Guest Post: Welcome To The Predatory State of California--Even If You Don't Live There

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Welcome To The Predatory State of California--Even If You Don't Live There

Theft has been "legalized" for governments and banks in America.

Every once in a while an event crystallizes the stark reality behind the lacy curtain of propaganda and artifice. Here is one such event.

Correspondent R.T. is a retired accountant who has resided in Arizona since 2001. Prior to 2001, he resided in California.

On March 14, he received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (the agency that collects income taxes) claiming that he owed $1,343 for the tax year 2006. This was the first notification he'd ever received of this claim. This was an interesting claim given that R.T.:

-- Did not reside in California in 2006

-- Did not file a State income tax return in California in 2006

-- Did not have any outstanding tax issues with California in 2006

-- Did no business in California in 2006

-- Owned no property in California in 2006

The number $1,343 is also interesting, as R.T.'s total Federal tax liability in 2006 was $650. Since the top income tax rate in California is about 9%, and that only kicks in at relatively high income levels above $100,000 annually, then it's difficult to see how anyone could owe double their Federal tax in California state tax.

But the truly interesting part of the story is that the state took $1,343 out of R.T.'s Wells Fargo bank account on March 2, prior to notifying him of the claim. Wells Fargo charged R.T. $100 for handling the removal of his $1,343.

As R.T. observed: "If I had filed a 2006 California tax return the statute of limitations would have run out, but since I did not file a 2006 tax return there is no statute of limitations. This is the classic catch 22."

I do not have copies of the correspondence so I cannot verify this sequence of events, but I have corresponded with R.T. for many years and have found him to be a credible witness to national events. While some might claim he invented this story of state theft out of whole cloth, there is no basis in our years of correspondence to support that claim.

What is entirely believable is that the state of California, desperate for revenue, is churning out dubious income tax claims stretching back years and collecting the money without due process. This is theft, pure and simple, and charging the account owner $100 for transacting the theft is also theft.

Welcome to the predatory State of California--even if you don't live there. If any mainstream media journalist wants to pursue this story, email me and I will put you in touch with R.T.

Somehow I doubt this is a unique story. R.T. said he immediately tried to call the California Franchise Tax Board and was on hold for some time before his call was dropped. As of yesterday his attempts to contact the agency via phone were unsuccessful. Why are we not surprised by any of this? Perhaps it's because government/bank thievery and Catch-22 incompetence is now the backdrop of our culture.

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JPM Hater001's picture

"It is called TAXATION, and there is a BIG difference."
Look, he's having a tantrum.

I'll get the chloroform.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

hold on a sec, printing money is not taxation officially, yet it steals savings.

Forgiving 100 billion dollar & larger frauds by Bank of America, by Citibank and by Goldman Sachs is certainly legalizing theft. This isn't taxation either.

What script are you reading from?

CutterJeff's picture

If one guy comes up to me, and points a gun and says, "Give me your money"... that's theft.

If two guys team up...that's theft.

If 10 guys... still theft.


Prithee, what is the magic number where it suddenly become "taxation" and stops being theft?



true brain's picture

California is being reclaimed by the hispanics who on average have many more babies than other ethnicities (just search for the date if you're interested). The immigration policies of both Repub and Democrats favored the business looking for cheap labor and pandering for votes respectively amounted to the ignoring of the laws and the opening up California and the whole USA to the plundering from people coming from Mexico and other countries further south. These are mostly uneducated and fill up the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, and even they move up economically, they tend to occupy unionized positions thus further contributing to the degradation of America through misplaced belief in, dependency on government handouts.


Screw it, I  can't believe I actually took the time to wrote that. But California is screwed.

njrod's picture

Wait, wait, wait, hold on...ok, yeah, I agree.


Aztlán, bitchez! 

Troll Magnet's picture

from TPTB's perspective:

uneducated immigrants en masse = more slaves for their status quo.  

