Credit Card Payments – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Open All Close All
Who can pay by credit card?
Any tax or fee payer who is not required to pay by electronic funds transfer and is also an active holder of a Discover Network, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card.
What type of payments can I make using a credit card?
You can make return payments, prepayments, billing payments and audit payments with a credit card, and in some cases you can set up a payment plan using a credit card.
Which credit cards do you accept?
American Express, Discover Network, MasterCard, and Visa cards are accepted.
Is there a fee to pay by credit card?
Yes. A service fee of 2.3% of each transaction amount will be charged by the credit card processing vendor, ACI Payments, Inc. This service fee is retained by the vendor and is not revenue to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). The minimum fee is $1.00. To make a payment by credit card, you will need to provide your payment information.
If I pay by credit card once, do I have to make all tax/fee payments by credit card?
No. You will have the option of paying by credit card or paying by any other payment method with each return or prepayment. The ability to pay by credit card has been established for your convenience.
How do I make a credit card payment?
You must be a holder of a Discover Network, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card in order to make a credit card payment. In addition, you will need to know the period end date for your return or prepayment, or the letter ID and voucher number of your billing notice. You can make a credit card payment over the Internet or you can make a credit card payment by calling 1-855-292-8931.
If you are making a return payment, you must file the return timely. If you mail in your return, indicate that you made your payment by credit card in the space provided. For Consumer Use Tax Returns, enter your confirmation payment number.
If I am required to make my tax or fee payment by electronic funds transfer (EFT), can I make my tax or fee payment by credit card?
No. If you are required to pay by electronic funds transfer (EFT), you cannot make your tax or fee payment by credit card. This is because the law specifically defines the electronic funds transfer payment as ACH Credit, ACH Debit or Fedwire. Credit card payments are not included in the definition of the law.
If you are not mandated by law to pay by EFT, you can make your tax or fee payment by credit card.
Will my payment due dates remain the same?
Yes. There is no change in the current due dates of the prepayment or return payment.
If I make my payment by credit card, must I still mail the prepayment form or return form?
Prepayments – No. Once you make your credit card payment for the prepayment period, you do NOT need to send in a paper prepayment form nor do you need to file online for the prepayment period. Your filing requirement for the prepayment period has been satisfied.
* For Hazardous Waste accounts only – the paper prepayment form must be mailed to satisfy your filing requirement.
Returns – Yes. The fact that the payment was made by credit card does not relieve you of the obligation to file the return. If you do not file online or you are exempt from filing online, your paper return form must be postmarked on or before the due date to be considered timely.
- There is a 10% penalty for a late return filing even if the tax payment is timely. This applies if you are filing a yearly, fiscal yearly, monthly or quarterly tax/fee return – not the prepayment period. See exception below for Hazardous Waste prepayments.
- Hazardous Waste accounts – There is a penalty of 10% of the amount of tax due for a late prepayment form even if the payment is timely.
- Alcohol or IFTA accounts – There is a penalty of $50 or 10% of the amount of tax due, whichever is greater, for a late return even if the payment is timely.
- Sales and Use Tax accounts – If filing a paper return, before mailing the return form, mark the appropriate box if you made your payment by credit card.
Can I make a credit card payment for a bill I received?
Yes. Delinquent tax or fee notices, Statements of Account, or demand for immediate payment notices that include tax/fee, penalty and/or interest can be paid with a credit card.
When do I initiate my payment to ensure that my payment is timely?
You may call in your payment using a touch tone phone or submit your payment over the Internet on or before the tax or fee due date. The toll-free number and website are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. If you call using a touch tone phone or submit your payment over the internet on the due date, your transaction must be completed before 12:00 midnight (Pacific time) to be considered timely.
How long after I make my payment will the CDTFA see the payment posting?
It can take up to five working days for the payment to show on the CDTFA's system. The payment effective date, however, is the date the transaction took place. If your transaction is completed before 12:00 midnight (Pacific time) on any day, that will be the effective date of the payment.
What will happen if I make my credit card payment on a weekend or holiday?
Any credit card payment called in using a touch tone phone or submitted over the Internet on a weekend or holiday will have an effective date of that day. For example, any call made on Sunday will have an effective date of payment as Sunday.
What if my payment is late?
If you make your credit card payment on the due date, the transaction must be completed prior to 12:00 midnight (Pacific time) to be considered timely.
Credit card payments can be made after the due date; however, these late credit card payments are subject to the same penalty and interest charges as late payments made by check, cash, money order, etc.
How do I prove I initiated my payment on time?
When you call in your payment using a touch-tone phone or submit your payment over the Internet, you will receive a confirmation number. This confirmation number, along with your tax/fee account number and payment amount, will be used to trace your payment.
Where do I call to verify that my credit card payment has been received?
You may contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, except state holidays.
What is my tax or fee account number?
This is the nine digit number issued to you by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). If your account number is less than nine digits, you will need to add a leading zero when entering your account number. For example:
|TYPE OF ACCOUNT||ACCOUNT NUMBER||YOU ENTER|
|Prepayment of sales tax||100-123456||1-0-0-1-2-3-4-5-6|
|Sales and use tax on fuel distributions||77-123456||0-7-7-1-2-3-4-5-6|
What is the difference between a prepayment #1, prepayment #2, and a return payment?
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration administers several different tax programs. Some of the programs require certain filers to make payments prior to filing their return; these payments are referred to as "Prepayments." If you are required to make prepayments, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration will let you know.
The number of prepayments you will need to make depends on the program. For example the generator fee requires one prepayment, which would be referred to as "Prepayment 1"; however other tax programs require two prepayments due at two different times before filing the return for the reporting period. The second prepayment is referred to as "Prepayment 2".
The final payment made is the return payment. This payment is the payment made when you file the actual return. You will be allowed to deduct any prepayments from the amount determined to be due on the return. The difference is the return payment.
What date do I enter for my "reporting period"?
It is the last day of the reporting period in which you are reporting tax. Having your prepayment or return form in front of you will help you. For example:
|Reporting Period||Last Day of That Period||You Enter|
|January – March 2019||March 31, 2019||033119|
|April – June 2019||June 30, 2019||063019|
|July – September 2019||September 30, 2019||093019|
|October – December 2019||December 31, 2019||123119|
|February 2019||February 28, 2019||022819|
|March 2019||March 31, 2019||033119|
|April 2019||April 30, 2019||043019|
Why can't I make an interest payment on a prepayment?
Normally, penalty (not interest) is due on a late prepayment. Therefore, the system is not programmed to accept interest on a prepayment.
If I file online, can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, you may pay amounts due by credit card on returns filed online. If you select to pay by credit card you will be routed to the credit card vendor to make payment. You must return to the CDTFA site to submit your return after you have completed your credit card payment.