Taxpayers in California who have tax issues or other income tax complaints have resolution options. Many situations can be resolved by disputing by contacting the State of California Franchise Tax board and submitting essential documentation. However, when that option is not sufficient, California taxpayers can get assistance from Taxpayer Advocate Services

These services are available to provide protection to taxpayers, ensuring that their rights are not violated and that their tax issues are handled fairly. California Tax Advocate Services provide taxpayers with privacy and security for their sensitive tax matters, expert representation, fair resolution, and more. 

How to Get Help from California Tax Advocate Services

If you are a taxpayer in California who has tax problems or a complaint, there are a handful of ways that you can get help from tax advocates. 

Assistance with unresolved problems can be requested by submitting the online form or sending a written letter along with the Taxpayer Advocate Assistance Request form, FTB 914. 

When writing a letter, make sure to include your name, address, phone number, social security number, a summary of your problem or complaint, and the years that pertain to your problem. 

There are a number of reasons why your tax case may not be accepted by the Taxpayer Rights’ Advocates. If your case falls into any of these categories, you can expect to have it denied after applying:

  • You did not make an attempt at having your case resolved through the State of California Franchise Tax board.
  • Your tax issue or complaint encompasses a delay in processing your return or other areas that are typically busy and overloaded. However, if the delay with your taxes has caused a bank levy, tax lien, or wage garnishment, your case may end up being approved. 
  • Your tax issue includes a delay that occurred due to your own actions.
  • Your complaint is in regards to the legality of tax laws and the entire tax system.
  • You are requesting a refund. 
  • You are dealing with identity theft. 
  • You are requesting an Independent Administrative Review. 

There are certain criteria that your tax case must meet in order to have it accepted by the tax advocates. The criteria fall into a variety of categories, including economic burden, systemic burden, the best interest of the taxpayer, and advocate relief. Take a look at each set of criteria to determine whether or not your case will meet the criteria:

Economic Burden

To be approved for taxpayer advocate services for an economic burden, you will need to be able to show that the issue will cause you severe economic harm, such as the inability to pay your basic living expenses. 

You will also need to be facing some threat of adverse action, such as a lien, levy, wage garnishment, seizure of property, eviction, utility cut-off, and more. 

Lastly, you will need to prove that not being granted relief will create large costs for you as you work towards tax relief. 

Systemic Burden

Approval for a systemic burden claim requires that you have not received a response or resolution from the Franchise Tax Board within the usual time. If the FTB has extended the time frame and it has created extensive, undue hardship for you, or if there has been no resolution and you are left waiting for the FTB, you may be approved for a systemic burden claim

Best Interest of the Taxpayer

The best interest of the taxpayer claim may be approved if you can show that you are not receiving fair treatment by the Franchise Tax Board. You should be able to show that they violated the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights during assessment/collections, or that you were not able to present your claim effectively during the assessment/collections process. 

Advocate Relief

If there was an erroneous action or inaction by the Franchise Tax Board during the filing of your documents or when making payments, the R&TC, section 21004(c) makes it clear that you can request and be approved for local advocate relief. 

You may also be approved for this claim if an unreasonable delay occurred due to the Franchise Tax Board or if you were provided with egregious written advice in regards to your tax situation

Understanding The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights

The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights exists to protect taxpayers. It includes a number of legal guarantees for taxpayers, including those that protect the rights, privacy, and property of taxpayers in California. 

If you believe that your rights have been violated in accordance with the California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, you may be eligible for taxpayer advocate service from the Tax Advocates. 

The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights undergoes an annual hearing where potential changes are suggested and the law is discussed. As a California taxpayer, it’s important that you understand the Bill of Rights and are ready to use it when necessary. 

California Tax Relief

There are multiple options for tax relief in California. The IRS Tax Relief Network can help you apply for and seek tax resolution through the regular channels before you turn to the Taxpayer Rights’ Advocates. 

With their team of professional enrolled agents, tax attorneys, and certified public accountants, the IRS Tax Relief Network may be able to help you find fast and effective tax resolution

However, if the typical options, such as payment arrangements, offers in compromise, and others, have been exhausted, you may be able to use Taxpayer Advocate Equity Relief Request in order to request interest, penalties, and fee relief. This option will be effective for those who experienced filing errors, an unreasonable delay, or poorly written advice from the FTB. 

If you have a tax problem or complaints against the FTB, you will want to reach out to the IRS Tax Relief Network. They will be able to help determine if they can help you with your tax situation, or if you should look into the local tax advocates. 

Finding relief for your tax issues or concerns is essential. Call the IRS Tax Relief Network today to resolve your tax problems.