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3050 Format of Written Requests

3051 Written Requests from Data Subjects (taxpayers, claimants, or employees) Written requests for confidential information must contain the following:

  1. The name and signature of the requester.
  2. The address and social security number of the data subject.
  3. The specific data requested.

3052 Written Requests from Authorized Representatives of Data Subjects

Written requests from authorized representatives for confidential information must include a Power of Attorney (Form FTB 3520) or contain the following:

  1. The name and title (if applicable) of the requester.
  2. Evidence that the requester is authorized to make the request.
  3. The scope of the authority (i.e., specific tax year(s) and/or data related to a specific issue).
  4. The time limit of the authorization.
  5. The name, address and social security number of the data subject.
  6. The specific information requested.

3053 Written Requests from Third Parties (anyone other than taxpayers and their authorized representatives)

Written requests from third parties for confidential information must contain the following:

  1. The name and title of the requester.
  2. The specific legal authority for the department to disclose the information to the requester. If a signed release from the taxpayer is the legal authority for FTB to disclose the information, it must state specifically in the body of the release that it is for "the release of state income tax returns or information.”
  3. Evidence that the requester is authorized to make the request.
  4. The specific information requested and the reason(s) the information is needed.
  5. The name, address, and social security number of the data subject and the tax year(s) involved.
  6. Other state, federal, or local agencies seeking taxpayer records for licenses, security clearance, and other purposes use form FTB 3518, Authorization for One-Time Release of Confidential Tax Information.

3100 Requests from FTB to other Third Parties

Revenue and Taxation Code section 19504.7, provides that FTB may contact persons other than the taxpayer or their authorized representative concerning a determination of, or collection of tax liability. FTB shall provide a reasonable advance notice to the taxpayer that contacts with other persons may be made. If FTB expects to make third party contacts, FTB will provide advance notice by mail before contacting any third party. The notice is valid for any third-party contacts made during the 12 months following the date of the notice.

FTB shall provide upon request from the taxpayer a record of persons contacted during the 12-month period by the Franchise Tax Board with respect to the determination or collection of the tax liability of the taxpayer. The taxpayer's request shall be made no later than 60 days after the 12-month period has expired.

This section shall not apply to:

  • Any contact which the taxpayer has authorized.
  • If the Franchise Tax Board determines for good cause that the action would jeopardize the collection of any tax or the notice may involve reprisal against any person.
  • With respect to any criminal investigation.

3200 Disclosure of Information to Data Subjects (taxpayers/claimants/employees) and their Authorized Representatives

Taxpayers (individuals, partnerships, estates, trusts, banks, corporations, claimants, or employees) and their authorized representatives are entitled to copies of the taxpayers' records.

It is departmental policy to permit taxpayers/claimants/employees to review their own records and/or obtain copies of documents routinely. The Information Practices Act of 1977 provides individuals (natural persons only) with the right of access to their own records.

Certain information will not be disclosed:

  1. Information pertaining to other taxpayers/claimants/employees.
  2. Information from informants, including the identity of informants.
  3. Information involving pending or open investigation cases and illegal activities files.
  4. Proprietary information (e.g., write-off limits, specific audit selection criteria, etc.)

3300 Special Reporting Procedures

General Statement

This department is periodically contacted by representatives of the Department of Finance, Legislative Analyst, and State Auditor, as well as by members of the Governor's staff, Legislators and/or their assistants, and representatives of other departments, who may request reports or specific data containing confidential information. These requests must be in writing and will be evaluated on an individual basis.

3400 Research Requests

Researchers requesting statistical tax data from Franchise Tax Board must provide a pre-approved form, New Project Application and Review Checklist for California Information Practices Act Review Only, from the California Health and Human Services Agency, Committee for Protection of Human Subjects. Civil Code section 1798.24 (t) adds protections against identity theft with additional confidentiality requirements for scientific researchers with University of California or nonprofit educational institutions. See instructions.

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