Chat with an FTB Representative

Tax News
Ask the Advocate

Picture of Steve Sims

Where’s Our Advocate?

First, I thank the California Society of Enrolled Agents for the invitation to present at its California State Tax Agencies Representation (C-STAR) workshop held in San Diego last month. Also, I thank the many other organizations for their invitations to present to their members as well. I plan to share these experiences and lessons learned in my “Ask the Advocate” column.

While at C-STAR, I hosted the “Tax Talk After Hours,” which was an open discussion on a number of issues including the following topics:

  • Impact the budget shortage has on FTB services to taxpayers and practitioners.
  • What level of authentication should exist for practitioners to access client information on our system (MyFTB account)?
  • How can we get you to encourage taxpayers to use Web Pay when filing their returns?
  • How the consolidation of the various tax agencies (EDD, BOE and FTB) could affect taxpayers?
  • An inter-agency newsletter from EDD, BOE, and FTB with articles of interest made available to taxpayers. (I really like this one!)

We also held roundtable discussions. From discussions such as these, I have taken excellent ideas and information back to FTB management and staff in the hopes of better serving taxpayers. Another opportunity I had was to co-present with Gina Rodriquez, EA, of Spidell Publishing, a class covering Audit Case Studies, Significant Developments, and Top Audit Issues. We took a “point-counterpoint” approach, which stirred much debate and was extremely beneficial to all attendees. There is a lot to be learned by both the presenters and participants that attend continuing education programs such as C-STAR.

Next stop, I am scheduled to present at the IRS Forum on July 14 – 16, 2009, in San Diego. For more information about this forum, go to I look forward to seeing you there.

Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers' Rights Advocate

Back to July 2009 Tax News