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What is an FTB Claim for Refund?

Many taxpayers wonder if they should file an FTB claim for refund. A claim for refund is a request for reimbursement of amounts that you have previously paid. Generally, if you have paid your balance in full you will file a formal claim. If you have not paid your balance in full, you will file an informal claim.

The FTB accepts claims for refunds through:

To be valid, your claim must be:

  • In writing
  • Signed by you or your authorized representative
  • Include the specific reason for your claim
  • Filed within the statute of limitations (SOL)

FTB Claim for Refund: Statute of limitations

A statute of limitations (SOL) is a time limit imposed by law on the right of taxpayers to file a claim for refund.

Generally, you must file your claim for refund by the later of:

  • 1 year from the date of overpayment
  • 4 years after the original return due date.
    • If you filed before the due date, you have 4 years from the original return due date to file a claim.
    • If you filed after the extension, the return is late. You have 4 years from the original return due date to file a claim.
    • If you made payments and never filed a tax return, you have 4 years from the original return due date to file a claim.
  • 4 years after the date of a timely filed return, if filed within the extension period.

Types of claims for refund

Formal claim

If you’ve paid your balance in full, you can file a formal claim for refund to:

  • Reduce the amount of tax you paid.
  • Disagree with an assessment of:
    • Tax
    • Penalties
    • Interest

Informal claim

You may file an informal claim for refund even though you have not paid the full amount of:

  • Tax
  • Penalties
  • Interest

An informal claim will:

  • Delay the expiration of the statute of limitations until full payment is made
  • Protect your right to an FTB appeal
  • Protect your right to file suit in court

If you have overpaid your tax liability, and disagree with the tax assessment, you may want to consider filing an FTB claim for refund. Contact a tax attorney discuss your options with respect to FTB tax matters. Also, if you have received a letter from the FTB, we can help you figure out what it means.