California tax agency suspends debt collection program revealed in Call Kurtis investigation – CBS Sacramento
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Franchise Tax Board has suspended the interception program, which takes refunds from taxpayers to pay off debt, saying it will stop plundering taxpayer dollars to cover things like parking tickets, tolls or other fines until August.
The FTB says this will provide taxpayer relief during the public health emergency.
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As we have repeatedly reported, the interception program serves as a collection agency for more than 600 local government agencies across the state. The program has raided the wrong people ‘s refunds more than 600 times since 2017, forcing taxpayers to fight for their money.
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We found that the program requires local agencies to send a warning letter before intercepting a tax refund, but the state only requires these agencies to perform a Google search for addresses. These warning letters were often sent to the wrong people or to the wrong address, giving taxpayers no opportunity to correct a mistake.
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We asked the FTB what it was going to do to correct the flaws we exposed while the program is on hold until August. They did not respond by saying, “The interception program is on hold to provide relief to taxpayers due to the ongoing public health emergency and the severe economic impact it has had on many Californians.” While the decision to suspend the program is unrelated to the issues you raised, FTB remains committed to improving our program, including reducing instances of improper interceptions.