Franchise & Personal Income Tax Appeals – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I file an appeal?
  2. What if I need more time to get my documents together?
  3. What if I can't respond by my due date?
  4. What if my name or address or phone number has changed or I have divorced or moved out of state since the tax year in which I wish to appeal?
  5. What if the person that the Notice was issued to has passed away and I am now responsible for handling the affairs (in this case, the appeal)?
  6. How long does the entire process take and how does it work?
  7. What if I just want to end the appeal?
  8. I received the hearing notice for the scheduled meeting date and have a scheduling conflict. What is the process for asking for a postponement?
  9. I received a letter from the hearing analyst that my case was being submitted to a nonappearance calendar because I did not respond to the hearing notice by the deadline. I would still like the original oral hearing date. What are my options?
  10. I would like to know the status of my case. What department do I call?
  11. I do not agree with the Board's decision on my case. What are my options?
  12. I need a 30-day extension to supplement my petition for rehearing. Who do I contact?

  1. How do I file an appeal?

    Appeals should be in writing and must be signed by all persons named in the appeal or by their Representative. A copy of the Franchise Tax Board's Notice of Action (final assessment) or the Denial of Claim for Refund must accompany the SIGNED appeal letter stating that you wish to appeal, along with any supporting documents you may have to support your case. Note: The appeal must be received timely and postmarked within 30 days from the date of an 'assessment' or 90 days from the date of a 'denial'. If the appeal is not postmarked timely, or if the appeal is not signed, this Board does not have jurisdiction to accept your appeal.

    Please mail or hand-deliver one copy of the letter, the Notice and any supporting documentation to the address below or fax to 916-324-3984.

    Board Proceedings Division, MIC:81
    State Board of Equalization
    450 N Street
    P.O. Box 942879
    Sacramento CA 94279-0081
  2. What if I need more time to get my documents together?

    If the appeal is in the initial appeal stage and you need additional time to gather your documents, you may request that the appeal be placed in "Appellant Open" status which will allow you an additional 90 days to provide the documentation. However, your initial appeal must still have been received "timely" and include the signed appeal letter and 'Notice'. Note: After an appeal is accepted, the FTB is allowed 90 days to file their opening brief, after which you will be given an additional 30 days to reply to their brief. You may submit additional documentation at that time as well.

  3. What if I can't respond by my due date?

    If you need additional time, you may request a 30 day extension. Your request must be in writing and received prior to your due date with an explanation as to why the extension is necessary.

  4. What if my name or address or phone number has changed or I have divorced or moved out of state since the tax year in which I wish to appeal?

    If your personal information has changed, you may notify our Board in your initial appeal letter, or if it changes at any time during the appeal process, just notify us in writing, so that we to have the most accurate information and are able to correspond with you in a timely manner during the appeal process.

  5. What if the person that the Notice was issued to has passed away and I am now responsible for handling the affairs (in this case, the appeal)?

    Explain the circumstances in the appeal letter and the appeal will be taken under 'the estate of...' with you being the representative for the appeal.

  6. How long does the entire process take and how does it work?

    It can take up to several months to complete the briefing process. Thereafter, a decision (attorney review and recommendation) is prepared and is then scheduled for Board consideration.

  7. What if I just want to end the appeal?

    You (the Appellant) may request to dismiss the appeal at any time during the process. In addition, the FTB may decide to dismiss the appeal based upon information or documentation that you have provided during the briefing process; OR both parties may enter into settlement at anytime during the process and the parties may negotiate directly with one another in an attempt to resolve the issues. If a settlement is reached, the appeal will be dismissed.

  8. I received the hearing notice for the scheduled meeting date and have a scheduling conflict. What is the process for asking for a postponement?

    All postponement requests must be submitted in writing to the hearing analyst indicated on the hearing notice. Postponement requests must be detailed as to the reason for the postponement. The request will then be forwarded to the Chair's office for approval. Once approved or denied, all parties will receive the confirmation in writing via U.S.P.S. mail. If the postponement request is received less than a week before the scheduled hearing date, the hearing analyst will contact the taxpayer/representative via email or telephone call regarding the Chair's decision of the postponement request and follow up with a letter confirmation.

    If the postponement request is for medical reasons and the party is under the care of a physician, the party will be asked to furnish a doctor's note in addition to his or her postponement request.

