Tax Survey Finds Confusion Across State Lines

It seems nothing is more complicated than our nation's tax system, especially from state to state. Among other results, CFO Magazine's 2000 State Tax Survey discovered a tangible inconsistency between the way businesses interact with state taxing authorities and the amount of tax levied in various states.

A few of the comments include: 'inconsistent treatment of similar transactions by different states;' 'states are too slow in resolving issues and responding to changes; and 'a wide range exists regarding the flexibility, common sense, and fairness employed by each auditor.'

The winner for the state with the most questions is California, which has to find ways to give back some of its surplus to the people. The result of this effort is a $2.7 billion tax-relief bill, and when the money is handed out, each taxpayer will receive about $50.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the auditor aggressiveness in the Golden State is perhaps the highest in the nation, and as a consequence, very few businesses are likely to expand for fear they will be visited by these auditors.

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