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State of California Franchise Tax Board

Tax News
Ask the Advocate – Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing

Steve Sims, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate.

Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing

Every December, Franchise Tax Board holds an annual Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights hearing. At this meeting, members of the public, taxpayers, tax practitioners, and taxpayer advocate groups are invited to provide written or oral testimony about issues they see as problematic, burdensome, or in violation of the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. Those who chose oral testimony were allowed to address the Board, Executive Staff of FTB, and myself with their concerns. I take very seriously the issues and concerns raised. Each issue raised at the meeting is addressed by FTB with a written response and posted to our website. Some of the issues and suggestions raised this year were:

  • Providing more guidance to small businesses, including an explanation of how the market-based sourcing rules, when combined with mandatory single sales factor (SSF) rules, affect sole proprietorships, S corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) whose principal business operations are located both in and outside California.
  • Acting with more urgency on audits, refund claims, protests, and appeals, so taxpayers will no longer be subjected to frustrating and costly delays that drag out tax disputes over many years.
  • Inability to dissolve/cancel business entities that are formed and not “launched.”
  • Working on regulations and guidance for LLC’s doing business.
  • Conforming to federal relief rules for small tax-exempt organizations that failed to electronically file a “California e-Postcard.”
  • Mortgage debt relief nonconformity.
  • Power of attorney problems and the implementation delay of 2014 Enterprise to Data Revenue Enhancements to MyFTB Account.
  • Small tax bills that cost the state a lot of money. Often taxpayers, particularly those who file California Form 5805, Underpayment of Estimated Tax, receive bills for less than $1.

Look for responses to these and all of the issues raised on our website no later than January 15. You can also find a list of my top ten concerns in my Annual Report to the legislature Advocate Address.

For more information on the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, please see the following publications which describe these rights:

  • FTB 4058C, California Taxpayers' Bill of Rights - An Overview (Revised 12-2009). This publication describes the Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC) provisions of your rights.
  • FTB 4058, California Taxpayers' Bill of Rights - Information for Taxpayers (Revised 07-2010). This publication provides a basic overview of your rights and includes the major provisions of the 1988, 1997, and 1999 California legislation.

Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers' Rights Advocate

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