Assembly Bill 1296 established the Tax Recovery in the Underground Economy Criminal Enforcement Program (TRUE) on January 1, 2020. Formerly known as Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE), TRUE is an important measure to support the state’s efforts to combat and deter underground economic crimes in California.
The passage of AB 1296 strengthens TRUE by permanently establishing the program in state law and creating the framework for the Legislature to fund TRUE investigative teams in every major metropolitan area in the state. By strengthening TRUE, the state will improve its multiagency collaboration to combat economic activities, protect consumers, workers, and law abiding businesses, as well as collect lost tax revenue for the state.
"Underground Economy" is a term that refers to those individuals and businesses that deal in cash and/or use other schemes to conceal their activities, identities and true tax liability from government licensing, regulatory, and taxing agencies.
The State of California loses billions of dollars to the underground economy. Fraud and tax evasion most often occur in cash-driven businesses such as bars, restaurants, used car dealerships, and construction, but is also common in businesses selling counterfeit products and in the tobacco industry.
Tax evasion hurts California's economy as legitimate businesses are confronted with unfair competition, funding for public resources is lost, and employees are forced to work in conditions without basic protections or may even lose their jobs.
Whether you know it or not, the underground economy affects you directly or indirectly. The people who operate in the underground economy are taking money out of your pocket.
If you would like to report a crime, please click on the button below.