Online Filing – Sales & Use Tax & Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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There is no fee to use the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration's (CDTFA’s) online filing to file your return and payment. Other service providers may charge a fee. This fee is not set by, or shared with the CDTFA.

You have two choices to file a sales and use tax return or prepayment online.

CDTFA's Online Filing – This is the CDTFA's free online filing option and is done directly through the CDTFA website.

Other service providers – These third-party service providers have successfully completed the CDTFA acceptance testing and have been authorized to receive return and payment information from taxpayers and forward to the CDTFA for processing. These other service providers may not offer all the same features as CDTFA's online filing. There may be a fee for using their services. This fee is not set by, or shared with the CDTFA.

Comparison of California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Online Filing Program Options

Service Providers
Items of Comparison  CDTFA Online Filing Avalara.com efilesalestax.com Exactor.com Neoverus.com Tax Tools.com Corptax
Cost to taxpayer No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-screen help Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
E-mail reminders Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
View past returns Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Languages No No Spanish Spanish & Portuguese No No No
Customer Service Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Online Services are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with the exception of scheduled system downtimes. Responsibility for filing a return and submitting payment for tax due remains with each taxpayer.

Your Limited Access code (formally called Express Login Code) is an eight character code (for instance, a234567b) found on correspondence you receive from the CDTFA. You may also contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays to obtain your code.

On CDTFA's online services page, under Login, click on Forgot Username? Follow the prompts to obtain your Username. You may also contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711) during regular business hours. For security reasons you will be required to provide authentication information.

After logging in, you can change your username under the Profile tab of the Settings menu. Next to Logon, select Edit. Enter your new Username in the appropriate box and click save.

On CDTFA's online services page, under Login, click Forgot password? and enter your Username. A link to reset your password will be sent to the email address on file. Click the link in the email to reset your password. You will be asked to answer your secret question. Once you have answered the question, click on Next to reset your password.

After logging in, you will be able to change your password under the Settings menu. Under I want to, select Change password. Enter your current password and then your new password in the appropriate boxes. You will be required to enter your new password twice. Then click Save.

After logging in, you can change your personal email address under the Profile tab of the Settings menu. Next to Logon, select Edit. Enter your new email address and save.

After logging in, the Accounts tab located in the middle of the screen. Select the account in which you would like to submit a business email address change. Under the Names and Addresses Tab, Enter your new email address and submit.

Yes, the CDTFA uses the latest hardware and software security to ensure the safety and security of taxpayer information.

Below are the payment methods available.

If you are required to pay your tax filings through the electronic funds transfer (EFT) program, please see, What are my payment options as a mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) program participant when I file online? for more information.

ACH Debit

Choose this option to authorize the CDTFA to transfer funds from your checking or savings account to the CDTFA's bank account. You must provide your bank account number and the routing number of your financial institution (ABA number), which is located on your check.

You may select any banking day as the effective date up to the due date of the return or prepayment.

If you have an ACH Debit block on your account, you must inform your financial institution of the CDTFA's Company Identification Numbers to avoid your payment from being rejected. The CDTFA Company Identification Numbers are 2822162215, 1822162215, and 1282435088.

Credit Card

Choose this option to pay by credit card through a third-party vendor. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa cards are accepted. A service fee of 2.3% will be charged by the third-party vendor. This fee is not revenue to the CDTFA.

Paper Check

Choose this option to print out a payment voucher to mail in with your paper check. The payment voucher will be available to print on the return confirmation page and will only be available to print one time. Use the address printed on the voucher to ensure that your payment is processed correctly.

If you choose to make your payment for taxes due by paper check, a payment voucher is available immediately after filing your return or prepayment. However, if you log off before printing or lose the voucher you can mail your check to the address below. Make your check or money order payable to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. Write your CDTFA account number and return filing period on your check or money order.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
PO Box 942879
Sacramento CA 94279-3535

Below are the payment methods available to accounts required by law to pay their tax filings by EFT.

ACH Debit

EFT accounts registered to pay by this method will have their banking information pre-populated when they file online and select this option. EFT accounts registered to pay by ACH credit may also select this payment option and enter their banking information. You must complete your payment transaction by 3:00 p.m. Pacific time on the tax due date.

You may select any banking day as the effective date up to the due date of the return or prepayment.

If you have an ACH Debit block on your account, you must inform your financial institution of the CDTFA's Company Identification Numbers to avoid your payment from being rejected. The CDTFA Company Identification Numbers are 2822162215, 1822162215, and 1282435088.

