Sat04192014

Business & Real Estate

State tax board audits Head of Household filers

The California Franchise Tax Board mailed more than 120,000 audit letters to taxpayers to verify the Head of Household filing status on their 2011 state tax returns.

Each year, the FTB reviews tax returns of taxpayers who claim the Head of Household filing status because the qualifications are commonly misunderstood.

Taxpayers can claim the Head of Household filing status on their tax returns if they are unmarried, have cared for a qualified person for more than half the year and have paid more than half the cost of maintaining their home, according to the FTB.

Taxpayers who qualify for this filing status benefit from a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates compared to the single filing status. More than 2 million California taxpayers use the filing status each year.

Taxpayers who claimed the status but do not qualify will have their tax reassessed at either the Single or Married Filing Separately status. Nearly 28,000 taxpayers who claimed the status last year did not meet its requirements and were issued $30 million in tax assessments.

The FTB encourages taxpayers who receive a Head of Household letter to respond promptly by completing the questionnaire enclosed in the mailing.

Failure to respond could result in the calculated tax reassessment plus a penalty.

For more information, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.

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