I am sorry for your struggles with the IRS and CA. I represented a client in a similar matter a several years ago. I do not know your nationality, but he was Chinese, and it is a very common custom that one family member hold the money for other family members. We had to obtain written letters from all family members, in country and out of country to prove that the money was not income. We were able to find some case law to back us
up as well, so we got lucky. It was a lot of work and a hard case.
The California statute of limitations
(R&TC Section 19255) is twenty years
from the date of assessment plus an additional year for the Offer In Compromise.
They do not count the period of time that they are stayed from collection
actions, and the processing of an Offer In Compromise is a stay of action. CA only established a Statute of Limitations on collections of taxes in July 2006 when R&TC Section 19255 went into effect. Prior to that date, there was no Statute of Limitations or end to the tax collection period. Fortunately, the new Statute also went retroactively back to your assessment, so that you would fall into the 20 year time limit.
The Statute should expire on your CA assessment in 2015. After that time, you will be able to have the lien removed. Hopefully, the State will do it automatically, but you may have to make a request in writing that the lien be removed to be sure that it gets done.
I hope this answers your question. If so, I would appreciate you giving my answer a positive rating.