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Head of Household (HOH) Audit Letter — 2010 Tax Year

Purpose of bulletin

To inform staff that we began mailing HOH audit letters this month.


Annually, we review the returns of taxpayers who claim the Head of Household filing status because the qualifications for this filing status are commonly misunderstood.

We anticipate mailing approximately 135,000 HOH audit letters for the 2010 tax year between July and December 2011.

HOH Audit Letter

The audit letter tells taxpayers:

  • Why we are reviewing their filing status information.
  • How to obtain assistance in completing the questionnaire.
  • How to return the completed questionnaire.
  • The qualification requirements for HOH.
  • Frequently asked questions about HOH.

Also, the letter includes information on how to obtain assistance in completing the questionnaire for Spanish speaking taxpayers.

A 2010 HOH audit letter sample is available on our website at:

Audit process

HOH audit staff:

  • Reviews completed questionnaires to determine if taxpayers qualify for the HOH filing status.
  • Calls taxpayers, or send follow up letters if responses are incomplete or contain conflicting information.
  • Sends an HOH acceptance letter to qualified taxpayers.
  • Sends a Notice of Proposed Assessment disallowing the HOH filing status to taxpayers who do not respond to the audit letter or do not qualify for the HOH filing status based on their responses to the questionnaire. A failure to furnish information penalty will be assessed on all taxpayers who do not respond by the due date on the letter.

Acceptance letters only apply to the specific tax year examined and do not qualify the taxpayer for any other year.

Taxpayers who e-filed

Taxpayers who filed electronically and claimed the HOH filing status had the option to complete and include an electronic HOH questionnaire (Schedule HOH/FTB 4803E) with their e-filed return. We will not send an HOH audit letter to taxpayers who submitted this information with their return. However, they may still receive a follow up audit letter if the information they provided electronically was incomplete or conflicting.

Mailing schedules and volumes

The 2010 HOH audit letter mailings began on July 18, 2011. We anticipate weekly mailings of approximately 7,000 letters to continue through December 2011.

Taxpayer inquiries

We cannot take 2010 HOH information over the telephone or in person. Inform the taxpayers to complete and return the audit letter questionnaire by the date specified on their letter. Taxpayers may:

  • Respond using the HOH Audit Letter response application. They will need their social security number and the FTB ID number listed at the top of the audit letter.
  • Return the questionnaire to us by mail.
  • Fax the completed audit questionnaire to the fax number shown on the cover letter.

A list of frequently asked questions is attached to this bulletin. The same questions are also included with the audit letters we mail to taxpayers.

Taxpayers can get more information about HOH or access the HOH Audit Letter response application by visiting our webpage at and search for HOH filing status.

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