There is No Spoon's picture

I wouldn't call harvesting crops by hand all day, or doing other manual labor, for far below minimum wages "plundering." They come here partly because we have ruined their domestic economies through economic imperialism and interference in their governments, fomenting civil wars, coups, etc. If Americans were willing to do the work they do, for minimum wage, the illegals would be crowded out of the system. But that's not going to happen when you can collect unemployment/disability and food stamps, which adds up to almost what you would make on minum wages. And yes, you are right, the immigration laws are not enforced.

Umh's picture

I get a kick out the term "hispanics"; the Indians are just returning to get what was their's to begin with. All those well tanned folks are Indians not Spanish. So remind me to keep my hat on; I whould not want to get to tanned.

three chord sloth's picture

The "Indians" of Mexico have absolutely no claim on California, their pre-Columbian nations never extended that far north... different languages, different cultures, different peoples. It would be exactly the same as giving England to Italy 'cause they're both European.

schoolsout's picture

Good luck with that...


While eating oysters and catchin' a little buzz with pops the other evening, I started talking about Ron Paul.  My dad says he agrees with most of what he says, but that he's unelectable.  He knows Romney is a liberal and Newt is full of chit, but he "just wants to beat Obama." 

I said a few things...poured me another stiff drink and took a long walk down the dock to get a breath of some much fresher air.  WTF is wrong with people?  And this is my father...a very well-educated man who has done well for himself by working and being smart about things.

Uchtdorf's picture

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "but he's unelectable," I'd be rich. I've started insulting people by showing them how ignorant they are rather than trying to reason with them. I guess that's why most people don't want to hazard engaging me in a discussion on the topic of politics/economics.

njrod's picture

He's not "unelectable," he's just never going to win...TPTB will never allow it. 

JPM Hater001's picture

If I have to hear one more time about how they like everything he says but his foreign policy I'm gonna puke.


"War it is!" I tell them.

Lord Blankcheck's picture

Sounds like another brain washing by the sacred box.(MSM regurgitation)

Totentänzerlied's picture

From the pragmatist perspective that infects this (and virtually all) nation's politics, he is unelectable. However, that says far more about this nation's politics and citizenry than it does about him.

It's not really so much that he is unelectable, it is a clever phrasing which obfuscates cause and effect. It's more that the political character and electoral politics of this country at this time and in recent memory are such that he doesn't stand a chance with the voters. He is unelectable because he belongs to a group whose ideology, principles, politics, and econimics are not just unpopular but unacceptable and repugnant to the lion's share of the population, the entire corporate media, the left, the right, industry (except small business), and all who work for the government. Bluntly, his political agenda would (if actually applied) decimate the rent-seekers, welfare queens, gubmint cheese addicts, crony kleptocapitalists, bankers, career politicians, bleeding hearts, uber-redistributionists, maxarchists, jingoists, and so on. All of these groups would be shooting themselves in the foot by voting for Dr. Paul. MittBamaNewTorum's voter base is a sure thing because it is beholden to the state for its continued ability to plunder the productive classes. In Obama's case, his potential welfare voters number almost 50 million.

There is only one party, though it pretends to be two, and it permits NO challengers. So long as the public remains deluded by this false dichotomy, the party's future is assured.

Umh's picture

My Dad voted for Johnson in 1964 to keep us out of war. Of course that didn't work out to well! Propaganda is a well oiled machine!

TruthInSunshine's picture

What's for now a 'shotgun desperado retard' approach by The State of California to trick some poor bastards into paying up relatively small sums clearly not legally due via the 'we-a-gonna-hassle-a-you-a-for-some-a-excedrin-headache-relief-dineros-beeeyotch' will evolve into California turning full-retard and actually hiring Nigerians to cast a much broader email phishing & telephone call scam campaign to any senior citizen (preferably demented) that California has any contact information on (no matter where they live in the world).

California, it's a long drive to the office. Board meetings. People think they're a bunch of pencil pushers. Arnold says you'll love it.

Canoga Park Tourism Video - YouTube


Van Nuys Tourism Video - YouTube
XitSam's picture

Holy crap!  I used to live in Canoga Park in 1964 and it was a nice place back then.

