California Franchise Tax Board Releases Guidelines for New Voluntary Disclosure Initiative


In March of this year, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 86, which, among other things, authorizes the Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”) to administer a new California voluntary disclosure initiative (the “2011 California Initiative”) for eligible California taxpayers (each, a “Taxpayer”).

Under the 2011 California Initiative, Taxpayers may report previously underreported income from (1) offshore financial arrangements and/or (2) abusive tax avoidance transactions in exchange for relief of certain penalties, interest associated with such penalties and criminal prosecution. The 2011 California Initiative is based in part on the Federal Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (the “2011 Federal Initiative”) announced by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) earlier this year, and represents the first voluntary disclosure program in California in several years. A more detailed description of the 2011 California Initiative, including eligibility and procedural requirements, follows below.

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