Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC

DIVISION 2. OTHER TAXES [6001 - 61045]

  ( Heading of Division 2 amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 279. )

PART 2. MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL TAX LAW [7301 - 8526]

  ( Heading of Part 2 amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 364, Sec. 1.5. )

CHAPTER 8. Administration [8251 - 8277]

  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 37. )

ARTICLE 2. The California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights [8260 - 8277]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. )

8260.
  

The board shall administer this article. Unless the context indicates otherwise, the provisions of this article shall apply to this part.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8261.
  

(a) The board shall establish the position of the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate. The advocate or his or her designee shall be responsible for facilitating resolution of taxpayer complaints and problems, including any taxpayer complaints regarding unsatisfactory treatment of taxpayers by board employees, and staying actions where taxpayers have suffered or will suffer irreparable loss as the result of those actions. Applicable statutes of limitation shall be tolled during the pendency of a stay. Any penalties and interest that would otherwise accrue shall not be affected by the granting of a stay.

(b) The advocate shall report directly to the executive officer of the board.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8262.
  

(a) The board shall develop and implement an education and information program directed at, but not limited to, all of the following groups:

(1) Taxpayers newly registered with the board.

(2) Board audit and compliance staff.

(b) The education and information program shall include all of the following:

(1) A program of written communication with newly registered taxpayers explaining in simplified terms their duties and responsibilities.

(2) Participation in seminars and similar programs organized by federal, state, and local agencies.

(3) Revision of taxpayer educational materials currently produced by the board that explain the most common areas of taxpayer nonconformance in simplified terms.

(4) Implementation of a continuing education program for audit and compliance personnel to include the application of new legislation to taxpayer activities and areas of recurrent taxpayer noncompliance or inconsistency of administration.

(c) Electronic media used pursuant to this section shall not represent the voice, picture, or name of members of the board or of the Controller.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 929, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2000.)

8263.
  

The board shall conduct an annual hearing before the full board where industry representatives and individual taxpayers are allowed to present their proposals on changes to the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Law which may further improve voluntary compliance and the relationship between taxpayers and government.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 1053, Sec. 40. Effective January 1, 2001. Operative January 1, 2002, by Sec. 53 of Ch. 1053.)

8264.
  

The board shall prepare and publish brief but comprehensive statements in simple and nontechnical language that explain procedures, remedies, and the rights and obligations of the board and taxpayers. As appropriate, statements shall be provided to taxpayers with the initial notice of audit, the notice of proposed additional taxes, any subsequent notice of tax due, or other substantive notices. Additionally, the board shall include this language for statements in the annual tax information bulletins that are mailed to taxpayers.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8265.
  

(a) The total amount of revenue collected or assessed pursuant to this part shall not be used for any of the following:

(1) To evaluate individual officers or employees.

(2) To impose or suggest production quotas or goals, other than quotas or goals with respect to accounts receivable.

(b) The board shall certify in its annual report submitted pursuant to Section 15616 of the Government Code that revenue collected or assessed is not used in a manner prohibited by subdivision (a).

(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the setting of goals and the evaluation of performance with respect to productivity and the efficient use of time.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8266.
  

The board shall develop and implement a program that will evaluate an individual employee’s or officer’s performance with respect to his or her contact with taxpayers. The development and implementation of the program shall be coordinated with the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8267.
  

The board shall, in cooperation with the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate, and other interested taxpayer-oriented groups, develop a plan to reduce the time required to resolve petitions for redetermination and claims for refunds. The plan shall include determination of standard timeframes and special review of cases that take more time than the appropriate standard timeframe.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8268.
  

Procedures of the board, relating to appeals staff review conferences before a staff attorney or supervising tax auditor independent of the assessing department, shall include all of the following:

(a) Any conference shall be held at a reasonable time at a board office that is convenient to the taxpayer.

(b) The conference may be recorded only if prior notice is given to the taxpayer and the taxpayer is entitled to receive a copy of the recording.

(c) The taxpayer shall be informed prior to any conference that he or she has a right to have present at the conference his or her attorney, accountant, or other designated agent.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8269.
  

(a) Every taxpayer is entitled to be reimbursed for any reasonable fees and expenses related to a hearing before the board if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The taxpayer files a claim for the fee and expenses with the board within one year of the date the decision of the board becomes final.

(2) The board, in its sole discretion, finds that the action taken by the board staff was unreasonable.

