Accessing CDTFA Records for Jurisdictions
The information contained in this section includes general procedures for jurisdictions to request California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) records. Authorized officials, employees, or other designated persons (representatives) with an adopted resolution may access confidential sales and use tax reporting records to ensure local and district taxes are properly distributed to them*.
Authorized Officials and Representatives
When a local jurisdiction or district wishes to access or request information about their local or district tax allocations according to their contract with us, it must* first adopt a resolution authorizing one or more of its representatives to have access to our records.
Adopt a Resolution
When adopting a resolution, you should list all positions who will need access to our confidential sales and use tax records. We can provide confidential information only to individuals listed in the resolution. We suggest that you authorize position titles rather than individual names to allow for personnel changes.
The resolution may grant authority to a specific official position (by position rather than name), giving that official position the right to designate other official positions by written notice. Doing this means you won’t have to adopt a new resolution each time authorized personnel are added or deleted.
When you authorize a consultant or person other than an officer or employee of your local jurisdiction or district to review confidential taxpayer information, the resolution must* also certify that the person designated by the resolution meets the following conditions:
- Has an existing contract with the local jurisdiction or district to examine those sales and use tax records.
- Is required by that contract to disclose information contained or derived from those confidential records only to an officer or employee of the jurisdiction who is also authorized by the resolution to examine the confidential records.
- Is prohibited by the contract from performing consulting services for a retailer during the term of that contract.
- Is prohibited by that contract from retaining the information contained in or derived from the confidential records after that contract has expired. Local jurisdictions and districts must state specific governmental functions for the purposes of examining the confidential information to be used.
You must rescind all prior resolutions when adopting a new resolution unless there are circumstances where separate resolutions are necessary. Forward a certified copy of the resolution to the Local Revenue Branch (LRB) for review and approval. If the resolution authorizes a consultant, also forward a copy of the consultant services contract.
As a courtesy, please forward a copy to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a cursory review prior to submitting to your board for final approval and certification.
If you have questions on adopting or updating a resolution, or to request a sample designation letter, please contact us by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-916-309-5800.
Confidentiality of Records
Local officials who are allowed access to confidential records should note that the use of such information is limited to the governmental purposes set forth in the resolution and may not be released in public meetings or other such forums. Confidential records may not be shared with other local officials or anyone else who are not authorized by the resolution to examine such records.
CDTFA Box Portal
CDTFA’s Internet portal, called Box, is designed to provide local jurisdictions and districts (and their representatives) access to various jurisdiction data files such as registration, allocation, and other important information.
The information provided through the Box portal is confidential and may only be examined by those authorized by a resolution of the legislative body of that local jurisdiction or district*. There is no charge for this service.
To receive allocation or registration information through the Box portal, the local jurisdiction or district must* have a resolution on file with us authorizing an official, employee, or other designated person to examine the appropriate sales or use tax records.
Please contact the LRB by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-916-309-5800 to request a Registration/Allocation Media Request form (this form is not available on our website and must be requested) or to request help with authorizing the appropriate party so that you may receive information through our Box portal.
Below you will find more information about the data you may receive through our Box portal:
When a city, city and county, or county contracts for state administration of local sales and use tax, we create, for that local jurisdiction, upon request, registration data listings for all sellers within the local jurisdiction.
Every month, each local jurisdiction may receive notification of registration updates for any additions, deletions, address changes, and other changes processed by us and uploaded to the Box portal. These updates can be downloaded for review. Local jurisdictions and districts may use the registration data to verify the accuracy of tax area codes and district tax codes assigned to each account since incorrect codes may result in the misallocation of the local or district tax generated by that account.
Access to Seller’s Permit Information
Local jurisdictions and districts have access to the seller’s permit information for retailers in their local jurisdiction or district. They also have access to other relevant non-confidential information. Files are created and uploaded to the jurisdictions’ account on the Box portal on the last business day of each month.
Access to Allocation Information
Local jurisdictions and districts have access to allocation information reported by retailers. Allocation Files list local tax revenue distributions by month. We upload allocation files to local jurisdiction or district’s Box accounts every month, three business days before the State Controller’s Office mails the electronic deposit payments. See the disbursement table available in the Payments and Distributions section of this guide.
We also provide allocation data relating to the countywide and statewide pools. Local jurisdictions typically monitor this data for questionable tax allocations, unusual dollar amounts, or missing allocations or fund transfers.
Note: Redevelopment project (In-Lieu) distributions are included in the appropriate local jurisdiction’s monthly allocation files and are listed separately by redevelopment project area code.
Programs Provided by CDTFA to Jurisdictions
We provide two data programs to jurisdictions: the Data Extraction Program and the Data Entry Program. The programs are offered by us at no charge.
Data Extraction Program—Used for accessing our seller’s permit database, which is updated monthly in the Box portal. Data extraction software is available in Box for all local jurisdictions and districts and can do the following:
- Read your list of CDTFA permitted businesses.
- Create a local XML database with the extracted data.
Comb through the database:
- To verify that a business has a seller’s permit.
- To search for accounts without a city business license if the business license database has a CDTFA seller’s permit number as a field.
Data Entry Program—Used for sending a registration or reallocation request to us. This program creates a list of registration or redistribution requests and emails those requests directly to the appropriate CDTFA section. We then work the cases and provide the jurisdictions with a monthly status report.
Information Sharing Between Local Jurisdictions, Districts
Revenue and Taxation Code (R&TC) section 6066.3 allows information sharing between local jurisdictions, districts, and CDTFA for the purposes of sales and use tax registration and local and district tax distributions.
Each local jurisdiction and district may collect information from individuals desiring to engage in business in that jurisdiction for the purposes of selling tangible personal property (merchandise) and provide that information to our LRB for purposes of identifying and reporting unregistered sellers and correcting any improper distribution of local tax or district tax.
If an allocation or registration error is found in our database, jurisdictions can submit a petition to correct it.
Petitions may be made by completing and submitting either of the following two forms:
- CDTFA-549-L, Claimed Incorrect Distribution of Local Tax–Long Form, or
- CDTFA-549-S, Claimed Incorrect Distribution of Local Tax –Short Form
Email the completed form to LRB-PetitionInquiry@cdtfa.ca.gov. As a reminder, please send us secure emails. More information on the petitions process may be found in the Local and District Tax Petitions section of this guide.