  9. I received a letter from the hearing analyst that my case was being submitted to a nonappearance calendar because I did not respond to the hearing notice by the deadline. I would still like the original oral hearing date. What are my options?

    Contact the hearing analyst who mailed the letter and request that the original hearing be put back on calendar. You will be asked to sign, date and fax back the Response to Hearing Notice (RHN) within 24 hours to the hearing analyst's attention at (916) 324-3984. Once we receive your RHN, we will schedule your appeal for a hearing date. Although we strive to put appeals on the earliest possible calendar, the hearing date may not be the same date your appeal was originally scheduled to be considered. Therefore, if you wish to have your appeal heard on its originally scheduled hearing date, it is important that you return the RHN by the deadline.

  10. I would like to know the status of my case. What department do I call?

    You can call the main line in the Board Proceedings Division at (916) 322-2270. You will be asked for a six digit Case ID number and then be directed to the appropriate analyst.

  11. I do not agree with the Board's decision on my case. What are my options?

    Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 18, section 5460. FINALITY OF DECISION:
    (a) Finality. The Board's decision under article 5 of this chapter becomes final 30 days from the date of the decision unless, within that 30-day period, a party to the appeal files a Petition for Rehearing.

    5461. PETITIONS FOR REHEARING.
    (a) Definitions. For purposes of this article:
    (1) The "Filing Party" is the party who files a Petition for Rehearing.
    (2) The "Non-Filing Party" is the party who does not file a Petition for Rehearing.
    (b) Time for Filing. A Petition for Rehearing is timely if it is mailed within the 30-day period described in section 5460, subdivision (a).

    The decision in your appeal will become final 30 days from the date of the Board's decision (that is, the date the Board voted on and decided your appeal) unless you or the Franchise Tax Board files a petition for rehearing with the Board during that time. Once the decision becomes final, you may pursue further consideration of your case by paying the tax due (if any) and filing an action against the FTB in superior court.

    If you choose to file a petition for rehearing to request that the Board reconsider its decision, your petition should clearly state the reasons for the request. Reasons for holding a new hearing include:

    1. There was an irregularity in the Board's proceedings that prevented you from having a fair consideration of your case,
    2. There was an accident or surprise, which ordinary caution could not have prevented,
    3. You have discovered new evidence that (a) is relevant to the outcome of your case and (b) you could not have discovered or provided prior to the Board's decision or
    4. The Board's decision was not supported by the evidence or was contrary to the law. Any request for rehearing needs to be supported by law and/or facts.

    For more information regarding petitions for rehearing, you may wish to consult BOE Publication 81, section 5561 of title 18 of the California Code of Regulations, and the Board's opinion in Appeal of Wilson Development, Inc., 94-SBE-007, decided Oct. 5, 1994.

  12. I need a 30-day extension to supplement my petition for rehearing. Who do I contact?

    All extension requests must be submitted in writing to the Chief of Board Proceedings within 30 days of the letter decision of your appeal. Your request will be routed to a hearing analyst who will acknowledge your petition for rehearing and generally give you 30 days to perfect your petition for rehearing pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 18, section 5461, subdivision (e):

    1. The briefing and resolution of a Petition for Rehearing cannot begin until the Petition for Rehearing is perfected. A Petition for Rehearing is "perfected" if it contains substantially all of the information required by subdivision (c). A Petition for Rehearing is not perfected until it contains sufficient information to identify and contact each Filing Party or authorized representative, along with the signature of each Filing Party or authorized representative.
    2. If a timely Petition for Rehearing is not perfected, the Chief of Board Proceedings will notify the Filing Party in writing of the need to perfect the Petition for Rehearing. That notice will explain what information is necessary to perfect the Petition for Rehearing.
      1. The Filing Party must perfect the Petition for Rehearing not later than 30 days from the date of the notice. The Chief of Board Proceedings may extend the deadline for perfecting a Petition for Rehearing upon a showing of extreme hardship or upon written agreement by the parties. All parties will be notified in writing of any extension.
      2. Perfecting the Petition for Rehearing is accomplished by submitting the information necessary to perfect the Petition for Rehearing to the Chief of Board Proceedings.
      3. If the Filing Party fails to perfect the Petition for Rehearing within the 30-day period, or within any extension period granted by the Chief of Board Proceedings, the Petition for Rehearing will be rejected. All parties will be notified in writing of the rejection.
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