What you gonna do when they come for you? Understanding the Audit, Protest , and Appeal process.
Franchise Tax Board Mission
The FTB mission is to help taxpayers file tax returns timely, accurately, and pay the correct amount to fund services important to Californians.
To determine the correct amount of tax and applicable penalties and interest based on an analysis of relevant statutes, regulations, and case law applied to your facts and circumstances.
› Identify potential tax issues.
› Gather, evaluate, and document information.
› Determine the correct tax amount and applicable penalties and interest under the law.
Each audit follows standards and resource considerations for:
Legality - Ensure audit activities and conclusions agree with established laws and regulations.
Objectivity - Examine all relevant, available facts fairly, and without bias. Timeliness - Conduct and complete audits in a timely manner with a minimum of
inconvenience to taxpayers.
Supportability - Adequately support recommendations with facts and law.
Notice of Proposed Assessment Protest Process
If you disagree with our proposed assessment, you or your designated representative (with a POA Declaration) can submit a protest online through MyFTB or a written protest can be filed with us by the protest by date shown on the front of the Notice of Proposed Assessment. If you do not submit your protest by this date, the assessment will become final and we will bill you for the amount due, including penalties and interest.
The protest process is informal. It is the first step in the administrative and judicial review process where you can dispute proposed audit adjustments. It provides an opportunity for you to discuss your concerns with an FTB staff member assigned to resolve your protest, known as a hearing officer, and provide any additional documents or information to substantiate your position. The hearing officer reviews your position and information to ensure the changes made during the audit were correct and in compliance with the law.
After we receive your protest letter, we will mail you a letter to confirm receipt, this generally takes 30 days from receipt of the protest.
Office of Tax Appeals Appeals Process
OTA is a separate government agency that handles all personal and business entity income tax appeals. For more information on how to file an appeal, go to ota.ca.gov.
When you file an appeal within 30 days of the date of the NOA, you are given an opportunity to provide additional supporting information and file a brief in support of your position. FTB is given the same opportunity to sustain its position. You may also request an oral hearing before OTA.
Following OTA’s consideration of the law and facts in your appeal, it will issue
a decision in writing and either you or FTB may petition for a rehearing within
30 days of the decision. An OTA petition for rehearing will only be granted if the OTA determines there are grounds for a rehearing, such as irregularity in the proceedings, which prevented the party making the petition for rehearing from having a fair consideration of its case or an error in law. If no petition for rehearing is filed, OTA’s decision becomes final in 30 days.
If FTB fails to give you notice on a claim for refund within six months after you file your claim, you may consider your claim disallowed and file an appeal with OTA. If no Notice of Action has been issued by FTB and you file an appeal with OTA before this six-month period has elapsed, OTA does not yet have jurisdiction to consider the matter as an appeal.
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