Requests for Executive and Advocate Services (EAS) Assistance must meet Criteria and Should be in Writing

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October 30, 2014

Purpose of Bulletin

To inform staff that requests for Executive and Advocate Services (EAS) from a taxpayer or their representative must meet EAS criteria for Advocate assistance and should be in writing. All customer contact staff should use their normal procedures to determine if a case meets the criteria to route the customer to EAS or if it should be handled within their own unit. Staff should not automatically refer callers to EAS.

Background

EAS handles cases when a taxpayer or their representative is unable to resolve their issue through normal channels or when an FTB action places the taxpayer in an immediate undue hardship. Prior to the implementation of the toll free number, all public cases handled by EAS were received in writing. However, EAS telephone numbers are readily available on the internet and are often incorrectly listed as primary FTB contact numbers for the public, which has led EAS to receive a large volume of routine calls.

To mitigate the increase in routine contacts, EAS updated one Interactive Voice Response (IVR) line and created a new one; however, calls continue to get through to EAS.

EAS has two main telephone lines:

  • 800.883.5910 for public contact
  • XXX.XXX.XXXX for FTB employees and legislative staff only (non-public)

Taxpayer Inquiries

Taxpayers should be encouraged to use normal channels when possible. If a taxpayer requests Advocate assistance, advise them EAS will ask that their request be in writing and that if it does not meet Advocate criteria, their case will be referred to the appropriate area of the department. When writing to EAS, taxpayers should include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Account number
  • Detailed summary of their issue, including the tax year(s) involved

If an FTB action is causing the taxpayer an immediate undue hardship, EAS will address the issue, as appropriate. If it is not an immediate undue hardship, advise taxpayers to allow 7-21 days for a response.

Taxpayers can send their written request for Advocate assistance by:

Fax: 916.843.6022 (preferred)

Mail:

Executive and Advocate Services
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 157
Rancho cordova CA 95741-0157

Email: Taxpayer_Advocate@ftb.ca.gov (unsecure)

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