Legislation sponsored by board of equalization vice chair George Runner cleared the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation today. SB 526 gives the Franchise Tax Board authority to honor legal divorce agreements regarding tax payments when determining if one spouse can be relieved of joint tax liability.
“The Franchise Tax Board should have the ability to honor court-approved agreements that fairly divides assets and debts,” said Runner. “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to go back to court to enforce a divorce agreement because of government inefficiency.”
Currently, most of the income tax appeals to come before the Board that include a divorce settlement involve women who believe they were protected from tax liability, but find they must return to court to enforce the agreement or pay the tax. SB 526 will help ease the financial burden of divorced women who should have no legal obligation to pay the tax, as stipulated by their divorce agreement.
“Divorce can be difficult enough without the addition of more court filings and paperwork to work out a tax liability decision already agreed upon by both parties,” said Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). “SB 526 will provide the FTB with broader authority to consider the divorce agreement when making a liability ruling therefor reducing the need for additional expenses to the impacted party.”
“SB 526 helps real taxpayers who face real challenges,” said Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley). “An individual who thinks they are protected by their divorce agreement should not have to go back to court to keep from paying a tax liability for which they are not responsible.”
SB 526 is authored by Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller and Senator Sharon Runner and co-sponsored by Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma.