Bankruptcy – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit files, monitors, and receives payments for bankruptcy tax claims filed in bankruptcy cases. The unit files California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (formerly the State Board of Equalization) (CDTFA) claims and monitors the bankruptcy case's progress in order to protect the state's interest. In addition, the unit assists in the referral of cases for litigation.

The information contained in this page is not intended to advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities. If you need more guidance on the bankruptcy or tax laws applicable to you, you should seek professional advice.

General Questions

Open All Close All

You may:

Information regarding the service of legal process on the CDTFA can be found here: Notice of Service on the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

The Information Practices Act (Civil Code section 1798 et seq.) generally allows individuals access to their personal information maintained in CDTFA files, including tax records. The Information Practices Act (IPA) also restricts the disclosure of personal information to third parties.

We will need a power of attorney declaration from the debtor authorizing any disclosure before we can release a debtor's tax information to you. Payment plan requests must be filed by the debtor or the debtor's representative holding a valid Power of Attorney.

You may request information regarding your tax obligations, such as the balance due and the tax returns that have or have not been filed, before filing a bankruptcy petition. A Power of Attorney is required for parties requesting this information other than the debtor. You may contact our Tax Information Section at 800-400-7115 or your local CDTFA office to request account information.

It is possible to have interest or penalty charges (or both) waived under limited circumstances. Contact the Customer Service Center at 800-400-7115 for information on how to file a claim for relief. For additional information, please review publication 75.

We must notify you any time we bill a new liability. We must tell you the last date by which you can protest or appeal certain notices. Your protest or appeal must be filed by that date to be considered timely. Generally, we must advise you about any outstanding tax liability annually.

Statements, Notices of Determination, and requests for tax returns to be filed do not generally violate the automatic stay in bankruptcy. Any questions concerning notices that you received while in bankruptcy can be directed to the Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit.

You may be eligible for a payment plan, which allows you to pay your debt in full with smaller, more manageable amounts. Payment plans generally require equal monthly payments and full financial disclosure. Contact the CDTFA representative assigned to your case or the Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit at 916-445-1122. For more information, see publication 54, pages 2 and 3.

There is also an Offer in Compromise (OIC) program if you are not able to pay. An OIC is a proposal to pay the CDTFA an amount that is less than the full tax or fee liability due. For more specific information on the OIC process, you may contact the OIC Section at 916-322-7931.

Tax debtors are responsible for filing their tax returns when they become due. For bankruptcy cases filed after October 16, 2005, the Bankruptcy Code provides that, if the tax debtor does not file a tax return that becomes due after the bankruptcy filing, a taxing authority may request that the court either dismiss the case or convert the case to a different chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.

You may want to seek legal counsel to determine whether you can be held personally liable.

Many tax debts are not discharged in bankruptcy. You may want to seek legal counsel to determine whether you can be held personally liable.

A request for a review of your account in consideration of your discharge must be made in writing to:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Special Operations Branch – Bankruptcy Unit, MIC: 55
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento California 94279-0055

Taxpayers may authorize the transmission of confidential information via email by submitting written authorization to the CDTFA using form CDTFA-82, Authorization for Electronic Transmission of Data.

Yes. To authorize the transmission of confidential information to you and/or your representative via email, please sign a CDTFA-82, Authorization for Electronic Transmission of Data. This authorization will remain in effect until rescinded in writing. You can email this form and your request to Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit.

If you have changed your mailing address or need to update your Sales and Use Tax account, please complete form BOE-345, Notice of Business Change, and mail it to:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
ATTN: LRAU/Registration Team, MIC: 27
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA. 94279-0027.

If you have changed your mailing address, discontinued or closed your business, or need to update your Special Taxes Program account, please complete form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, and mail it to:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Special Taxes and Fees Division
Attn.: Registration Section, MIC 88
PO BOX 942879
SACRAMENTO, CA 94279-0088

Yes. You must notify the CDTFA in writing of your intention to close your business. You may satisfy this requirement by providing the information requested on form CDTFA-65, Notice of Close-Out, and by returning the completed form, your permit, and other required documentation to the CDTFA office that handles your Sales and Use Tax account. The CDTFA will close out your account and cancel your seller's permit. Complete and mail form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, if you are closing your Special Taxes Program account.

CDTFA publications that may interest you