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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Retail Sales Taxes Pull Ahead of Projections

Consumers are catching up. With one day to go, retail sales taxes have finally inched ahead of projections for April by $15 million. At about $500 million through April 29, they pale in comparison to corporate tax receipts that are exceeding $1.7 billion and personal income taxes of more than $7.0 billion.

For the total fiscal year, the Governor's budget expects retail sales taxes to total about $22.5 billion. That would amount to about 22% of the total of the three major revenue sources -- sales, corporate, and personal income taxes -- likely to be achieved.

Tomorrow, the last day of the month, is expected to be the largest day for April for retail sales tax receipts as various enterprises remit their payments. Hopefully, some of the refunds tax payers have received will come back through California's cash registers.

Also of note: The FTB processes tax payments as quickly as possible, but not all payments are processed in April. In fact, only about 60 percent of the 2011 tax liability was processed by April 28, 2012. Processing rates vary by the income class. Through April 2012, FTB processed more than 80 percent of the 2011 returns reporting adjusted gross income (AGI) between $1 and $200,000. For returns with AGI between $200,000 and $500,000, it processed about two-thirds of the returns in the same period. The processing rate fell to about one-third for returns reporting AGI of $1 million or more.

The April Tax Bulge

April 2014 is delivering for the State of California with a strong performance of personal income taxes (PIT). Although refunds have been running about $1.0 billion above expectations, the strength in withholding, estimates, and final tax payments has pushed the net month-to-date total also about $1.0 billion above projections.

April is always the most important month for California's tax coffers. In terms of its three primary revenue sources -- PIT, corporate, and sales taxes -- April typically accounts for about 11.5% of total taxes collected for the fiscal year. If tax payments were distributed equally across the year, the monthly tax take would be only 8.3%.

Last year's tax rate increases from Proposition 30 caused April to account for 15% of total revenues collected for the year. Since tax rates have remained unchanged, that impact will be absent this year. The gains in jobs, incomes, and capital gains from stocks and real estate are still likely to mean that this April will account for nearly 14% of revenues for the total year.

Also of note: Since beginning our daily installments of Tax Tracker this year, we have reported on the income-tax payments processed by FTB in March and April. Not all the processed payments, as reported, are associated with the 2013 tax year. Some of them are payments for 2014. Some of the total may include settlements of prior-year liabilities. And, if this year is like previous years, some of the 2013 tax payments will be processed after this month. For example, FTB processed a little over 83 percent of all the 2011 resident returns by April 28, 2012.  FTB processed the rest between the end of April and December 31, 2012.