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Supreme Court ruling on Ordlock v. FTB

Longer statutes of limitation are applicable when FTB's assessment is based on federal changes

The California Supreme Court unanimously reversed the appellate court decision in the case of Bayard M. Ordlock et al. v. Franchise Tax Board (Case No. S127649). The taxpayers argued that the regular four-year statute of limitations should prevail over the longer statute of limitations periods applicable to federal changes.

The court rejected the taxpayers' arguments, finding that the language "except as otherwise expressly provided in this part" in Section 19057 clearly contemplates alternate statutes of limitation under certain circumstances. The taxpayers' interpretation, giving preferential treatment to litigious taxpayers, was not the Legislature's intent. The opinion, authored by Chief Justice Ronald George, concluded by observing that FTB's interpretation of the statutes prevailed.