The California Franchise Tax Board is a state entity that for the most part executes any tax collections on behalf of the state of California. Occasionally the group can be involved with court-ordered non-tax debt collections and vehicle registration collections.
Most people will designate and attorney or accountant to handle any matter with the FTB as it can get complicated when the taxation information being audited spans several years or involves a business. Frankly, it’s just a good idea to have someone handle this matter in your stead and that is where a specifc FTB Power of Attorney comes into play.
The FTB form
The tax authority has put in place the FTB 3520 form used to show who the representatives are and what power they have on your behalf. In order to get the best services, the tax payer is required to use the latest available form so that the POA can be processed by the authorities. The latest version of the 3520 form FTB 3520 C1 (REV 12-2010) can be found here: Power of Attorney California Franchise Tax Board Form 3520.
In addition to the official 3520 document there are a few other Power of Attorney Forms that the Franchise Tax Board accepts as legitamate. They are:
- General Power of Attorney California or Durable Power of Attorney California declarations.
- A joint Board of Equalization/Franchise Tax Board/Employment Development Department Power of Attorney (This document can also be filled out or downloaded here and is known as the BOE POA Form 392). You must check the “FTB box” to authorize representation
- IRS Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (Form 2848) or IRS Tax Information Authorization (Form 8821), if you modify to state that they apply to Franchise Tax Board matters.
- Handwritten authority documents
Power delegated to the Form
The tax payer or the account holder has their own powers, but the power of attorney stipulates that the agent-in-fact has powers on several matters. This includes receiving and inspecting the persons account details, representing the account holders on several matters concerning the Frachise Tax Board, signing of waivers which will extent the period used in the assessment and determining the tax issues. It is also used in the execution of settlements or agreements closing.
In addition you can increase or decrease their powers within the POA agreement. For instance you may want to have them receive your refund check (but not being able to chash it) or creating aother POA delegate or substitute.
Any representative attorney has the power to sign the individual order in either two circumstances. These are when one is ailing or injured or when one is not in the US soil 2 months before the agreed date.
The power of attorney form California Franchise tax board can be used until that time when one of the following happens. This are the death of the person paying tax, the revocation of the power of attorney form by the holder or the representative, incompetency of the account holder if it has not been authorized or finally, the representative having the power to resolve the named matters that have been listed on the form.
There are several caveats on the actual state-supplied FTB POA form some of which are:
- If there is another POA that assigns someone to represent you and your finances (an Estate Power of Attorney Form California, or even a General Durable Power of Attorney Form California) for the same tax periods then it will automatically be revoked and the new one you create put in it’s place.
- Both spouses must authorize an FTB POA.
- You cannot designate a company or an organization as your attorney-in-fact (like HR Block or something).
- You cannot specify all tax years (well you can if list them specifically like “2000-2012″ but for the most part you list the years in question like “2003-2004″ and the representatie can only deal with (and have access to your records) for those years.
When signing the POA form, it is a must that everyone takes care and avoid the common mistakes. Any form with these mistakes will not be processed but the tax board will write informing one of this. Some of these errors to avoid include tax years not completed, the information on the FTB and the power of attorney not matching, use of a non FTB POA form and listing a company as the representative instead of an individual attorney.
An individual can revoke the POA if they wish in California. A representative has also powers to revoke the POA. The procedure is to fill out the same form and write REVOKE in all caps across the top of the form and send it to the FTB in California.
Ok so that is some cursory information on what a POA FTB in California is. For detailed and official information as well as any up-to-the-minute changes to forms or by-laws, you can visit the California Franchise Tax Board’s web site or contact them via post or phone at:
Power of Attorney
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 2828
Rancho Cordova CA 95741-2828