(3) The board decides that the taxpayer be awarded a specific amount of fees and expenses related to the hearing, in an amount determined by the board in its sole discretion.

(b) To determine whether the board staff has been unreasonable, the board shall consider whether the board staff has established that its position was substantially justified.

(c) The amount of reimbursed fees and expenses shall be limited to the following:

(1) Fees and expenses incurred after the date of the notice of determination, jeopardy determination, or a claim for refund.

(2) If the board finds that the staff was unreasonable with respect to certain issues but reasonable with respect to other issues, the amount of reimbursed fees and expenses shall be limited to those that relate to the issues where the staff was unreasonable.

(d) Any proposed award by the board pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be available as a public record for at least 10 days prior to the effective date of the award.

(e) The amendments to this section by the act adding this subdivision shall be operative for claims filed on or after January 1, 2000.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 1052, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2001.)

8270.
  

(a) An officer or employee of the board acting in connection with any law administered by the board shall not knowingly authorize, require, or conduct any investigation of, or surveillance over, any person for nontax administration related purposes.

(b) Any person violating subdivision (a) shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the State Civil Service Act, including dismissal from office or discharge from employment.

(c) This section shall not apply with respect to any otherwise lawful investigation concerning organized crime activities.

(d) The provisions of this section are not intended to prohibit, restrict, or prevent the exchange of information where the person is being investigated for multiple violations which include motor vehicle fuel tax violations.

(e) For the purposes of this section:

(1) “Investigation” means any oral or written inquiry directed to any person, organization, or governmental agency.

(2) “Surveillance” means the monitoring of persons, places, or events by means of electronic interception, overt or covert observations, or photography, and the use of informants.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 1053, Sec. 41. Effective January 1, 2001. Operative January 1, 2002, by Sec. 53 of Ch. 1053.)

8272.
  

(a) The Controller shall release any levy or notice to withhold issued pursuant to this part on any property in the event the expense of the sale process exceeds the liability for which the levy is made.

(b) The Controller shall not sell any seized property until it has first notified the taxpayer in writing of the exemptions from levy under Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 703.010) of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(c) This section shall not apply to the seizure of any property as a result of a jeopardy assessment.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 589, Sec. 141. Effective January 1, 1994.)

8273.
  

Exemptions from levy under Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 703.010) of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall be adjusted for purposes of enforcing the collection of debts under this part to reflect changes in the California Consumer Price Index whenever the change is more than 5 percent higher than any previous adjustment.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 589, Sec. 142. Effective January 1, 1994.)

8276.
  

For the purposes of this part only, the board shall not revoke or suspend a person’s license pursuant to Section 7507 or 7508 unless the board has mailed a notice preliminary to revocation or suspension that indicates that the taxpayer will be suspended by a date certain pursuant to that section. The notice preliminary to suspension shall be mailed to the taxpayer at least 60 days before the date certain.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

8277.
  

(a) If any officer or employee of the board recklessly disregards board-published procedures, a taxpayer aggrieved by that action or omission may bring an action for damages against the State of California in superior court.

(b) In any action brought under subdivision (a), upon finding of liability on the part of the State of California, the state shall be liable to the plaintiff in an amount equal to the sum of all of the following:

(1) Actual and direct monetary damages sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the actions or omissions.

(2) Reasonable litigation costs including any of the following:

(A) Reasonable court costs.

(B) Prevailing market rates for the kind or quality of services furnished in connection with any of the following:

(i) The reasonable expenses of expert witnesses in connection with the civil proceeding, except that no expert witness shall be compensated at a rate in excess of the highest rate of compensation for expert witnesses paid by the State of California.

(ii) The reasonable cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test, or project that is found by the court to be necessary for the preparation of the party’s case.

(iii) Reasonable fees paid or incurred for the services of attorneys in connection with the civil proceeding, except that those fees shall not be in excess of seventy-five dollars ($75) per hour unless the court determines that an increase in the cost of living or a special factor, such as the limited availability of qualified attorneys for the proceeding, justifies a higher rate.

(c) In the awarding of damages under subdivision (b), the court shall take into consideration the negligence or omissions, if any, on the part of the plaintiff which contributed to the damages.

(d) Whenever it appears to the court that the taxpayer’s position in the proceeding brought under subdivision (a) is frivolous, the court may impose a penalty against the plaintiff in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000). A penalty so imposed shall be paid upon notice and demand from the board and shall be collected as a tax imposed under this part.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 438, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC2