How Do You File for CNC Status?
Filing for Currently Not Collectible status requires close attention to the paperwork. Knowledge of the California state rules and regulations on taxes is also a requirement. A tax attorney has the knowledge and ability to help you with the process.
The decision to place a taxpayer’s account on CNC is based on an examination of your Collection Information Statement (CIS) that has been completely updated to the time of the examination. A Tax Compliance Officer takes the CIS as well as your health and age into account when making the decision.
If the FTB believes that in the future their collection efforts will be successful, a state lien will be filed against you before your account is officially declared CNC.
What Is Financial Hardship?
To obtain CNC status, you must be able to prove financial hardship. What you feel is a financial hardship may not match the requirements of the tax agencies.
For example, when your financial picture is reviewed for CNC, you are budgeted a certain amount per week for groceries. In California, groceries are more expensive than the same groceries would be in Nebraska. However, the agency depends on the grocery price averaged across the country. Even though the California prices are higher, it will not make a difference in your designation for economic hardship.
Currently Not Collectible status is meant for severe economic hardship – it is not easily granted. Once it is, your financial status must change significantly for it to be revoked. At that time, the FTB (and the IRS) will resume collections via payment in full or through an installment agreement.
For this reason, you must keep your tax status and filings up-to-date throughout your time on CNC status.
What Are the Effects of CNC Status?
If your account is placed on CNC status, it is taken temporarily out of collections. Wage garnishments, asset seizures, and bank levies will end or never be started. CNC is a time for the taxpayer to focus on meeting personal expenses without being placed in further hardship.
Periodically, the IRS and FTB will re-evaluate your situation to see if your financial status has changed enough to begin collections again. The IRS re-evaluates every 12 months while the FTB offers CNC status in six, nine, and 12-month periods between reassessments.
Although collection attempts will cease during CNC status, the Franchise Tax Board will place a lien on any property you have to secure their interests. A Notice of Tax Lien places a negative impact on your credit score and can make it difficult to sell the property, even though your intent is to use the proceeds to pay your tax bill.
Is a CNC Status the Best Remedy?
While receiving a Currently Not Collectible status can relieve the necessity to pay money you do not have, it is not a situation that benefits anyone, you or the tax agencies.
If your financial situation is such that you qualify as an extreme hardship case, you are already in bad shape. Nobody would want to remain in that position for long, even if improving your financial picture means you must pay taxes again.