FTB vs. BOE

Navigating your way around the IRS can be a formidable task, one that many prefer to leave in the hands of their tax attorney or other tax practitioners. However, practitioners agree that the California equivalent — the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) — is even worse. In general, the California rules tend to be tougher than the federal rules and the FTB personnel tends to be more difficult and steadfast in enforcing their rules.

One specific complexity in California has to do with the procedure for appealing a tax case. Some states have a state tax court serving as the proper venue after a case has been appealed to the limits at the administrative level, which mirrors the federal process and Federal Tax Court. But, of course, California does things differently. Once you have exhausted your options administratively, there is nowhere to go except the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). The BOE consists of five elected members that function like a court but is not a court. This article from Robert W. Wood further describes the “quirkiness” of the California BOE.