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Tax News
 Third party designee

Beginning with the 2008 California income tax return, individual taxpayers may now designate a friend, family member, or any other person (including a paid preparer) they choose to discuss their tax return with FTB. To authorize a third party, the taxpayer simply needs to check the “Yes” box in the signature area of the return and print the designee’s name and phone number in the space provided.

Business entity taxpayers may designate the paid preparer who signed the return by checking the “Yes” box on the return. The authorization only applies to the individual whose signature appears in the “Paid Preparer’s Use Only” section. It does not apply to the firm, if any, shown in that section.

Checking the “Yes” box allows FTB to call the designee if questions arise during the processing of the return, such as information missing from the return. Also, the designee can request information on the status of refunds or payments or respond to certain FTB notices about math errors, offsets, and return preparation.

The designee does not have the authority to receive checks, bind the taxpayer to anything such as an additional tax liability, or represent the taxpayer before the FTB. If the taxpayer wants to expand the designee’s authority then they would need to file form  FTB 3520, Power of Attorney Declaration for FTB.

The authorization will automatically end no later than the due date (excluding extensions) for filing the 2009 return. That date is April 15, 2010, for most people. The authorization may be revoked earlier than that date if FTB is notified in writing or by telephone. For more information  go to FTB’s website at ftb.ca.gov and search for third party designee.

Authorizations for subsequent year returns will be made with that return following the same procedure as described above.