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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2008

Comptroller’s Office Reminds Houston Taxpayers
to Register for Franchise Tax Seminars

(AUSTIN)—The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reminds new and existing franchise taxpayers to attend a free seminar in Houston on April 30 that will address the Legislature’s revisions to the tax.

“Business taxpayers need to become familiar with the revised franchise tax and prepare for approaching filing deadlines,” Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said.

The seminar will take place at the University of Houston in the Conrad Hilton Ballroom of the Hilton University of Houston Hotel, located at 4800 Calhoun St.

The seminar is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be taught by the agency’s franchise tax experts who will also be available to answer questions. The morning session will consist of an overview presentation about the new margin calculation, along with detailed explanations about entities subject to the tax; the revised tax base; tax rates; EZ computation; discounts; no tax due qualifications; determining total revenue and exclusions from revenue; cost of goods sold deductions; compensation deductions; gross receipts and apportionment; combined reporting; business loss credit; and new administrative rules. The afternoon session will concentrate on how to complete franchise tax reporting forms.

For complete information about the seminar, visit the Comptroller’s Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/franchise/ft_tour_0408.html. Advance reservations are required. To reserve a seat, send an e-mail to rsvp.houston@cpa.state.tx.us.

During the last year, agency experts have spoken at industry conferences and to taxpayers groups, hosted 10 taxpayer seminars throughout Texas and conducted a dozen Webinars to inform taxpayers about changes to the franchise tax. The Texas Legislature revised the tax by changing the tax base and the tax rate and extending coverage to most legal entities. About 200,000 new entities will have to file franchise tax reports for the first time this year.

The Comptroller’s office is giving businesses and tax practitioners an additional 30 days to submit their franchise tax reports and payments, file an extension and preserve the right to take the temporary credit without penalty. The due dates are still May 15 for annual reports, and May 1 for initial reports. However, the 5 percent penalty for reports filed and payments made no more than 30 days late will be automatically waived, and extensions and preservations made within the 30-day period (i.e., on or before June 16, 2008 for annual reports and June 2, 2008 for initial reports) will be considered timely.

Forms to report the revised Texas franchise tax based on the new margin calculation are now available online at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/05-forms.html.

Answers to franchise tax questions can be found at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/franchise/ or by calling (800) 252-1381.

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Find details on all the services of the Comptroller’s office at www.window.state.tx.us, including a transparent look at state spending at www.window.state.tx.us/wherethemoneygoes.

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