Bankruptcy-Frequently Asked Questions

The Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit files, monitors, and receives payments for bankruptcy tax claims filed in bankruptcy cases. The unit files Board of Equalization (BOE) claims and monitors the bankruptcy case's progress in order to protect the state's interest. In addition, the unit assists in the referral of cases for litigation.

The information contained in this page is not intended to advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities. If you need more guidance on the bankruptcy or tax laws applicable to you, you should seek professional advice.


  1. How can I contact the BOE about my bankruptcy?
  2. Where do I serve the BOE with bankruptcy notices and legal process?
  3. I am not the debtor, but I am helping to resolve the tax debt. What do I need to do?
  4. I have not yet filed for bankruptcy but I am considering it. How do I access information about my account?
  5. My bankruptcy did not discharge my tax debt. Can I obtain relief from interest and penalties?
  6. I filed bankruptcy. Why am I still receiving notices from the BOE?
  7. I am unable to pay a tax debt, but wish to avoid bankruptcy. What other alternatives should I consider?
  8. Do I have to file tax returns while in bankruptcy?
  9. I am an officer of a corporation and the corporation filed bankruptcy. Does the corporation's bankruptcy affect me personally?
  10. I am an officer of a corporation and I personally filed bankruptcy. Does the corporation's liability affect me personally?
  11. I believe my tax debt was discharged. How will BOE treat my liability once my bankruptcy case is closed?
  12. May I receive information regarding my account from the BOE via email?
  13. How do I update my account if there has been change in my mailing address?
  14. Do I need to tell the BOE if I am closing or selling my business?
Additional Links

General Questions

  1. How can I contact the BOE about my bankruptcy?

    You may:

  2. Where do I serve the BOE with bankruptcy notices and legal process?

    Information regarding the service of legal process on the BOE can be found here: Notice of Service on the California State Board of Equalization

    Back to Top

  3. I am not the debtor, but I am helping to resolve the debtor's tax debt. What do I need to do?

    The Information Practices Act (Civil Code section 1798 et seq.) generally allows individuals access to their personal information maintained in BOE files, including tax records.  The Information Practices Act (IPA) also restricts the disclosure of personal information to third parties.

    We will need a power of attorney declaration from the debtor authorizing any disclosure before we can release a debtor’s tax information to you.IPA requests must be filed by the debtor or the debtor’s representative holding a valid Power of Attorney.

  4. I have not yet filed bankruptcy but I am considering it. How do I access information about my account?

    You may request information regarding your tax obligations, such as the balance due and the tax returns that have or have not been filed, before filing a bankruptcy petition.  A Power of Attorney is required for parties requesting this information other than the debtor.  You may contact our Tax Information Section at 800-400-7115 or your local district BOE office to request account information.

    Back to Top

  5. My bankruptcy did not discharge my tax debt. Can I obtain relief from interest and penalties?

    It is possible to have interest or penalty charges (or both) waived under limited circumstances.  Contact the Customer Service Center at 800-400-7115 for information on how to file a claim for relief.  For additional information, please review publication 75.

  6. I filed bankruptcy. Why am I still receiving notices from BOE?

    We must notify you any time we bill a new liability.  We must tell you the last date by which you can protest or appeal certain notices.  Your protest or appeal must be filed by that date to be considered timely.  Generally, we must advise you about any outstanding tax liability annually.

    Statements, Notices of Determination, and requests for tax returns to be filed do not generally violate the automatic stay in bankruptcy.  Any questions concerning notices that you received while in bankruptcy can be directed to the Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit.

    Back to Top

  7. I am unable to pay a tax debt, but wish to avoid bankruptcy. What other alternatives should I consider?

    You may be eligible for an Installment Payment Agreement, which allows you to pay your debt in full with smaller, more manageable amounts.  Installment Payment Agreements generally require equal monthly payments and full financial disclosure.  Contact the BOE representative assigned to your case or the Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit at 916-445-1122.  For more information, see publication 54, pages 2 and 3.

    There is also an Offer in Compromise (OIC) program if you are not able to pay.  An OIC is a proposal to pay the BOE an amount that is less than the full tax or fee liability due.  For more specific information on the OIC process, you may contact the OIC Section at 916-322-7931.

  8. Do I have to file tax returns while in bankruptcy?

    Tax debtors are responsible for filing their tax returns when they become due. For bankruptcy cases filed after October 16, 2005, the Bankruptcy Code provides that, if the tax debtor does not file a tax return that becomes due after the bankruptcy filing, a taxing authority may request that the court either dismiss the case or convert the case to a different chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.

    Back to Top

  9. I am an officer of a corporation and the corporation filed bankruptcy. Does the corporation's bankruptcy affect me personally?

    You may want to seek legal counsel to determine whether you can be held personally liable. 

  10. I am an officer of a corporation and I personally filed bankruptcy. Does the corporation's liability affect me personally?

    Many tax debts are not discharged in bankruptcy.  You may want to seek legal counsel to determine whether you can be held personally liable.

    Back to Top

  11. I believe my tax debt is discharged. How will BOE treat my liability once my bankruptcy case is closed?

    A request for a review of your account in consideration of your discharge must be made in writing to:

    State Board of Equalization
    Special Operations Branch – Bankruptcy Unit, MIC: 55
    P.O. Box 942879
    Sacramento California  94279-0055

    Taxpayers may authorize the transmission of confidential information via email by submitting written authorization to the BOE using form BOE-82, Authorization for Electronic Transmission of Data.
  12. May I receive information regarding my account from the BOE via email?

    Yes.  To authorize the transmission of confidential information to you and/or your representative via email, please sign a BOE-82, Authorization for Electronic Transmission of Data.  This authorization will remain in effect until rescinded in writing.  You can email this form and your request to Special Operations Branch-Bankruptcy Unit.

    Back to Top

  13. How do I update my account if there has been a change in my mailing address?

    If you have changed your mailing address or need to update your Sales and Use Tax account, please complete form BOE-345, Notice of Business Change, and mail it to:

    State Board of Equalization
    ATTN: LRAU/Registration Team, MIC: 27
    PO Box 942879
    Sacramento, CA. 94279-0027.

    If you have changed your mailing address, discontinued or closed your business, or need to update your Special Taxes Program account, please complete form BOE-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, and mail it to:

    State Board of Equalization
    Special Taxes and Fees Division
    Attn.: Registration Section, MIC 88
    PO BOX 942879
    SACRAMENTO, CA 94279-0088

  14. Do I need to tell the BOE if I am closing my business?

    Yes.  You must notify the BOE in writing of your intention to close your business.  You may satisfy this requirement by providing the information requested on form BOE-65, Notice of Close-Out, and by returning the completed form, your permit, and other required documentation to the BOE office that handles your Sales and Use Tax account.  The BOE will close out your account and cancel your seller's permit.  Complete and mail form BOE-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, if you are closing your Special Taxes Program account.

    Back to Top

Links to other information resources

BOE publications that may interest you