Tax News
Ask the Advocate

Steve Sims, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate.

Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Annual Report to the Legislature

Each year the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights requires me to provide my findings to the California Legislature areas where FTB can improve its operations and services to taxpayers. I do this in my Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Annual Report to the Legislature.

Areas of improvement are primarily identified during my interactions with the tax professional community and from submissions into our Systemic Issues Management System (SIMS). My constant interaction with the tax professional community during my frequent presentations, the annual Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing, and Advisory Board meetings, allow me to hear firsthand what issues, concerns, and challenges taxpayers face and the impact of tax legislation. Furthermore, when I combine the information gained from my tax professional interactions with submissions into our SIMS, I am able to stay apprised of the effects that law changes, FTB’s policies, processes, and procedures have on taxpayers.

In this year’s report, I discuss issues, areas of concern, and challenges that both the taxpayers and FTB face regarding the following issues:

  • Auditor retention
  • Collections
  • Conformity
  • Late state/federal legislation
  • Tax liens
  • Investigations transparency
  • Penalties
  • Education and outreach
  • Protests
  • Customer service

For a complete copy of the 2012 Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Annual Report to the Legislature, go to, and search for 2012 Annual Report.

If you would like to report a systemic issue, go to and search for systemic. Systemic issues:

  • Affect multiple taxpayers.
  • Relate to FTB systems, policies, and/or procedures.
  • Involve protecting taxpayer rights.
  • Reduce or prevent taxpayer burdens.

Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate

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Back to January 2013 Tax News