Why Would the Franchise Tax Board Send Me a Letter?

Receiving a letter from the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) can cause anxiety and confusion for many individuals. However, it is essential to understand that the FTB sends letters for various reasons, not all of which are negative. Here are some common reasons why you might receive a letter from the FTB and what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.

1. Tax Return Discrepancies: The FTB might send you a letter if they identify discrepancies or errors in your tax return. It could be related to missing information, miscalculations, or potential unreported income. Carefully review the letter, compare it with your tax return, and respond promptly with the necessary corrections or explanations.

2. Verification of Information: Sometimes, the FTB may request additional documentation or information to verify the details provided in your tax return. This could include supporting documents for deductions, credits, or expenses. Ensure you gather the required information and promptly respond to their request.

3. Audit Notice: If your tax return raises red flags or there is suspicion of noncompliance, the FTB may select it for an audit. This could be a random selection or due to certain triggers, such as significant deductions or unreported income. If you receive an audit notice, consult with a tax professional to prepare for the audit and represent you if necessary.

4. Unpaid Taxes: If you have outstanding tax liabilities or unpaid balances, the FTB will send you a letter to inform you of the amount owed and any penalties or interest that may have accrued. It is crucial to address this promptly, as failure to do so can result in further penalties, wage garnishment, or even bank levies.

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5. Request for Missing Tax Returns: If you fail to file your tax returns, the FTB will send you a letter requesting the missing filings. Ignoring these letters can lead to severe consequences, including penalties, interest, and legal actions. It is essential to file any missing tax returns promptly.

6. Overpayment or Refund Issues: The FTB may send you a letter if there are issues or discrepancies with your refund request or if they have identified an overpayment. Review the letter carefully, respond promptly with any required information or corrections, and follow up if you do not receive your refund within the specified timeframe.

7. Identity Theft: If the FTB suspects that your identity has been compromised or used for fraudulent purposes, they may send you a letter to investigate the matter further. Follow the instructions provided in the letter to protect yourself and resolve any potential identity theft issues.

8. Compliance Notices: The FTB regularly sends compliance notices to remind taxpayers of their filing obligations, upcoming deadlines, or other important tax-related information. These letters are typically informational and not cause for concern. Be sure to read them carefully and take any necessary actions as indicated.


1. What should I do if I receive a letter from the Franchise Tax Board?
– Read the letter carefully, understand the reason for the correspondence, and take the necessary actions as instructed.

2. Can I ignore a letter from the FTB?
– Ignoring the FTB’s letters can lead to severe consequences. It is advisable to address them promptly and appropriately.

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3. How can I respond to a letter from the FTB?
– Follow the instructions provided in the letter, gather any required documentation, and respond in writing or online through the FTB’s official channels.

4. What if I disagree with the FTB’s findings?
– If you disagree with the FTB’s findings, you have the right to appeal. Follow the instructions provided in the letter to initiate the appeals process.

5. Can I negotiate a payment plan for unpaid taxes?
– Yes, the FTB offers various payment options, including installment agreements. Contact them to discuss your situation and find a suitable payment plan.

6. How long do I have to respond to a letter from the FTB?
– The timeframe to respond varies depending on the nature of the letter. Read the letter carefully for the specified deadline and ensure you respond within that timeframe.

7. Can I seek professional help to deal with the FTB?
– Yes, consulting with a tax professional, such as a certified public accountant or tax attorney, can be beneficial, especially during an audit or when dealing with complex tax issues.

8. What if I never received a letter from the FTB but suspect I have tax-related issues?
– It is essential to proactively address any tax-related concerns. Contact the FTB directly or consult with a tax professional to resolve potential issues before they escalate.

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