[ SHOWGSD-L ] California tax officials target breeders via Internet

  • From: GreyPines@xxxxxxx
  • To: showgsd-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 5 Jul 2009 22:01:01 EDT

Are any of the California folks aware of this or is it an Eastern  rumor
Bill Pfeiffer
 
 
 




California tax officials target breeders via Internet   
June 29, 2009
By: Timothy Kirn
For The VIN News Service  


California tax officials  are surfing â?? the Internet, that is.

It is not unusual for authorities,  potential employers, bankers and others 
to use the Internet to investigate  people.

And now California tax officials are targeting potential  breeders that 
way. 

According to a letter from the California  Board of Equalization, board 
officials visited the American Kennel Club Web  site and linked to individual 
dog clubs to identify potential breeders living  in the state.

Board officials are not sure if these dog club members  are breeders, but 
they could be.

Tax board spokeswoman Anita Gore  confirmed that 361 individuals will 
receive the letter. She would not say how  or why those particular individuals 
were identified, however.

Gore also  said the board was unapologetic about using the Internet to 
identify potential  breeders. The Internet is a research tool, like any other, 
and a fairly  popular one, she said.

Though a few blogs have speculated that the  state might be groping 
gracelessly for funds with this effort, due to the  California government's 
financial distress, Gore said the letters are a  typical education and outreach 
effort that the board periodically  makes.

Breeders are in the spotlight because "quite often people who  sell animals 
are not aware of this tax obligation,â?? Gore  said.

According to California tax law, anyone who sells more than two  animals a 
year must have a sellerâ??s permit and pay the state a sales  tax. 

Fifty letters have been sent out so far, Gore said. The rest  will be 
mailed in the coming weeks. The letter states that the recipient must  respond 
and let the board know whether he or she has a permit, would like to  apply 
for one or does not need one because he or she does not sell  animals.

Board members have received no complaints about the letters,  Gore said. 
But at least a few are concerned.

Dawn Capp, an attorney and  animal advocate, said the fact that the board 
has used the American Kennel  Club Web site and other dog club Web sites is 
going to upset some people who  will ask not to be listed so they cannot be 
targeted. That will limit  resources for the general public, as people visit 
club Web sites searching for  information and help.

â??It definitely is going to have a chilling effect  on information,â?? said 
Capp, founder of the Coalition of Human Advocates for  K9s and Owners (CHAKO).

Capp _posted a notice  about the letters on the CHAKO blog_ 
(http://news.vin.com/Link.plx?IDp527)  and alerted a number of other  bloggers 
about the 
issue, who have also posted notices.

Capp said it is  heavy-handed of the state to target people just because 
they are members of a  dog club. She also said that when she called the board, 
she was told that it  will pursue people who do not respond to the first 
letter with a second letter  and might investigate if that second letter is 
ignored.

â??The problem is  that this is a very Big-Brother type of mentality,â?? she 
said. â??They donâ??t know  whether anyone is a breeder. There are all kinds of 
dog clubs out there. It  sends the message that you are presumed guilty 
until proven  innocent.â?? 
__._,_.___
 
 

.




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