Tax News
Ask the Advocate

Steve Sims, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate.

It Isn’t Me!

“Hello. This is the State of California Franchise Tax Board calling about an urgent matter regarding your account . . .”

This is not a message anyone wants to hear, especially when the automated call is placed to a wrong telephone number.  

If the automated call is placed to the wrong number, your client can call our Outbound Contact Response Line at 1.888.895.8125. By pressing 3 when asked, “If you believe you have been contacted by FTB in error. . .” your client will be connected with an FTB collector when the call is made during normal business hours. The FTB collector will make changes so no more automated calls will be made to your client about this matter.

However, if your client actually does have an urgent matter, such as an outstanding balance due, they should call the same toll-free number, 1.888.895.8125, and utilize self-help services to resolve their accounts.

While some of these automated calls will provide a prerecorded message, others will connect your clients directly to an FTB collector. The collector will work with them to resolve their case through several payment options.

If the automated call isn’t answered, when possible, a message is left about various self-service options available to help them resolve this matter either online at or by calling 1.888.895.8125.

As Taxpayer Advocate, I encourage you to recommend to all of your clients who received an automated call from us to call us using our toll-free Outbound Contact Response Line 1.888.895.8125. Your clients may not know they have an urgent matter, and a call to us may help them avoid further collection action.

Although the automated dialing system is new, delinquent taxpayers have been receiving similar direct calls from FTB collectors for years. So, the well established taxpayer identification questioning process is always used when any direct call is made.

Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate

Follow me on Twitter at

Back to September 2012 Tax News