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General Guidance in Reading the California Revenue and Taxation Code

The courts of this State must recognize and enforce liabilities for taxes lawfully imposed by any other state

By Chris Micheli, July 2, 2022 7:50 am

California’s statutes are contained in 29 separate codes. The twenty-fourth alphabetically is the Revenue and Taxation Code. All 29 Codes have general provisions applicable to reading and interpreting that Code’s sections. The following are selected general provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code:

Section 1 – This Act is known as the Revenue and Taxation Code.

Section 2 – The provisions of this Code in so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutory provisions relating to the same subject matter are to be construed as restatements and continuations, and not as new enactments.

Section 5 – Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions set forth govern the construction of this Code.

Section 6 – Division, part, chapter, article, and section headings do not in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of this Code.

Section 7 – Whenever a power is granted to, or a duty imposed on, any person or board by any provision of this Code, it may be exercised or performed by any deputy or person authorized by the person or board to whom the power is granted or on whom the duty is imposed, unless it is expressly provided that the power or duty must be exercised or performed only by the person or board to whom the power is granted or on whom the duty is imposed.

Section 8 – Writing includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means. Whenever any notice, report, petition, permit, statement, or record is required by this Code, it must be made in writing in the English language.

Section 9 – Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this Code or of any other law, the reference applies to all amendments and additions now or later made.

Section 10 – The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future tense includes the present.

Section 12 – The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.

Section 12.2 – The term “spouse” includes “registered domestic partner.”

Section 13 – The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

Section 16 – The term “shall” is mandatory and “may” is permissive.

Section 17 – The term “oath” includes affirmation and written declarations signed under the penalties of perjury.

Section 19 – The term “person” includes any person, firm, partnership, general partner of a partnership, limited liability company, registered limited liability partnership, foreign limited liability partnership, association, corporation, company, syndicate, estate, trust, business trust, or organization of any kind.

Section 24 – No act in all the proceedings for raising revenue by taxation is illegal on account of informality or because not completed within the required time.

Section 25 – Unless expressly otherwise provided, any notice required to be given to any person by any provision of this Code may be given in the manner prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure for service by mail.

Section 26 – If any provision of this Code, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the Code, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, is not affected.

Section 29 – Whenever any official is authorized to commence an action for the violation of any law relating to revenue or to compel the specific performance of a law, he may designate the county in which the action is to be commenced and prosecuted, unless otherwise provided by law.

Section 30 – The courts of this State must recognize and enforce liabilities for taxes lawfully imposed by any other state, or their political subdivisions, which extends a like comity to this State.

Section 31 – The Attorney General or an appropriate official of any political subdivision of this State may bring suits in the courts of other states to collect taxes legally due this State or any political subdivision thereof.

Section 36 – Whenever any notice or other communication is required by this Code to be mailed by registered mail, the mailing of the notice or other communication by certified mail is to be deemed to be sufficient compliance with the requirements of law.

Section 36.5 – Whenever this Code requires the tax collector to publish a notice in a newspaper, the tax collector must also provide notice on the tax collector’s regularly maintained Internet Web site.

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