Taxpayer advocate services
How can we help?
The Taxpayer Advocate is an independent organization within the Franchise Tax Board. We are here to:
- Help you with specific tax issues that you were unable to resolve through our normal communication channels.
- Protect your taxpayer rights and ensure your tax issues are handled promptly and fairly.
Are you eligible?
Generally, we can help taxpayers whose tax issues fall into one of four main categories. Please read the case examples to see if your situation qualifies you for assistance.
Financial hardship may include situations that affect your ability to pay more than you earn due to circumstances beyond your control.
This may include situations when you will experience financial hardship due to FTB actions such as:
- Bank levy
- Wage garnishment
You may experience financial hardship as a result of circumstances in your personal life such as, not being able to:
- Provide appropriate shelter for yourself or your family
- Pay bills
- Afford medical care
You may face adverse legal action:
- From FTB (lien, seizure of property)
- From another party (eviction, repossession, utility cutoff).
You may suffer significant personal costs if tax relief is not granted as a result of FTB being unable to resolve your account.
Time-based hardships may result from issues occurring due to FTB organizational delays.
- A response or resolution is not met within FTB processing time frames.
- FTB actions extend your prescribed time frame that cause the delay to be extensive or unreasonable.
- An internal FTB system does not function in the manner intended (withholding, processing, billing, website, etc.).
Unfair or unlawful treatment may result when the service provided is not in the best interest of you as a taxpayer.
- You claim unsatisfactory treatment by an FTB employee.
- FTB may have violated your Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.
- You claim to have been unable to fully present your position during the assessment or collection process.
- FTB is not following legal and judicial processes or its own administrative policies or procedures.
In seeking tax relief by the advocate, taxpayers may receive assistance under Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC) Section 21004(c) based on:
- Erroneous action or inaction by FTB in processing documents filed or payments made.
- Unreasonable delay caused by FTB.
- Erroneous written advice that may not qualify for relief under R&TC Section 21012.
- Independent Administrative Review as allowed by R&TC Sections 19008, 19225, and 21015.5.
What we cannot do
Unfortunately, the Taxpayer Advocate will not resolve or accept your case for:
- Accounts not processed through our normal communication channels
- Delays and call center wait times
- Exception: When the delay creates an immediate economic hardship relating to a bank levy, wage garnishment, or tax lien
- Delays that result from your actions
- Constitutionality of the tax system or tax laws
- Identity theft
- Claim for refund
If you meet one of the main categories above and have exhausted all other remedies, we can help with your account, collections, or wage garnishment issues.
- Submit online form to resolve your account issue
You may mail or fax a Taxpayer Advocate Assistance Request (FTB 914) form to:
- Franchise Tax Board
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate MS-F385
PO Box 157
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-0157