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Tax News Ask the Advocate

Steve Sims, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate.

Staff Introductions

The Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate is a legislatively mandated position under R&TC Section 21004. The Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate’s Office identifies systemic problems and find solutions in a cooperative effort while protecting taxpayers’ rights and recognizing the goals of our audit, collection, and filing programs. We report our findings to the legislature in the Annual Report to the Legislature by December 1 of each year.

We also coordinate the resolution of taxpayer complaints and problems when you are unable to resolve them under the normal process, including complaints regarding unsatisfactory treatment of taxpayers by employees. We promote integrity and responsibility, so our customers can rely on quality information and efficient service. Also, we coordinate and provide education and outreach to the tax practitioner and small business communities for the department.

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce my staff:

Alvaro Hernandez – Small Business Liaison. He makes presentations and provides educational information to businesses. Also, he develops publications and other products to assist business owners with their filing requirements.

Kelly Bluth – Technical Assistant. She provides technical support on all issues relating to the Advocate’s office. She works on special projects, department teams, performs R&TC research, and provides support on systemic issues and tax practitioner issues. She also presents as part of the education and outreach effort. She is an expert in the enterprise zones and business entities subject matters.

Susan Maples – Tax Practitioner Liaison. She handles all trade media inquiries and correspondence. She assists me in handling practitioner issues, systemic issues, and she presents as part of the education and outreach effort. Susan is a CPA.

Elinor Bickell – Tax News Editor. Tax News is our monthly online publication designed to inform tax professionals and small business owners about state income tax laws, our regulations, policies, and procedures. We also publish events that are of interest to the professional community.

Terri Isedeh – Trend & Issue Specialist. She tracks and coordinates the resolution of systemic issues reported to us. She supports our education and outreach efforts, and she plans my liaison meetings with California Society of Enrolled Agents and CalCPA, and the annual Advisory Board meeting.

Shelly Nanda – Operations Support. She supports all the functions of the Advocate’s office. She maintains the speakers’ database, and assists with developing publications, research, and analysis.

In addition, the Executive Liaison Section staff serves as my designee and coordinates the resolution of taxpayer complaints and problems. If you are unable to solve your clients’ problems through normal channels, you may write to me at:

Executive Liaison Section MS A381
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 157
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-0157

Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate

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