TruthInSunshine's picture

The affects of the Idiocracy born in large part of the regression-to-slavery fractional reserve banking practices have already begun to take their toll.

SmittyinLA's picture

I live there now and it's a 3rd world place now.  Terrible streets, awful city services, taxes out of control and English is a foreign language.

akak's picture

Que dices, gringo?

Ahora, deme mi cheque y mi caridad medical!

Y no me de ninguna de esta habla de "ciudadanos", o de estas tarjetas verdes malditas, o de ser "illegal" --- soy de La Raza!

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Similar thing happened to me when I returned from an overseas 2 year assignment. I used a friends address as an "address of record" as I was transiting back to the US. I received a letter from the state that I need to pay state taxes. I replied that I neither lived in CA nor I ever worked in CA, I merely used the address as a mailing hub. However the letters did not stop.

After several letters in a span of a year, I wrote a letter back starting with the below in the largest pt. font I could fit accross the page:


Then I proceeded to tell the story with chronology and details as if I was talking to a child. Then and only then, the letters stopped.

I recommend this approach highly. You hit a nerve and they want to prove to themselves that their IQ is indeed higher.

Omen IV's picture

i also had similiar experience with CA - for about the same amount $1500 -  Franchise tax as well - around the same years - i never lived there nor did business there - they have not come after me but it ended up on my credit report  - called a few times but couldnt get it resolved so i ignored it - they must be promoting some type of scam

i-dog's picture


"they must be promoting some type of scam"

Yeah ... it's called "government".

TruthInSunshine's picture

Another +1


i-dog is on fire with the short, succinct, accurate burn today.

NidStyles's picture

I have an uncle that lives in California. I have only stepped foot in that state once, and have never been registered there. I live in Arizona, and get frequent letters and phone calls from collectors there telling me I owe them money in that state. My uncle was used as reference for when I joined the Army over 12 years ago. I've been out for over a year and a half now, and the letters started when I got out of the Army telling me that I owed them money.


The thing is that they are sending me letters saying I owe them for periods of the time I was in Afghanistan to my home address that has been the same since 2000 in Phoenix, Arizona.

johnQpublic's picture

i guess this story means i should take that tax bill i recieved from chester p.a. seriously, even though i have never lived or worked there


i was planning to ignore it

i also do not own property in p.a.

update:called the tax buraeu

they cant even figure out why they are billing me, but promised to call me back with the reason....we shall see

at least i got through immediately to someone who spoke english

10mm's picture

Chester PA,about as close to Satans asshole and Detroit.Pa did tax amnesty a couple yrs ago.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

Born and raised n the yea area...
franchise tax board can kiss my tan ass repeatedly....

Eisenhorn's picture

Live in Texas.

No income taxes.

Problem solved.

njrod's picture

You Live in Texas.

You Pay Taxes to Washington DC.

Your problem is not solved.

Esculent 69's picture

It's illegal to file a tax return. the fica/soc sec that your employer "matches" is paid for by you. there is no irs form or schedule to show the denial of income plus the 100% taxation on that income to properly fill out your income and taxation. what does it say on the bottom of your return- under penalty of perjury any information you knowingly give as false is a crime. they can't force you to incriminate yourself can they? the 5th amendment takes care of that. Answer - don't file a tax return, and take out your maximum allowances. Problem solved. 

XitSam's picture

"So you admit to owing California state taxes. Good. How much did you make last year? Send it in."

laomei's picture

I just live in China.  Unless you are a dumbass, worldwide income is not taxed, so just have clients send everything through Hong Kong.  As for the US? They can't tax what they can't find, and they'll never find it when it's not being held directly in my name.

No property taxes, sure it's all technically leasehold on new developments and even on old land it's usage rights, not outright ownership.  However, that 70 year lease wont expire for a long damned time and your place will probably be redeveloped long before that time comes anyway, for which you get damn good compensation (typically a mix of free properties and cash)

Our social insurance taxes get us: basic UHC, pension, housing fund, disability insurance, public housing, welfare, unemployment insurance, maternity benefits, etc.

