California has many agencies that collect taxes: the Franchise Tax Board "FTB", the Employment
Development Department "EDD", the State Board of Equalization "SBE", and more.
All of these agencies have broad powers given to them by law to collect taxes. They zealously seek out
those they feel owe taxes and are relentless in their efforts to collect them. These agencies are resolved
to be taken seriously and their actions indicate so.
Whether you feel that you owe taxes or not, if you receive any correspondence or other communication
from them, you should promptly address the matter and enlist the assistance of a professional,
especially if the amount at issue is large or if there are threats of criminal proceedings.
Many people never suspect that they would be targeted by the FTB or other agencies. If you have ever
had any meaningful contact with the state of California, if you live in California, if you have moved from
California, if you were stationed there in the armed forces, if you obtained a California driver's license or
identification card, if you formed a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation in California, if you
conducted business in California, if you merely rent a boat slip and dock your boat there, or have other
"sufficient" contacts with California, it is likely the state may feel that you owe taxes.
In many cases, if you owe them, or if even if you really do not owe them but they feel that you do, they
will find you-wherever you are-and take what they feel you owe from you. Often you will not be
aware of the problem until after they have taken your money out of your bank account, garnished your
wages, or initiated a writ of execution due to a court judgment.
It is not recommended that you handle these challenges without obtaining professional help. Each
case has its unique set of challenges and the firm you choose to assist you should be one that has the
knowledge and ability to effectively apply the tax rules and tax laws to your set of circumstances as
opposed to applying a one-size-fits-all remedy.
At this firm, we approach issues with the FTB and others in a refined, professional and personable
manner. We fully familiarize ourselves with you, the client, examine the facts and circumstances, and
formulate a plan based upon your needs and based upon the law. Once we contact the FTB, we are
prepared and know what needs to be done in order to provide you with meaningful assistance.
Some Words of Caution Regarding Tax Resolution "Mills"
We recommend that you avoid Tax Resolution "Mills" that make many promises and give false hopes
in order to get you to hire them. Often you are merely speaking with a commissioned salesperson
that knows little or nothing about tax law. They will make many questionable comments, often
unintentionally, to "close the deal".
A few "red-flag claims" used to "close the deal" by such sales persons are discussed below.
We have former FTB agents on staff.
So what! It is our opinion that making this statement can lead one to believe that this adds some type
of quality to their service. The only meaningful way to improve your chances of obtaining the most
favorable settlement available is to hire a professional that gets to know you and the nature of your
problem and knows, or has the ability to locate, the tax rules and tax laws that apply to your unique set
of circumstances, and then adeptly apply these rules and laws.
We can STOP the FTB in their tracks.
This can mislead persons into thinking that actions of the FTB and other agencies can be stopped by
intimidation or certain bullying techniques; or, that the FTB is somehow "breaking the law". Don't
hold your breath. These agencies do not quake with fear just because a big law firm or tax professional
The FTB and other agencies obtain their power from what is called enabling legislation. Usually, what
they do...they do because they can-the power to do so is given to them under the law. Fortunately,
laws that provide methods and procedures by which issues can be resolved are also in existence,
and the right professional will apply them to your set of circumstances to obtain the most favorable
outcome available to you.
We work with certain people at the FTB (or other agency) all the time.
This gives the impression that due to some special relationship with representatives of the FTB (or other
agency) they can obtain certain favors or favorable treatment. This never happens. Good treatment is
obtained by applying good law.
A professional may work with the FTB all the time, but this does not increase Your chances to resolve
Your issue. Agency representatives have rules that control what they can or cannot do. Having some
type of inside connection would not provide any meaningful advantage: knowledge and adeptness in
application of the law is the only thing that is truly helpful.
We will FIGHT the FTB.
In their ordinary use, these are Not the words of a professional. Before "fighting" is even discussed, all
of the facts and possible legal remedies need to be determined. Then, all parties need to be given an
opportunity to argue their position. In almost every case, then the matter can then be resolved.
There is a time and place to fight, and a proper fight is a good thing, if warranted. Unwarranted conflicts
just make a bad situation worse. Positing a useful and informed legal argument is the best method-it
will bring about the best result.
The FTB is a bunch of lazy and rude government employees.
We have found that when we contact the FTB and other tax agencies we are treated professionally. This
is because we have spent time with our client and obtained a full understanding of their particular issue
and formulated a plan soundly based upon the rules and laws that apply. Most FTB and other agency
representatives with whom we have dealt appreciate this and are quite friendly and helpful.
Pay part of our fee now, and then we need prior authorization to charge your card monthly.
We have dealt with many new clients who have had other tax resolution companies abuse this process.
Each time we charge your card we obtain your authorization and then securely shred your credit
card information. If additional fees are paid later, we again obtain your authorization and credit card
information and again we securely shred it.
Our team of professionals knows everything that we need to know about tax law.
No one knows everything. We do not apply a knee-jerk remedy to your problems. We are trained,
indeed required, to diligently research and confirm our existing knowledge and improve on our existing
knowledge so that we competently and zealously represent you.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MAIN CALIFORNIA TAX AGENCIES
The Franchise Tax Board "FTB" is responsible for collecting California income taxes from business and
persons who have either lived in California or who have had some connection with California.
If you have a tax problem with the FTB, you have some challenging issues before you. Get some
professional help and resolve the issue.
If your tax issue is not promptly resolved, the FTB will act very quickly and use their powers to levy your
bank accounts and other property and garnish your wages-even if you live in another state.
Many non-California residents have had funds withdrawn from their bank accounts for transactions of
which they were unaware and for taxes they did not know that they owed.
The FTB can be very difficult to contact and when you do contact them you will accomplish little
or nothing if you do not know and understand the rules and the law as it applies to your set of
circumstances. You may spend hours on the phone only to find that the person that finally answers is
unable to assist you because you are not adequately prepared or equipped to deal with your particular
The Employment Development Department "EDD" is responsible for collecting payroll taxes and
they also handle employee claims against employers. Even if you only have independent contractors
providing labor or services, the EDD will often try to claim they should be reclassified and charge you
for back payroll taxes. If it is determined that your company is liable for unpaid payroll taxes or other
employment-related fines and fees, the EDD can impute this liability to you personally. The EDD can
then obtain a legal judgment against you and try to collect the tax using the power of the courts-they
can even shut down your business. EDD can also prosecute you criminally for failure to pay payroll taxes.
If you have a tax problem with the EDD, you have some challenging issues before you. Get some
professional help and resolve the issue.
If your payroll tax issue or other EDD issue is not promptly resolved, the EDD will act very quickly and
use their powers to levy your bank accounts and other property and garnish your wages-they can even
obtain a money judgment against you and use the court's power to collect and they can even criminally
prosecute you and shut down your business.
The State Board of Equalization "SBE" is charged with collecting sales tax. This agency also utilizes broad
powers of their own and of the courts to collect taxes. It can also be challenging to handle issues with
the SBE and we recommend you obtain professional help.