Mill Valley businesses can expect door-to-door inspections from the California Board of Equalization in the coming weeks as the agency steps up its outreach in 34 zip codes areas, including the 94941. The goal, according to agency officials is to educate retailers and business owners on sales and use tax reporting responsibilities, increase tax compliance and help make the state’s tax system fair and equal for all Californians.
“The goal of these visits is to reach out to business owners and help them comply with state requirements,” BOE Chairman Jerome Horton said in a statement. “The good news is we find 98 percent of all businesses complying.”
This month, 17,712 letters were sent to retailers and businesses across the state, including those in Mill Valley and part of San Francisco.
Since 2008, the agency outreach and compliance teams have visited more than 311,878 businesses in 461 zip codes statewide to verify that retailers and businesses are registered and to make sure that noncompliant businesses do not have an unfair advantage over registered businesses that are reporting their sales and use taxes and/or fees to BOE.
The teams go door-todoor, checking seller’s permits at stores and other known retail and business locations. They also check that registered retailers, as well as service industry businesses, have appropriate permits and licenses.
Businesses found to be out of compliance are given instructions on how to register with the BOE and given information about other necessary licenses. Agency officials said that BOE has found that about 2 percent of businesses operating in California do so without permits or licenses that allow for collection of sales and use taxes and other taxes and fees.
Noncompliance is a contributor to the more than $2 billion sales and use “tax gap” – the difference between the amount of taxes owed and the amount of paid, Horton said.