Personal income taxes are fairly reasonable as well to be honest and they are not the crux of government revenues.  The majority comes from business, as it is easier to enforce on that level... and even that is not the main driver.  If you are a good solid middle-class earner pulling in $50k a year, you're looking at about 14% in income and income-based taxes.

The banking, oh god the banking. You have no idea how far behind you are in the US.  The last fee I had was an annual $1.50 charge for an account because the debit card was not upgraded to premium levels yet. But it's a private bank, and they are generally shit compared to the Big 4.  Instant money transfers, real-time debit, no fees unless you are out of town, credit cards with reasonable terms, gold/silver sold directly through the bank, access to high quality bonds and funds that pay 5%+ without jumping through hoops.

People out there are claiming there's some property bubble bursting, but ignoring the fact that it's purely due to government policy which is demanding that prices fall.  Why? Why would the government want prices to fall? Because they were getting out of reach of normal people.  There is insatiable demand for new housing here.  China would need to build over 10 million new units per year for over 20 years to meet it completely.

The wife heard something about "trust funds" the other day and wanted to know if we should get one for our kid.  In China there is no inheritance tax, there is no gift tax either.  We can flat out give our kid millions of dollars and there is no penalty or legal justification required.  

Capital gains? This is a thing that only applies to business.  As an individual, you will never have to think about it.

Lottery winnings? 20% after the first 10,000 RMB.  You get it all in a lump sum, no bullshit about it either.

akak's picture

Great information Laomei --- it is fascinating to learn some of the real contrasts between financial life in "Communist China" and the "free and democratic" USA.


PS: If you happen to see your fellow countryman and ZH troll AnAnonymous around about town, can you please punch him in the face for me?

holdingontomypants's picture

The answer is quite simple why he is getting a tax bill for 2006. Somebody is using his identity to work and they checked 15 exemptions on the W-4 form so no state or federal taxes get witheld. Then at the end of the year the employer sent in the W-2 with gross earnings reported and have a tax bill. Expect to see the 2007-2011 tax bill coming soon also. IRS will be next and if you are drawing social security right now expect issues from them to as they will say you earned more then the exempted allowable threshold and as a result you were overpaid by socia security.


Bearster's picture

And income tax by forcing people to file returns and so on ... isn't theft?

stirners_ghost's picture

I wouldn't expect C.H. Smith to observe that correlation. He occasionally allows individualist ideas to intrude on his socialist populism, but he's a central planner at heart.

RichardP's picture

Requiring people to pay some amount for services received is not theft.  You are embarrasing yourself by leaving that part out of your argument.

prole's picture

So .. pointing a gun at someone's head, and forcing  him to surrender his capital to you .. is not theft?

As long as you pretend that you deliver to such person some unwanted "services?"  What services pray tell? I mean besides the gun to the head?

Is it also not theft if they go right into your bank account and STEAL your money out of that? Not theft is it?

Esculent 69's picture

bearster-  look a few posts above and you have seen this   -It's illegal to file a tax return. the fica/soc sec that your employer "matches" is paid for by you. there is no irs form or schedule to show the denial of income plus the 100% taxation on that income to properly fill out your income and taxation. what does it say on the bottom of your return- under penalty of perjury any information you knowingly give as false is a crime. they can't force you to incriminate yourself can they? the 5th amendment takes care of that. Answer - don't file a tax return, and take out your maximum allowances. Problem solved. 

Sudden Debt's picture

California, home of the crybaby's


ACP's picture

Predatory crybabies.

Cry all the way to YOUR bank.

slow_roast's picture

Without revenues, or innovation that comes out of California, figure out where the rest of the country would be.   LOL

Doubleguns's picture

When the panama canal widening effort is finished we might find out.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

+200 Sir.  No one is talking about the Panama Canal tripling its capacity and likely throwing global trade balances in utter turmoil.  Charleston is being dredged for ultra-super-mega-hyper ship capacity and ancillary ports on the east coast of the US are following suit or at least prepping to handle the tertiary freight.