Tax cheaters, beware! If the Governor puts his signature to Assembly Bill 576, a new investigation and enforcement effort will target tax evaders who cost California billions of dollars.
The underground economy in California is estimated to be between $60 billion and $140 billion each year. That means people, businesses or entities are operating and making money all the while they are concealing information that would cause them to pay various taxes and fees to the tune of $8 billion dollars a year. That is money that could be used for public safety, public schools, hospitals and other state services.
AB 576 would establish the "Centralized Intelligence Partnership," a pilot program that would bring together state agencies that investigate those operating in the underground economy into one central intake process. This would be a central hub for information for investigative and enforcement purposes.
The partnership would be made up of, in part, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are investigators with the Employment Development Department (EDD), the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Department of Justice (DOJ) along with the Board of Equalization (BOE). Investigators who target the underground economy on a daily basis and will now work together in a central intake process.
CSLEA has been in support of Assembly Bill 576, introduced by Assembly Member V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella). "CSLEA is an association that represents 7,000 public safety professionals who work for the state of California, including, investigators in nearly every department that investigates the underground economy, CSLEA strongly supports AB 576, " said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "AB 576 creates a multi-agency partnership that would give our investigators more investigative muscle."
This bill, passed by the Legislature and heading to the Governor's desk would establish the Centralized Intelligence Partnership to be known as the Revenue Recovery and Collaborative Enforcement Team until January 1, 2019.