California: Remember the Taxes You Didn't Owe? Surprise!

by Wendy McElroy
Feb. 28, 2013

California cannot chase business away fast enough, it seems: high taxes, cap-and-trade, voracious unions, bankrupt cities, and now retroactive taxation.

Shortly before the Christmas holidays and oh so quietly, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) rescinded a tax break that dated back to 1993. The Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) exclusion allowed small businesses and investors who met certain conditions to exclude or to defer 50 percent of the profits of sold stock from their personal income taxes. The incentive was intended to lure startup companies of under $50 million into the state.

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