Staff from the Board of Equalization’s Statewide Compliance & Outreach Program (SCOP) will soon be visiting non-residential retail businesses in the Santa Monica area.

The Statewide Compliance and Outreach Program (SCOP) focuses on educating businesses, as well as identifying and registering businesses who are actively selling or leasing tangible personal property in California without a seller’s permit. SCOP also advises on other State tax and fee permits and licenses a business may need to obtain.

In general, the purpose of SCOP is to educate business owners regarding their tax responsibilities, advise business owners when they need a seller’s permit, explain to owners how to report and remit their taxes and fees due, verify and update BOE account information, review business operations compared to sales and use tax returns filed to provide guidance on proper reporting, and provide business owners the opportunity to ask questions.

SCOP will monitor the ongoing compliance of newly registered businesses, reduce the number of businesses operating without a valid seller’s permit, and enhance the awareness of businesses on the consequences of tax evasion.

At each visit, SCOP specialists will identify themselves and show identification, verify the need for and existence of a seller’s permit and other required fee permits and licenses, review license/permit to verify that it is updated with the correct information, determine if the business is reporting its sales and use taxes properly, provide information and assistance to the business owner on sales and use tax reporting responsibilities, and answer owner’s questions.

If the SCOP specialists find that a business is reporting its taxes incorrectly, they will advise the business to file amended returns or if the business has overpaid taxes, to file a claim for refund. In some instances, the business may be referred for an audit.

The BOE has found that more than 98 percent of California businesses are operating with the correct permits. However, noncompliance contributes to more than $2 billion in uncollected sales and use taxes that make up part of the state’s “tax gap” — the difference between the amount of taxes owed and the amount paid, negatively impacting all state taxpayers. Visit for more information.

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