California Tax Service Center

Frequently Asked Questions About Your Income Tax Audit

  1. I've never been audited by the Franchise Tax Board. What happens?
  2. May I talk to my tax preparer about my audit?
  3. Who can I talk to if I have questions about my audit?
  4. What if I don't have the information requested by the auditor?
  5. What if I don't provide the information requested?
  6. What if I can't get the information within the date specified?
  7. May I use the Internet to correspond with the auditor?
  8. How will I be notified of the audit results?
  9. If I owe additional tax, will I also owe interest?
  10. If I owe additional tax, can I make payments?
  11. What if I don't agree with the results of the audit?
  12. Where can I get more information?
  13. Where can I get help if I'm visually or hearing impaired?
  14. How can I get tax forms?
  1. I've never been audited by the Franchise Tax Board. What happens?

    We will ask you to provide reasonable, necessary information to verify selected items on your tax return, or claim for refund. We may also ask you to explain why certain items were not reported on your tax return. If you have any questions about the information you are asked to provide, you may talk to the auditor at any time.

  2. May I talk to my tax preparer about my audit?

    Yes. You have the right to have someone represent you, accompany you, or you may represent yourself during the audit. You may designate a representative by completing FTB 3520 (Power of Attorney). Your rights are fully explained in FTB 4058 (California Taxpayers' Bill of Rights).

  3. Who can I talk to if I have questions about my audit?

    The auditor can answer your questions about the audit. However, if the auditor is unable to assist you, you may contact the audit supervisor or program manager.

  4. What if I don't have the information requested by the auditor?

    You are required to keep tax records. However, if the information requested is not available, the auditor will work with you to obtain alternative information.

  5. What if I don't provide the information requested?

    If you do not furnish the information requested in writing, we may add a penalty of 25 percent of the additional tax assessed.

  6. What if I can't get the information within the date specified?

    If you can't get the requested information by the date specified, the auditor may grant a reasonable extension of time.

  7. May I use the Internet to correspond with the auditor?

    Audit staff may not receive or send confidential information via Internet electronic mail. This includes, but is not limited to, account numbers containing social security numbers, calculations of income or tax, or information that may be considered personal or private.

  8. How will I be notified of the audit results?

    When the audit is completed, we will issue one or more of the following;

    • A letter stating that the return or the claim for refund has been accepted as filed.
    • A letter stating that the claim for refund has been denied or partially denied.
    • A Notice of Proposed Assessment (additional tax owed).
    • A Notice of Over Assessment (refund due to you).

  9. If I owe additional tax, will I also owe interest?

    Yes, interest is charged on the additional tax due. It is computed from the date payment of tax is due (usually the original due date of the tax return) to the date the additional tax is paid.

  10. If I owe additional tax, can I make payments?

    If you have a financial hardship and cannot pay your tax in full, you may be eligible to make monthly installment payments. Complete and submit an online request to make monthly tax payments.

  11. What if I don't agree with the results of the audit?

    You have the right to protest our action. You must file a written protest within 60 days from the date the Notice of Proposed Assessment was mailed. Protest procedures are found in FTB 4058 (California Taxpayer's Bill of Rights).

    If your claim for refund is denied, you have the right to appeal our action. You must file a written appeal within 90 days from the date the denial was mailed. Appeal procedures are found on FTB 1084 (Personal Income Tax Procedure for Filing an Appeal from the Denial of a Claim for Refund), and FTB 1087 (Corporation Procedure for Filing an Appeal from the Denial of a Claim for Refund). Ask your auditor how to get these forms.

  12. Where can I get more information?

    For general tax assistance, phone (800) 852-5711.

  13. Where can I get help if I'm visually or hearing impaired?

    For future correspondence in large print, contact the auditor.

  14. How can I get tax forms?
    • Download them from our Forms and Publications page.
    • Call (800) 338-0505.
    • Write to:

      Tax Forms Request Unit
      Franchise Tax Board
      P.O. Box 307
      Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-0307

Assistance for persons with disabilities: We comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Persons with hearing or speech impairments please call TTY/TDD (800) 822-6268.