ACH Credit

If you file your return online and choose to pay by ACH credit, you must contact your financial institution to initiate your payment so it will be deposited into the CDTFA's bank account timely. You must also provide your financial institution with the CDTFA's ACH Credit Specifications to avoid your payment from being returned.

Return Only

File your return online and make your payment separately.

For more information regarding the EFT program, refer to the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Simply contact your bank to have them initiate your prepayment using the correct ACH Credit Specifications. You do not need to file a prepayment online or send a form to CDTFA

You will receive immediate confirmation that your return was accepted. Please keep the confirmation of filing for your records.

You must receive confirmation of filing on or before the tax due date to be considered timely. Confirmation is received immediately upon filing your return. Please keep the confirmation of filing for your records.

All financial institutions capable of electronically transferring funds through the ACH network can support this payment option. Contact your financial institution to ensure that funds can be electronically transferred from the bank account that you designate.

If you have an ACH Debit block on your bank account, you must inform your financial institution of the CDTFA's Company Identification Numbers to avoid your payment from being rejected. The Company Identification Number is a 10-digit number used to identify an originator of the transaction. The CDTFA has three different Company Identification Numbers which are 2822162215, 1822162215, and 1282435088. When providing your financial institution with CDTFA's Company Identification Numbers, be sure to provide all three numbers.

The latest version of the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari browsers are supported.

Yes. Return and payment information for revoked accounts may be submitted to the CDTFA for processing. However, submission of a return and payment of tax does not reinstate the account to active status. Information regarding the reinstatement process is available from your local CDTFA office.

No. Each service provider and the CDTFA set their own policy regarding password/PINs and will not accept a password/PIN assigned by another.

If you are submitting returns through CDTFA's new system, you can log in with your Username and Password. Under I Want To, select File and/or View a Return. On the Manage Payments and Returns page, select the period you would like to amend. Under the I Want To section, select File, Amend, or Print a Return, then select Amend Return. If you are still submitting returns through CDTFA's old system, you will need to write in the correct figures on the Confirm Filing page of the return filed online and write Amended Return across the top. Include any additional payment owed. If your amended return results in an overpayment, complete CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit. Mail all documents to the following address:

California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration, MIC 35
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0035

Currently, there is no electronic method to amend or correct a return filed online.

You may be able to discontinue receiving paper returns if you are a registered user. After logging in you You may be able to choose to turn off your paper returns by selecting Account Maintenance.

You should receive an email from CDTFA confirming that you no longer wish to receive paper returns for the selected account.

We will send you an e-mail reminding you to file your electronic return instead of a paper return. Failure to receive an e-mail reminder or tax return from the CDTFA does not excuse you from the requirement to file your return timely.

If you are submitting returns through CDTFA's new system, you can log in with your Username and Password. From the Home screen, click on the Submissions tab. Your most recent submissions will be listed under Processed. If you do not see the submission you are looking for, click on the View Submissions button to view all submissions.

If you are still submitting returns through CDTFA's old system, you will need to log in as a registered user with your User ID. After logging in to online filing, select View History from the Electronic Services Main Menu. You will be able to view and reprint all the returns or prepayments you have filed online. You are only able to reprint a return if you filed your return by logging in with your User ID and Password. If you filed your return using your Express Login Code, you do not have access to previously filed returns.

You may be able to cancel your return on the same day of the transaction. If you are a registered user you may be able to delete the submission by clicking the period you filed, then the File, Amend, or Print a Return link under the I Want To Section. If you are not a registered user you must contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays. If your return is not available to cancel you will need to complete an amended return via paper which can be downloaded on the CDTFA website.

Yes, you can file delinquent returns.

If you are submitting returns through CDTFA's new system, you can log in with your Username and Password. Under I Want To, select File and/or View a Return. On the Manage Payments and Returns page, select the period you would like to print. Under I Want To, select File, Amend, or Print a Return. Under I Want to, select Print Return (PDF).

If you are still submitting returns through CDTFA's old system, you must register or log in as a registered user to view and print your previously filed electronic returns and/or prepayments. From the Account Services Menu, select "View History" and you will be able to view and print the returns and/or prepayments you have electronically filed. You are only able to reprint a return if you filed your return by logging in with your User ID and Password. If you filed your return using your Express Login Code, you do not have access to previously filed returns.