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ASK THE EDD LAWYER- ARE YOU MISSING ANY FTB OR IRS PERSONAL INCOME TAX REFUNDS?

By Robert S. Schriebman

Are you missing any FTB or IRS personal income tax refunds? The California FTB recently issued a press release that may affect almost 50,000 Californians and perhaps hundreds of thousands living outside of California who have not received their IRS refunds. California is currently holding more than $16 million in returned refund checks. These refund checks range from $1 to $54,000. Out of almost 50,000 returned checks nearly 45,000 are for amounts of $1,000 or less. Why are these checks being returned? Most are caused by taxpayers who have moved and failed to file a change of address form with the U.S. Post Office.

If you have had a change of address, and you did not file the change with the Post Office, you may update your address with the FTB through The Access Your Account feature on the FTB's web site. Once the FTB receives an updated address change they will automatically reissue your refund check and send it to your new address. There is also another feature available on the FTB web site under the heading Check Your Refund Status.

Another way to assure the receipt of your FTB refund is to use direct deposit when filing your FTB return.

The IRS had hundreds of thousands if not millions of unclaimed refund checks. The IRS web site has similar change of address notifications. If you happen to live close to a local IRS office it might be worth your time to drop by and inform them of your change of address. Do it now. The closer one gets to April 15 means that local IRS offices will be very busy with people needing help in preparing and filing their returns. The wait could be much longer than in the early months of the year.

Address Changes When Dealing with the EDD

With regard to change of address issues involving the EDD, we have seen in our practice nightmares that have been created because of the failure to notify the Post Office of the client's change of address. If you are in the middle of an EDD audit you know that it can drag on for a very long time, and there will be long periods where you do not hear from the EDD and nothing seems to be happening. You may think, erroneously, that the EDD has forgotten about you, but they have not. If you move your business or close it in these tough economic times make sure you file a change of address with the EDD as well as the Post Office. Go to the EDD web site and download Form 42 which is a general form used by the EDD when there are fundamental business changes such as the location of the business or a change of officers or directors of the company. At the very top of Form 42, there are spaces to complete for a change of address. After completing the form send it to the EDD so you have proof that they received your change of address. Send it by Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested or use a carrier such as FedEx. In this way you can protect your rights in case the EDD sends any important notices to the old address instead of the new one. This ounce of prevention may save you a ton of misery in the future.

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An EDD lawyer, Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States.

As a trusted EDD attorney, Robert S. Schriebman has successfully dedicated more than 30 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures - A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House and the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure", both published by Commerce Clearing House.