FTB Upgrades Online Access
As of January 4, 2016, the FTB started rolling out the new and improved MyFTB. This is the online access to taxpayer accounts which will now provide more detailed information to those of us who represent taxpayers. Individuals may still sign up for access to their own individual or business account.
A major change that has been implemented is the submission and processing of power of attorney forms. The FTB will no longer accept faxed powers of attorney. Instead, taxpayers who hire professionals to represent them before the FTB should use the online option to submit a power of attorney. A representative can input the information online for the taxpayer, however it will not be processed until the taxpayer logs in to their “MyFTB” account and approves or rejects the power of attorney, or the intended representative submits a signed Form 3520 with their online application. The online process will be a faster process overall and it will provide immediate feedback on potential errors. Alternatively, a power of attorney form can be mailed to the FTB. The problem with snail mail is the processing time is estimated to be approximately 90 days. Clearly the state is leaning green.
The new MyFTB will now provide a mechanism for tax professionals, who have valid powers of attorney on file, to get notification when the FTB sends a notice to a taxpayer. The MyFTB account will provide access to view the 200 most recent notices sent to your clients in the past 60 days. The power of attorney form was previously revised to include a place to input the representative’s email address. The email address is the key piece of information for this feature to work. The FTB will continue to mail notices directly to taxpayers, however they will now email the representative when a notice is mailed. The representative would then log in to MyFTB and check that client’s account to obtain a copy of the specific notice. This is a huge improvement over past practices where the representatives were not always mailed a power of attorney copy of a notice sent to the taxpayer. It must be noted that if you submitted a power of attorney before October 1, 2014 and you want online access to your clients’ information, you will need to resubmit an online power of attorney after January 4, 2016.
We applaud the FTB in its quest to improve online access to taxpayer information and make our jobs easier!
Joyce E. Cheng, EA, CP