Taxpayer advocate services

Our taxpayer advocate services are here to help you resolve your tax problems or complaints that haven’t been resolved through our normal channels. We protect your rights as a taxpayer and ensure your tax problems are handled promptly and fairly. This includes:

  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Professional and courteous service
  • Representation
  • Pay no more than the correct amount you owe
  • Protest, appeals, and judicial review

Visit help if this is your first attempt to contact FTB about your account.

Unresolved problem

If you need to resolve an ongoing problem, we have a few ways you can request our help:

If you write us a letter, include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Daytime phone number
  • Social Security Number or account number
  • Detailed summary of your issue
  • Tax years related to your issue

Taxpayer advocate criteria

The Taxpayer Rights Advocate (TRA) will not accept your case if:

  • You haven't attempted to resolve your account through our normal channels
  • Your complaint or problem relates to business areas that are generally overloaded with work, such as return processing delays and call centers wait times
    • Exception: When the delay creates an immediate economic hardship relating to a bank levy, wage garnishment or tax lien
  • It involves delays that result from your actions
  • It questions the constitutionality of the tax system or tax laws
  • It’s regarding identity theft
  • It’s a claim for refund
  • It’s a request for an Independent Administrative Review as allowed by CR&TC 19008, 19225, and 21015.5. The Executive Services Section will perform the review.

Case criteria

Criteria Description
1. Economic Burden You’ll suffer economic harm due to FTB actions (bank levy, wage garnishment, lien, etc.) or as a result of circumstances in your personal life (unable to pay bills, medical expenses, etc.).
You're facing a threat of adverse action. The action may be from FTB (lien, seizure of property) or by another party (eviction, repossession, utility cutoff).
You’ll suffer significant costs if relief is not granted. Situations when FTB is unable to immediately make adjustments in order to resolve the account.
2. Systemic Burden A response or resolution is not met within normal FTB processing timeframes. If there’s no “normal response time” then 30 days from the date of your original submission to FTB for assistance.
FTB actions extend the prescribed time frame that causes the delay to be extensive or unreasonable.
No resolution is reached or FTB does not respond or act by the date promised to you.
An internal FTB system does not perform in the manner intended (withholding, processing, billing, etc.).
3. Best Interest of the Taxpayer You claim you’re not receiving fair and equitable treatment including where you allege unsatisfactory treatment by FTB employees.
The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights has been violated during the assessment or collection process.
You claim you’re unable to fully present your positions during the assessment or collection process; or, FTB is not following legal and judicial processes or its own administrative policies or procedures.
4. Advocate Relief You make a request for Advocate Relief under R&TC section 21004(c) based on erroneous action or erroneous inaction by FTB in processing documents filed or payments made, unreasonable delay caused by FTB, or erroneous written advice that does not qualify for relief under R&TC section 21012.

Help with Taxpayers' Bill of Rights issues

We are here for you if your taxpayer rights have been violated.

Bill of rights hearing

If you’d like to make a suggested change to our process, law, procedures, administration, you have the right to attend our annual Taxpayers' Bill of Rights hearing. Review Taxpayers' Bill of Rights hearing responses.

Report a systemic issue

Help us improve the services we provide. Report problems you’ve identified with the way we do business. Systemic issues:

  • Affect multiple taxpayers (not just one taxpayer)
  • Impact segments of the population locally, regionally, or nationally
  • Relate to FTB systems, policies, or procedures
  • Involve protecting taxpayer rights, reducing or preventing taxpayer burden, ensuring fair treatment, or providing essential taxpayer services

Report an issue

Tax Appeals Assistance Program

You may qualify for free legal help through the Tax Appeals Assistance Program. The Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate’s Office administers this program.

Visit Tax Appeals Assistance Program for more information.

Tax relief

If you’ve exhausted all other avenues, such as:

In very limited situations, use Taxpayer Advocate Equity Relief Request (FTB 3705) to request relief from interest, penalties, additions to tax, and fees that are attributable to any of the following:

  • Erroneous action or erroneous inaction by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) in processing documents you filed or payments you made
  • Unreasonable delay caused by FTB
  • Erroneous written advice that does not qualify for relief under R&TC Section 21012

Education and Outreach

Request a speaker

If you’d like someone to make a brief presentation about tax related issues, email us at In your email, include:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Organization
  • Date and location
  • Request topics
  • Number of attendees
  • Materials/biography deadlines
  • Special requirements


Contact us

Help with your account

Account, collections, or wage garnishment issues.

(800) 883-5910
(916) 843-8330
Franchise Tax Board
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate MS-F385
PO Box 157
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-0157