Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you.
Just so I am clear:
What tax year are you asking about?
When did you file the return?
Did you recieve any prior notices?
When did you receive the refund?
When you get a letter from the FTB that is a Notice. Once they start the collection process they have 20 years to collect.
There are a number of reasons they asked for the refund to be returned. One would be if the IRS made any changes to your return they would have notified CA which started the process you are now asking about
If they are asking you to pay a tax liability of $2,99.84 then they have most likely audited the return and they would have told you in the notices why.
It is difficult to determine from the information you have provided exactly why the FTB is seeking to collect the $2,099.84 from you without seeing the correspondence
However, they would have indicated that in one of the notices you received. As I mentioned earlier it possibly could have been from an audit on that years return.
The fact that you could not reach by phone them is of no consequence. You could have filed your disagreement with them by mail. I know this is not the answer you are looking for but unfortunately that is it.
You should contact them by phone or mail and request a hearing to determine why.
They have 20 years to come after any tax liability they feel is due.
The FTB normally has four years from the filing date to asses taxes. If they feel there is an abusive tax avoidance issue they have up to 8 years.
I would with you that it appears, according to your facts that the statute would proctect you however, the CA FTB is exceptionally diligent when it come to the process of collecting taxes. It would be a rare occurence for them to miss any notification deadlines. Here is a link to some FTB information relating to this issue:
As you will see if you moved or for some reason did not get the notices sent, they deem they have notified you. I would also agree with you that this is unfair, but it is their practice.
Unfortunately, the burden of proof is on the taxpayer see Paragraph 8 in the following link.:
If you are lookking to me for legal advice, I cannot do that as I am not an attorney. At this point your best bet would be to call the FTB. Here are some of the phone #'s I use with regularity and do get through fairly easily.
Collection Contact Center . (800)(NNN) NNN-NNNNif this # XXXXX not work try (NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>
If neither of those works try this link:
Here is where I go to Find someone at the FTB
I hope this gives you what you were looking for. I appreciate the opprtunity to be of service.