17 | December 2017

Updates from the Board of Equalization

November 19, 2014

California Department of Veterans Affairs Helps Veterans Obtain Benefits

Help Wanted signOf the 38 million people living in California, close to 2 million are veterans. While these returning troops vary in age, race, and economic backgrounds, their challenges remain the same.

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) helps California veterans in finding employment, enrolling in college or trade school, and obtaining quality health care.

CalVet also assists veterans and their families in obtaining the state and federal benefits and services they have bravely earned.

If you are a veteran or you know someone who is, please visit the CalVet website 

Internal Revenue Service Warns Taxpayers about Phone Scam

Phone ScamThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now alerting taxpayers to a telephone scam involving callers posing as IRS agents. These callers may take either the "carrot" or the "stick" approach to trick you into sharing private information. Some will falsely claim you are due a tax refund, while others will sternly demand a bogus tax payment.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

The IRS has produced a special video addressing this latest scam and more information is available on their home website 

Microloans Provide Maximum Help for Small Businesses

Because most start-ups lack a marketplace track record and a credit history, obtaining assistance from major lenders is difficult. Many small businesses, however, are now discovering microloans.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) established a microloan program in the early 1990s. The SBA Microloan Program provides loans of up to $50,000, but the average loan is $13,000. Microloans can be used for working capital, inventory or supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery or equipment. Interest rates vary depending on the intermediary lender but most rates fall between 8 and 13 percent.

Your local SBA office can provide more information about the program and how to apply 

Agricultural Microloans Are Available for Small Farms

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a microloan program especially designed to help owners of small and family-operated farms. Farmers can secure loans up to $35,000. These loans are designed to help farmers through their start-up years by providing needed resources.

Administered through USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) Operating Loan Program, these loans help cover initial start-up expenses such as hoop houses to extend the growing season, essential tools, irrigation, delivery vehicles, and annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing, and distribution expenses.

California farmers interested in applying for a microloan may contact their local Farm Service Agency office. 

As the Holiday Season Approaches, Our Desire to Give Increases

As the holidays approach, we open our hearts and our wallets further to those in need. If you make a gift or cash contribution to a qualified organization between now and December 31, you may qualify for a 2014 tax deduction. Payments to individuals are not deductible.

Charitable contributions are deductible only if you itemize your deductions on the federal Form 1040, Schedule A, and have the proper documentation. If $250 was contributed to a single charity organization, an acknowledgment letter must be received from the charity. 

Contact the Franchise Tax Board or the Internal Revenue Service for more information. 

Did you know??? Starting an Urban Farm Could Lower Your Property Taxes

The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act encourages the owners of vacant lots in California cities to urban agriculture. Property owners who commit to a five-year contract to grow crops can get a reduction in their property taxes. Learn more by visiting the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources website. 

Covered California Begins its Second Year of Enrollment

Covered CaliforniaAre you one of the 3.2 million people who are uninsured in California? Covered California health insurance enrollment for 2015 coverage begins Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. 

Tip of the week

Manage your BOE account online by setting up a User ID. Download a digital copy of your seller's permit or retrieve a copy of a return when you need one. Visit the BOE website to get more information.

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