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To inform staff that we will begin imposing a $5,000 penalty July 20, 2009, in response to a specified frivolous submission pursuant to R&TC §19179(d).


A “specified frivolous submission” is a submission that includes material that meets any of the following conditions:

  • Based on a position FTB identifies as frivolous.
  • Reflects a desire to delay or impede the administration of federal or state income tax laws determined by IRS, or California income or franchise tax laws determined by FTB.

Any person who submits a “specified frivolous submission” must pay a $5,000 penalty unless the person withdraws the submission within 30 days of FTB’s notice that it is a “specified frivolous submission.”


When a frivolous submission is identified, FTB 9931, Frivolous Submission Notice, is sent to the individual informing them their specified frivolous submission is based on an identified frivolous position or it reflects a desire to delay or impede the administration of federal or state income tax laws.

If the specified frivolous submission is withdrawn in writing within 30 days after the notice is sent, the penalty imposed under R&TC §19179(d) does not apply to that submission.

If it is not withdrawn in writing, and the penalty is imposed, there are two ways for individuals to contest the penalty:

  • Request relief from the penalty by submitting FTB 626, Request for Chief Counsel to Relieve Penalties.
  • After paying the penalty in full, file a claim for refund, provided they pursue this option within the statute of limitations.

Depending on the cycle, taxpayers will have 105 to 135 days to voluntarily resolve their accounts. Eliminating these notices brings us in compliance with Internal Revenue Service's billing process.


Taxpayers can visit, and search for “frivolous submissions.”  They may also call us at 916.845.7790 (not toll free), Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm.


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