Office of Tax Appeals

The Office of Tax Appeals is an independent body created by the Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017. Its mission is to provide a fair, objective and timely process for appeals from California taxpayers.

 

Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017

The Office of Tax Appeals (OTA), created by the Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017, is an independent and objective body to hear appeals for various tax and fees administered by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and the Franchise Tax Board from California taxpayers.

The OTA is staffed with Administrative Law Judges who form three-member panels to hear appeals related to California’s personal income, corporate income, sales and use, excise and other special taxes.

Appeals will be heard in Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles.

The OTA will begin hearing cases after January 1, 2018.

Starting the Appeal Process

Taxpayers may file an appeal once the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), issues a Notice of Action or Notice of Determination with an “appeal-by” date. You must file a written appeal with the OTA by that time by mailing or faxing in the following:

  • A copy of the notice from either the FTB or the CDTFA
  • A written request for a hearing with specific grounds or reasons supporting your position that you do not owe the tax or fee.
  • Any documents such as bank statements or receipts that support your case.

If You Need Help

If you are a taxpayer facing hardship, you have a number of options that do not involve filing an appeal.

Both the Franchise Tax Board and California Department of Tax and Fee Administration accept installment plans for taxpayers who need to pay over time.

Both departments also have Offer-In-Compromise programs, which allow taxpayers in certain circumstances to pay a reduced amount to the State.

Taxpayers may represent themselves or be represented by an attorney, CPA, or any person over the age of 18 of their choice.