ASK THE EDD ATTORNEY – HOW THE EDD TAXPAYER ADVOCATE CAN HELP YOU
By Robert S. Schriebman
It is so-called conventional wisdom among my fellow tax practitioners that reaching out to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate for client assistance is not effective and often a waste of time. I have never followed this “party-line.” I recall that many years ago I gave an all day seminar on dealing with IRS tax collection issues. My audience consisted mostly of CPAs and a few attorneys. We spent the first portion of the seminar discussing their client problems and frustration with the IRS and how to best resolve them. Because the issues and problems that they presented were mostly from “left-field” my repeated solution was to contact and work with the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service as Congress had just given the Taxpayer Advocate broad powers and autonomy from the IRS. As a group, my audience was not pleased with my constant reference to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate to solve their problems.
I continue to believe in the IRS Taxpayer Advocate and use them whenever the situation warrants. Having said this, I believe even more so in the EDD’s Taxpayer Advocate Service. Compared to the IRS, the EDD Taxpayer Advocate is a small organization currently headed by Bradley Hodges and his Chief Deputy Tim Chu. I can tell you from personal experience that they both have a keen interest in helping California taxpayers solve their problems.
In this article I will tell you about my recent experience with the EDD Taxpayer Advocate, as well as give you some examples of how they can help you solve your EDD problems without charge. These folks are really out to help you if you have a matter that warrants their assistance. Please understand that they have limited jurisdiction and limited power, together with a limited staff.
The EDD Taxpayer Advocate Solves a Taxpayer Problem at No Charge – Mrs. Smith’s Matter
Mrs. Smith (not her real name) called recently. She wanted to make an appointment to discuss her EDD problem that kept her awake the night before. She was very distressed. She had received a bill and a Collection Notice from the EDD demanding the immediate payment of $60,000 owed by her small one-owner corporation. She explained to me that she felt she did not owe the EDD any money at all. She had never been audited and always filed timely quarterly IRS and EDD payroll tax returns and timely paid every penny. Mrs. Smith was willing to come into the office for a conference and pay our standard initial conference charge.
I listened to Mrs. Smith and suggested that she first contact the EDD Taxpayer Advocate to see if they could help her for free instead of paying our conference charge. Mary, my secretary, gave her the toll free number of the EDD Taxpayer Advocate (1.866.594.4177).
The EDD Taxpayer Advocate Helped Mrs. Smith
About two hours after speaking with Mary, Mrs. Smith sent me an email to tell me that she had contacted the EDD Taxpayer Advocate. The Deputy Advocate informed her that the EDD had made a mistake and confused her company with the delinquent account of another taxpayer. The Collection Notice to Mrs. Smith’s company was immediately removed together with an official apology. All this did not cost Mrs. Smith one cent!
Some Examples of How The EDD Taxpayer Advocate Can Help
Here are a few examples of how the EDD Taxpayer Advocate can help California taxpayers.
- Obtaining account transcripts.
- Obtaining copies of old audit files.
- Obtaining copies of Notices of Assessment.
- Working with the appropriate EDD Audit Office for an Audit Reconsideration or re-examination of an estimated assessment.
- Removing prematurely filed Notices of State Tax Liens.
- Removing improperly filed levies and refunding levied funds.
- Facilitating in an installment payment arrangement.
- Stopping collection for a case of mistaken identification (Mrs. Smith’s case).
The bottom line when it comes to contacting the EDD Taxpayer Advocate is that if you don’t ask, you don’t know and if you don’t ask; you don’t get. Taking a line from a well-known sportswear company: “Just Do It.”
Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 40 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 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.
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.
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 in addition to 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.
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