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Audit program completes townhall meetings

During the months of January through March, our Audit Division staff held townhall meetings in Houston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oakland to discuss ideas regarding best audit practices.

These meetings provided us with valuable input on best audit practices that taxpayers would like incorporated into our audit process.

You can find a summary of the ideas presented at these meetings on our website under Proposed Regulation 19032, at the following address: www.ftb.ca.gov/law/documents.shtml
#PRegulations

We are currently evaluating all of these ideas and determining those that can be implemented.

Those audit practices eventually adopted will help ensure that we use a more effective and efficient audit process. We will provide updates on our progress, with the first update scheduled for the latter part of 2001.

Time for 4th annual e-file software workshops

The e-file software workshops we conduct with the Internal Revenue Service generate more and more interest each year among tax professionals who are serious about joining the e-file program and want to find out more about e-file software.

If you haven't participated in prior years, now is the time to get on board for 2001. We plan to offer eight one-day sessions in seven California locations during June.

The typical schedule for the day is 9 am - 4 pm. The first half of the day is filled with information about the IRS and FTB e-file programs, news, changes, requirements, etc.

The second half of the day is all yours and features a panel of software industry experts. This is where you get a chance to ask representatives from various software companies about their products. Here's the proposed schedule. 

Check back at our website at www.ftb.ca.gov for information about where the events will be held.

. June 13 Burbank
. June 14 Burbank
. June 15 Escondido
. June 16 San Bernardino
. June 19 Oakland
. June 20 Sacramento
. June 21 San Jose
. June 22 Oxnard

FTB's Direct Filing Portal: Example of E-Government at work

This year more than 16,000 individual taxpayers filed their state returns online using our Direct Filing Portal.

They transmitted their return directly to us via the Internet. We in turn provided them with confirmation numbers and acknowledgments. Throughout the process, they monitored the progress of their return online.

And they were able to do it all without using a third party transmitter.

When we asked tax practitioners in a recent survey if they would be interested in using the filing portal, approximately 87 percent of the respondents said yes.

As a result, we are looking at making the filing portal available to tax practitioners.

If we do, you too will be able to transmit California personal income tax returns directly to us, either one-at-a-time or in batches, and without using a third-party transmitter.

If you use the portal to file your clients' returns, you could save money on the per-return transmission costs you may incur with modem e-filing. And since you are dealing directly with us, there are no delays between the time you transmit the electronic return and when we receive it. 

There's no need to wait for a third party transmitter to send the acknowledgement files back to you and the transmission is via an encrypted connection so it's secure.

We are encouraging e-file software developers to include a direct filing portal option in their software products so that you won't have to consider changing software in order to use the filing portal.

Check with your software vendor now to find out if they have plans to include the direct filing portal option in their program in the future.

For more information about our portal, go to www.ftb.ca.gov/online/ifp/index.asp or call the e-file Help Desk
at (916) 845-0353.

May/June 2001

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