Paul L. Caron

Monday, July 17, 2006

California Tax Authorities Target Wealthy Residents Who Move to Nevada

Last month, we blogged the L.A. Times report on Caliornians fleeing the nation's highest marginal income tax rate by moving to low-tax Nevada.  The Wall Street Journal reports today that California tax authorities are aggressively pursuing the expatriates, as "what looks appealing on paper can prove far messier in real life":

Nevada transplants account for more than 20% of all tax disputes made public earlier this year by California tax authorities. Complex cases can take a decade or longer to sort out....

"If you come here from California, you can expect to be audited," said Peggy Taylor, a former PeopleSoft executive who prevailed in her own tax dispute after leaving the San Francisco area and moving to Incline Village in the late '90s. "Audits are winnable, but it's grueling."

Examples of California tax expatriots in the article include:

  • Brady Anderson (baseball player)
  • Andreas Bechtolsheim (Sun Microsystems co-founder)
  • Michael Chang (tennis player)
  • David Duffield (PeopleSoft founder)
  • Pierre Omidyar (eBay founder)

For more, see the WSJ's Law Blog.

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This is really nothing new, and this practice has given rise to a Supreme Court case, Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, in which the Supreme Court held, via application of the FF&C clause that California officials could be sued for their tortuous-tax-related acts in Nevada.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jul 17, 2006 11:06:31 AM