly from IRS and FTB personnel about updates and how to deal effectively with processing, procedures, and services. This is a great way to get firsthand information from the experts.

The program will provide up to seven hours of continuing educational credits (six hours Federal and one hour California). A registration form is provided, or contact Joni Terens, EA, at (714) 823-4633 or for additional information.

Dates and Locations:

Monday, January 7 - South Bay Chapter
Location: Radisson Hotel, 6161 W. Centinela Ave., Culver City, CA 90045

Tuesday, January 8 - San Fernando Valley Chapter
Location: Pickwick Gardens, 1001 W. Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91506

Wednesday, January 9 - Palomar/San Diego Chapter
Location: California Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025

Thursday, January 10 - Inland Empire Chapter
Location: Hilton Hotel, 285 E. Hospitality Lane, San Bernardino, CA 92408

Friday, January 11 - Orange County Chapter
Location: Hilton Hotel, 18800 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine, CA 92612

Saturday, January 12 - Channel Islands (Santa Barbara area) Chapter
Location: Holiday Inn, 5650 Calle Real, Goleta, CA 93117

Interested Party Meetings

Apportionment of business income - Regulation Section 25128

January 9, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., Franchise Tax Board: Meeting notice and information

Sales factor, sales other than sales of tangible personal property in this state - Regulation Section 25136

January 9, 2008, 1:30 p.m., Franchise Tax Board: Meeting notice and information

Correction/clarification: December Tax News

We have revised the worksheet example in the December article "FTB scrutinizes car and truck expense compliance" to remove the depreciation deduction, and to clarify the example. Please review the new, corrected example on our Website. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.