California Helps Fight Identity Theft with Revamped MyFTB website

By Alex Ho, CPA, Tax Manager

Have you received a letter that states something like “Jane (or John) Doe added you as a client through our MyFTB account online service”?  Sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it?  This would be cause for concern, particularly with the increase in identity theft, and the availability of our personal information on the internet.

While you have every right to be concerned, this person may not be someone with malicious intent.  Rather, it might be your CPA trying to verify some information.

California’s MyFTB Redesigned

California’s MyFTB website has long been a useful tool for both taxpayers and tax practitioners. The site allows for review of various California informational tax items such as FTB notices, state tax refunds, and tax payments.  Taxpayers can also make payments through the website.

With so much sensitive information in their database, how is California keeping it out of the hands of identity thieves?

In January 2016, California relaunched the MyFTB website, which requied tax practitioners to register with the new system and provide proof of identification.  California takes an additional step in an effort to protect your identity by sending a letter alerting you to the name of the person who accessed your MyFTB information.

Of course, you may not recognize the name of the person who accessed your account. Therefore, we recommend that you immediately contact us and verify that the person identified on the FTB letter is associated with our firm. This additional step may seem tedious; however, it may be the one extra step that confirms your personal information did not fall into the wrong hands.