California State Controller John Chiang offers this daily tax tracker to follow personal income taxes, sales and use taxes and corporate taxes -- the three major sources of revenue for the State.

The site will be updated regularly throughout each business day. Preliminary posts use dollar figures from tax administration agencies, while the following day the Controller will post reconciled (actual cash) figures. The latest figures are always available via direct download. Preliminary sales tax figures, along with personal income tax withholdings will be available by 10:30 a.m., followed by total personal income and corporate tax receipts, along with final sales tax numbers between 1:30 and 4:00 p.m. the same business day.

The chart on the right of this screen tracks the cumulative total of income, sales and corporate tax and compares it against estimated benchmarks for the month.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More on corporate tax receipts and trends

The state has collected $75.9 million in corporate taxes in the first few days of April, with today’s revenues expected to bring the month-to-date total to $86 million, $78.7 million ahead of projections.  Actual corporate revenues through the year to April 2nd are also ahead of projections, continuing the trend of a strong start to month of April.

The first ten working days of April typically provide little predictive information about how much taxpayers will file when their taxes come due.   Last year, for example, the Franchise Tax Board reported that 60 percent of the entire income tax collected in April during a four-day period starting April 15.

On April numbers...

While the salaries and wage base assists budget experts project future revenue performance, other aspects of the income tax returns might not have as much predictive power.  Most notably, the portion of tax base known as “unearned income” is less stable.  This portion of the tax base, which can include dividends and investment earnings, is subject to a great deal of year-to-year variations, depending on changes in taxpayer conditions and the business cycle.  Often, investment earning may not become subject to taxation unless the taxpayer chooses to recognize the gains.  He or she may choose to offset these gains against other investment losses.   And all this activity tends to be concentrated on a small percentage of taxpayers.  Given the range of variables that can affect the unearned income category, no wonder it is hard for budget writers to predict capital gains activity. 

April 3 starts well

By 10 a.m. this morning, the State totals for the big three taxes totaled $64.2 billion, with an estimated $288.5 already reported today.

April 2014 tax reporting not only helps budget writers monitor actual receipts for the 2013 tax year, it informs their thinking about the likely taxpayer behavior in 2014. So it helps them model likely tax receipts in April 2015. For example, it tells them something about the likely tax base. More than 60 percent of all income tax collections are derived from wages and salaries. If the 2013 tax returns show an increase in the wage and salary base, it is likely that the increase will continue in 2014.