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Hello Good Fools!

I know this is a very busy time for tax professionals, so I hope this post doesn't get overlooked.

I just received 'Balance Due Notice', from the State of California, for $890.00. $461 of the $890 is penalty, interest, and collection fees.

I'm dumbfounded, as I've always filed my taxes. I moved from California to New York at the end of 2001, so I haven't filed in that state since then. I moved from New York to Wisconsin in 2005 and have always filed state income taxes. I've moved so many times, that most of my paperwork that is more than 7 or 8 years old is archived between storage in New York and here (WI). They gave me two weeks to pay this bill, and I may have to jump through hoops to find tax papers from that long ago.


I know I should call the 800 number, but I'm a bit scared to talk to anyone until I know what my rights are. That, and it is the weekend.

Can the state go back that far and expect payment in such a quick turn around. I know that tax fraud is probably indefinite with no expiration date. but I don't believe this would be considered tax fraud as the bill shows $2000 in adjustments (taxes withheld or paid?).

Is it normal for states to go so far back? Now I'm rethinking the whole 'Keep Documents Until ____', as per this notice, I assume I'd need to keep paperwork forever! UGH!

Thanks for reading!
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Is it normal for states to go so far back? Now I'm rethinking the whole 'Keep Documents Until ____', as per this notice, I assume I'd need to keep paperwork forever! UGH!

I know this doesn't help you, but here's a good reason to scan in your financial documents so you can keep for decades without worrying about physically storing them. I back up regularly, and every so often burn a copy of "My Documents/Finance" to a dvd and keep it at my parents. I'd be more concerned about the paper documents getting lost / damaged at this point than I would about the electronic files getting corrupted/ lost.

We're moving last this summer, and I've started going through my remaining paper copies to scan everything in so we don't need to worry about paper.

WRJ
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What is the tax year?

California FTB is known for being aggressive, and not always correct. The statue of limitations doesn't start until a tax return has been filed.

You moved "at the end of 2001", which means that you probably would have needed to file both California and New York state income taxes. Did you have any California sourced income in 2002? If a final check was issued in 2002, it might have triggered the requirement to file a California return.
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I know this doesn't help you, but here's a good reason to scan in your financial documents so you can keep for decades without worrying about physically storing them. I back up regularly, and every so often burn a copy of "My Documents/Finance" to a dvd and keep it at my parents. I'd be more concerned about the paper documents getting lost / damaged at this point than I would about the electronic files getting corrupted/ lost.

I started doing this in 2004. I wish I would have started sooner. It was one of those tasks that I put to the side to do 'later', until it just didn't seem as important as continuing to scan/save current forms and receipts.

Unfortunately. I'm the type that saves just about everything and that actually makes it much more difficult to find items when I need them. I've forced myself to scan my most important documents, even though I still keep the hard copies. My husband says I have a 'paper addiction'...haha.
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You moved "at the end of 2001", which means that you probably would have needed to file both California and New York state income taxes. Did you have any California sourced income in 2002? If a final check was issued in 2002, it might have triggered the requirement to file a California return.

We moved during Christmas break of 2001 and didn't need to file New York until 2002, with zero California income. I lost my job November 2001 and had received all of my back pay, vacation pay, and etc., by the end of the year. I was looking at a sizable federal return, so we filed before the end of February 2002.

I'm trying to remember if we had a tax accountant at that time, but I don't think we did. We had an accountant prepare our taxes up to the year 2000 and again in 2003. I suppose I could call my NY accountant (prepared the 2003 - 05 returns) to see if I may have given him copies of the prior years.
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We moved during Christmas break of 2001 and didn't need to file New York until 2002, with zero California income. I lost my job November 2001 and had received all of my back pay, vacation pay, and etc., by the end of the year. I was looking at a sizable federal return, so we filed before the end of February 2002.

Did you receive unemployment in 2002?

You filed a California return for 2001. What is the tax year 2001, 2002 or other?
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I did receive unemployment in 2002. Could that have triggered something for 2001?

I filed 2001 taxes in February 2002.

Thank you, for your help.
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What state did you file for unemployment in?
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Did you receive unemployment in 2002?

CA doesn't tax unemployment - and didn't back in that time frame. So that shouldn't be a source of the problem.

--Peter
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I did receive unemployment in 2002. Could that have triggered something for 2001?

Peter is right. California doesn't tax unemployment.

Asking maybe your only choice. If California has "lost" your state return, they should still have the information from the feds.
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