Finding Real Life Solutions To Your Tax Problem

Comprehensive Representation For State Tax Matters

At the Law Offices of Robert T. Leonard, based in Woodland Hills, our comprehensive representation encompasses tax controversies and tax litigation at both the state and federal levels. In addition to matters involving IRS audits and appeals, we have the resources and experience necessary to find innovative solutions to situations including audits involving California taxing authorities such as the Employment Development Department (EDD), Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the State Board of Equalization (SBE).

Providing You With The Guidance Needed To Make Sound Decisions

All of our clients receive direct attention from firm founder Rob Leonard. As an attorney and a CPA (inactive), Mr. Leonard is able to help you understand all of the options available to you. He can advise you about the benefits and drawbacks of each option, and provide you with the information you need to make sound decisions about your case. This includes information about topics such as:

  • Offers in compromise
  • Collection matters related to liens, levies and seizures
  • California collection statutes of limitations (which can vary from agency to agency)
  • Trust fund recovery penalty
  • Employment tax audits
  • Sales tax audits
  • Whether taxes owed to these agencies are dischargeable in bankruptcy

As a trusted tax law resource serving clients in California and throughout the country, we routinely receive referrals from other attorneys, CPAs (inactive) and other professionals. They understand that our well-honed litigation strategies and refined financial acumen allow us to adeptly resolve even the most complex claims at the state and federal levels.

Employment Development Department (EDD) Matters

The EDD is tasked with administering California’s payroll tax. Businesses all too often find themselves the subject of an EDD employment tax audit due to a controversy regarding a worker’s status as an independent contractor versus an employee. We help clients understand the various factors the EDD will look at when making a determination of worker classification. We then provide the assertive representation necessary to successfully navigate through an EDD audit.

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Matters

FTB matters arise from controversies regarding income tax in California. A California residency audit is often conducted to determine how much tax is owed by those who move to or from the state, especially when someone moves to noted tax havens such as Nevada (no income tax). The FTB also maintains a website that lists the largest delinquent taxpayers. Our custom-tailored solutions are designed to ensure that you are not subject to more tax than is required under the law, and that your hard-earned reputation is not harmed by being improperly included on the FTB’s website.

State Board Of Equalization (SBE) Matters

We are equipped to address and resolve all SBE-related matters, including use tax and sales tax audits. In any SBE case, our clients benefit from having one of the state’s pre-eminent tax litigation attorneys on their side.

Contact Our Firm For A Free Initial Consultation

Call 818-485-2115, or contact us online, to schedule a free initial consultation with a state tax lawyer. We routinely represent individuals and businesses in Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties, as well as other communities in the San Fernando Valley and across the country.



California payroll taxes are administered by the Employment Development Department or EDD. Most California payroll tax problems arise when a worker, treated as an independent contractor, files a claim for unemployment. This will trigger an EDD audit. Rules for classifying a worker as an employee or independent contractor are similar to the IRS rules, but not identical. The IRS generally will apply a 20 Factor test. The EDD focuses more on whether the owner has the right to control the manner and means of how the work is performed. If you have received an EDD notice of audit, then you need a tax attorney who specializes in this area of law.

Representing yourself in this matter is not in your best interest. I have significant experience in representing businesses in an EDD audit. All of the applicable factors will be evaluated and all of the available defenses will be asserted. Even if you have a sensitive case, such as workers are being paid cash and not issued a form 1099, we will certainly fight to avoid a finding of tax fraud. If a favorable resolution cannot be reached with the auditor, then an appeal should be filed with the administrative law judge. We will work together to gather the evidence and prepare the witnesses to help you prevail in your payroll tax dispute.

A California payroll tax audit and its appeal is a very complicated process. If you have received an EDD notice of audit, then call me at 818-485-2115. I look forward to your call.