The California Board of Equalization has no shame. California’s brand new $290 million system for collecting sales tax is off to a rocky start.
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is swamped with complaints.
Small business owners are furious, the anger is forcing Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration to waive penalties for people who file their returns late because of technical errors.
The quickly approaching deadline on Tuesday for businesses to report their second quarter sales tax is the first significant test for the department’s Centralized Revenue Opportunity System (CROS), a program that’s designed to modernize tax collection and to make it easier for the state to allocate revenue to various agencies.
The state has been developing the program since 2010, when the Board of Equalization sought to better manage the 36 taxes and fees it collected at the time. The agency contended it would increase tax revenue by creating an easier-to-use system.
It hired contractor Fast Enterprises to build it in August 2016, and the California Department of Tax and Fee administration took over the project last year when the Legislature stripped the Board of Equalization of almost all of its powers.
No matter how you look at it, the Board of Equalization is still an epic fail.