A Look at the Procedures Governing California Office of Tax Appeals Proceedings
By Shail Shah, Mike Shaik, & Rebecca Durham
When the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 102 (A.B. 102), it signaled the beginning of a substantial change to how California administered its taxes and how taxpayers appealed adverse decisions from administrative tax agencies. A.B. 102 created two new tax agencies: the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA). It transferred to these agencies many of the responsibilities previously held by the State Board of Equalization (BOE). One of these responsibilities included the authority to hear tax appeals from the FTB and CDTFA, which now rests solely with the OTA. In order to carry out its duties, the OTA issued Emergency Regulations on December 26, 2017. The Emergency Regulations draw language largely from the former BOE’s Rules for Tax Appeals and incorporate portions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). This article looks at how the OTA applies the APA’s informal and formal hearing procedures to its proceedings.
I. THE REGIME SHIFT
A. Assembly Bill 102