California tax law research involves resources on income and franchise tax law, sales and use tax law, and property tax law. Sales and use taxes in California are collected by the Board of Equalization, whereas income and franchise taxes are collected by the Franchise Tax Board. Property taxes are collected by the county, but governed by California state law. Taxes are collected on behalf of the county; incorporated cities within the county; school districts; and other taxing agencies; including special districts. Once collected, these taxes are distributed to the various entities by the Auditor-Controller Division of the Department of Finance.
The County Tax Collector does not determine the amount of property tax to be paid. The County Assessor determines the person or entity to be assessed, and the value of the property, and transmits that information to the County Auditor-Controller.
At the Federal level, tax research focuses primarily on the Internal Revenue Code and the various primary and secondary materials that interpret that code. A tax problem often involves legislative, judicial, and administrative interpretations. Administrative sources play an especially important role in tax research, and understanding the numerous administrative proclamations and whether they are binding or persuasive authority is essential.
Free tax preparation assistance by IRS-trained volunteers to prepare basic income tax returns at VITA sites. Sacramento locations and hours can be found on the website listed above. Information about other locations can be obtained by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
A variety of forms are required for many tax situations. Tax publications and forms are available online.
The Law Librarians have created these research guides as an aid for those starting a legal research project. These guides recommend print and electronic resources that will help you find answers to your law-related questions. Many guides provide step-by-step information, as well as sample forms, for common legal procedures.