(a) Any person who does any of the following is liable for a penalty of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000):
(1) Utters, passes, or negotiates a state-issued income tax refund warrant generated as a result of the filing of a return knowing that the recipient is not entitled to the refund.
(2) Procures a state-issued income tax refund, in any form, generated as a result of the filing of a return knowing that the recipient is not entitled to the refund.
(3) Aids, abets, advises, encourages, or counsels any individual to utter, pass, or negotiate a state-issued income tax refund warrant, or to procure a state-issued income tax refund, in any form, generated as a result of the filing of a return, knowing that the recipient is not entitled to a refund.
(b) The fact that an individual’s name is endorsed to a state-issued refund warrant shall be prima facie evidence for all purposes that the refund warrant was actually signed by him or her.
(c) The penalty shall be recovered in the name of the people in any court of competent jurisdiction. Counsel for the Franchise Tax Board may, upon request of the district attorney or other prosecuting attorney, assist the prosecuting attorney in presenting the law or facts to recover the penalty at the trial of a criminal proceeding for violation of this section.
(d) The person is also guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or by imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both, at the discretion of the court, together with costs of investigation and prosecution.
(e) Any individual guilty under this part shall be subject to Section 502.01 of the Penal Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 163, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018