Ask the Advocate
Where’s Our Advocate?
First, I thank the California Society of Enrolled Agents for the invitation to present at its California State Tax Agencies Representation (C-STAR) workshop held in San Diego last month. Also, I thank the many other organizations for their invitations to present to their members as well. I plan to share these experiences and lessons learned in my “Ask the Advocate” column.
While at C-STAR, I hosted the “Tax Talk After Hours,” which was an open discussion on a number of issues including the following topics:
- Impact the budget shortage has on FTB services to taxpayers and practitioners.
- What level of authentication should exist for practitioners to access client information on our system (MyFTB account)?
- How can we get you to encourage taxpayers to use Web Pay when filing their returns?
- How the consolidation of the various tax agencies (EDD, BOE and FTB) could affect taxpayers?
- An inter-agency newsletter from EDD, BOE, and FTB with articles of interest made available to taxpayers. (I really like this one!)
We also held roundtable discussions. From discussions such as these, I have taken excellent ideas and information back to FTB management and staff in the hopes of better serving taxpayers. Another opportunity I had was to co-present with Gina Rodriquez, EA, of Spidell Publishing, a class covering Audit Case Studies, Significant Developments, and Top Audit Issues. We took a “point-counterpoint” approach, which stirred much debate and was extremely beneficial to all attendees. There is a lot to be learned by both the presenters and participants that attend continuing education programs such as C-STAR.
Next stop, I am scheduled to present at the IRS Forum on July 14 – 16, 2009, in San Diego. For more information about this forum, go to www.taxforuminfo.com. I look forward to seeing you there.
Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers' Rights Advocate