Chess Pieces on a Chessboard

Residency Audits

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) conducts residency audits to ascertain whether a taxpayer is a California resident, a non-resident, or a part-year resident, to determine the correct amount of that taxpayer’s tax obligation. The outcome of a residency audit can radically alter the amount of your tax obligation, which is why the tax specialists at the Ben-Cohen Law Firm strive to help our clients understand what is entailed in a residency audit, and then provide the highest quality representation of residency audits. Working with our firm, you will have the benefit of having both a Los Angeles residency audit attorney, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Taxation Law Specialist, and a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), working hard to achieve the most favorable outcome possible on your behalf.

Residency audits may be singularly-focused or wide-ranging

California law defines a state resident as any individual who is in the state for something other than a temporary or transitory purpose, or alternately, one who is domiciled in California, but physically outside the state for a purpose that is only temporary or transitory. California Code of Regulations (CCR) § 17014(b) defines “temporary or transitory purpose,” providing that visitors in the state for only a short period of time, whether here for business or pleasure, are in the state for “a temporary or transitory purpose,” and are not considered California residents. Those individuals staying in the state indefinitely or for the long-term are subject to state tax.

Residency audits differ from other audits in their focus and nature. In contrast with most audits, which center on specific claims made within a return, such as amounts of income, deductions, or credits, residency audits attempt to deduce the taxpayer’s state of residence. Do not be misled though – a residency audit can also focus on issues of income, deductions, or credits, in addition to residency matters. Our residency audit lawyers can advise Los Angeles clients and others on all of the matters that it may involve.

Residency audits are protracted, detail-oriented processes

During your residency audit, you may expect the auditor to request certain information and documentation tending to establish your residency status. This information might include personal records, business activity documents, and financial records. Due to the sensitivity of this information, auditors should handle such personal information in a confidential manner.

The documents an auditor may request run a significant range, and may relate to issues including real estate, personal property, business records, financial records, and personal records. The residency audit attorneys at our Los Angeles firm believe that you could reasonably expect an auditor to request: information about your purchase, sale or lease of your home, escrow documents, homeowners or renters’ insurance information, documents regarding your vehicle or watercraft, travel logs, personal calendars, your employment agreements, cancelled checks or bank statements, credit card receipts and/or statements, or even your voter registration information.

Residency audits take a long time to complete. While the FTB sets its goal at 18 months to complete a residency audit, that is generally a best-case scenario. Some residency audits can take years to complete.

The FTB’s audit process and residency calculation can be both very confusing and exacting with regard to certain details unless you retain a Los Angeles residency audit lawyer to advise you. California residency audits are often very complicated, and their outcomes can make huge differences in the amount of your tax obligations. For diligent, knowledgeable and personalized representation in your residency audit, contact the tax attorneys at the Ben-Cohen Law Firm.

Client Reviews
I approached Mr. Ben-Cohen regarding a pending case with the State of California and my small business. During a time that was quite stressful, I found Mr. Ben-Cohen to be the perfect person to represent me and my company. He communicated with me in clear terms so that I understood everything that was taking place in a timely manner. He treated my situation with the type of candor you only find in a consummate professional and successfully negotiated a deal with the State of California that far exceeded my expectations. I found him to be kind, efficient, sensitive and nothing short of brilliant. I consider myself fortunate to have met him and highly recommend his services. I will not hesitate to use his firm in the future should a need arise.
★★★★★
I am an international tax advisor and have worked with Pedram on more than a dozen difficult and challenging cases. Pedram's clients and fellow advisors highly respect him because he has an uncanny ability to quickly identify and work diligently to resolve his clients' issues. Pedram is pragmatic in his approach. He is transparent with his clients and dedicated to getting to a fair and reasonable outcome. I have attended an IRS Appeals conference with Pedram and would want no other attorney on my side. Pedram is extremely passionate in his work and representing his clients. He is also enjoyable to work with and develops very good relationships with his clients and fellow advisors. I highly recommend Pedram for any tax controversy work. Avvo, Curt
★★★★★
Top Drawer Tax Fraud Lawyer. Pedram got me out a CI jam I thought I would not resolve. He is also fair and reasonable with his billing. I interviewed 4 top Tax Fraud Lawyers in LA and went with Pedram...Glad I did! Google, Michael Jeppson
★★★★★
Pedram Ben-Cohen at Ben-Cohen Law Firm, PLC is one of the most incredible, creative, and caring attorneys I have ever dealt with. He gave us hope but also gave us the reality and worst case scenario. He fought for us tooth and nail. The attention and time Pedram put into the case was like no other. He charged us more than fair and was very reasonable in every aspect. He is not the kind of attorney that charges for every minute. I liked him very much not only as an attorney but as a person because he is very honest, is true to his integrity, and is dedicated to his clients. He loves what he does and has the passion to protect and defend his clients, which totally shows in his work and our outcome. We originally hired another attorney from a famous firm who basically did not give us much hope on our case . That is when we came to Pedram who won our case in a short amount of time and got us the outcome we were looking for. Because of Pedram and his creativeness, willingness, and dedication, he got us our favorable outcome. He is our go to attorney for sure, without a doubt. Avvo, Anonymous
★★★★★
A few years ago I had a major tax problem and I was looking for the right professional tax lawyer. I interviewed at least five experts and all of them were very professional. I am very picky. When I met Mr. Pedram Ben-Cohen, it took me no more than five minutes to decide that he was the one, and I was absolutely right with my intuition. He is very professional, knowledgeable, smart, and knows his job perfectly. In addition to all of his professional skills, as a person he is very friendly, pleasant, ready to help, and took care of me like I was his own family. I referred and recommended him to friends and family with tax problems and will continue to do so warmly to anyone. I know that he is able and will do his job the best way for his clients. He is my personal tax lawyer and expert and will remain so. Google, Shlomo Kattan
★★★★★
Contact Us
Contact form