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Why We Send Your Power of Attorney (POA) Back to You

One of the most important documents taxpayers send to us is a form FTB 3520. This form lets us know that we can discuss taxpayers’ account or return information with their representative, and that the representative may perform certain acts on their behalf. We are prohibited from disclosing confidential information to anyone other than the taxpayer or the authorized representative.

In some cases, we require a POA form to be on file for a representative to represent a taxpayer in FTB matters, to receive information, execute waivers, and deal with other matters related to the specified tax year or income period. When a taxpayer authorizes a representative only to receive confidential taxpayer information, but not to act on their behalf, the limited authority is indicated on the POA.

We process approximately 5,000 to 7,000 POAs a month, but, we return approximately 30 percent because they are incomplete or incorrect. Unfortunately, we do not have the authority to correct or “perfect” a POA, and here are the most common reasons we send the POA back:

  • Taxpayer information on form FTB 3520, Power of Attorney, does not match the information on our system. (i.e. taxpayer name, social security number, corporation number)

  • More than one entity number is listed on form FTB 3520 and the numbers do not match the information on our system.

  • Information on form FTB 3520 is incomplete or illegible. We will highlight area(s) for missing information, or information we are unable to read.

  • Information on form FTB 3520 has been altered (i.e. information has been crossed out) or taxpayer’s name does not match taxpayer’s signature.

  • We received a durable power of attorney without the form FTB 3520 attached.

  • A form other than a form FTB 3520 was filed, and it does not indicate it is for FTB.

  • Form FTB 3520, line 8, Retaining or revoking prior power of attorney: You checked the box to keep a previous power of attorney in effect, but did not attach a copy of form FTB 3520 you wished to retain.

  • Form FTB 3520, line 9, Signatures authorizing a power of attorney: The fiduciary box is checked, and there is no title (executor, administrator, or trustee) entered on the title line.

    • The business entity did not enter a representative on the form FTB 3520 title line.

    • The name of a specific representative’s is not given. For example: George Smith instead of ABC Accounting LLP. We do not accept the declaration if the name is a company or an organization.

  • Used form FTB 3520 to receive a deceased taxpayer's refund check instead of using IRS 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer.

  • Form FTB 3520 is cut off and Lines 4 and 5 are not visible.

New PAO Fax Number


Please use the new number now. As of February 1, 2011, the old fax numbers will be disconnected. In the event that a fax is inadvertently sent a POA to the old fax numbers during the filing season, we will notify you to use the new fax numbers.

For more information about the California POA, go to and search for POA.

Back to January 2011 Tax News