Taxpayer Bill of Rights

The Taxpayers' Rights Advocate (TRA) Office helps taxpayers when they are unable to resolve a matter through normal channels, when they want information regarding procedures relating to a particular set of circumstances, or when there are apparent rights violations in the audit, compliance, or property tax areas. Some taxpayers call to communicate their frustration with aspects of the business or property taxation system or seeking confirmation that they have been treated lawfully and fairly by a county or state office.

In cases where the law, policy, or procedure does not allow any change to the staff action, but a change appears justified the TRA Office is alerted to a potential area that may need clarification or modification. Several past recommendations for policy, procedural, and legislative changes have resulted from these types of contacts with taxpayers.

The TRA office facilitates communication between taxpayers, the Board, and county staff to eliminate potential misunderstandings. Taxpayers are provided information on policies and procedures so they can be better prepared to discuss their issues with the appropriate staff and increase the opportunity to effect a resolution which will satisfy them.

For information on the property tax program we suggest that you begin your contact with the appropriate county offices:

  • Assessor for assessment, exemption, and valuation questions;
  • Clerk of the board of supervisors for assessment appeals questions;
  • Tax Collector for questions about taxes and liens; and
  • Auditor-Controller about refunds and tax rates.

Please see Publication 70, Understanding Your Rights as a California Taxpayer, for more information on your rights and the assistance available from the Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office.

Publication 145, California Taxpayer Advocates, provides contact information for advocate offices in the Board of Equalization, Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, and Internal Revenue Service.