Integrated Waste Management Fee Guide (Solid Waste & Wood Waste)
Helping your business succeed is important to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). The fees you collect and pay to the state help fund state and local services and programs that are important to you and your community.
This guide will help you better understand the California Integrated Waste Management Fee (Solid Waste and Wood Waste) and the obligations of disposal facility operators in California.
Integrated Waste Management Fee
The Integrated Waste Management Fee is imposed on operators of solid waste disposal facilities (landfills) who are required to have a solid waste facility permit issued by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). For purposes of this tax guide, we will refer to solid waste disposal facilities as only “disposal facilities.”
The CDTFA helps administer the California Integrated Waste Management Fee program, and collects the fee in cooperation with CalRecycle pursuant to sections 40195.1 and 48000 of the Public Resources Code (PRC).
How the Revenue is Used
CalRecyle uses the funds from the Integrated Waste Management Fee to promote waste management programs including solid waste reduction, recycling and reusing waste, composting, environmentally safe transformation, and safe land disposal practices.
About This Guide
Each section of this guide contains important information relevant to the Integrated Waste Management Fee.
The Getting Started section includes a summary of the general application of the fee, and lists resources related to registration, applicable fee rates, return filing, and payments.
The Industry Topics section contains specific topics important to the integrated waste management fee, including information about exemptions and refunds.
The Resources section provides links to useful information, including special notices, publications, and applicable statutes/regulations.
If You Need Help
If at any time you need assistance with topics included in this guide – or with topics not included – feel free to contact us by telephone or email. For contact information and hours of operation please visit our How to Contact Us webpage.
If you have suggestions for improving this guide, please contact us by email.
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) regulates the solid waste handling, processing, and disposal operations of landfills, transfer-processing stations, material recovery facilities, compost facilities and waste-to-energy facilities. For purposes of this guide, we will refer to solid waste disposal facilities as only disposal facilities.
The Integrated Waste Management Fee is imposed on operators of disposal facilities (landfills) who are required to have a solid waste facility permit issued by CalRecycle. Disposal facility operators pay a quarterly fee to the CDTFA based on the amount of all solid waste (including wood waste) disposed of at disposal facilities in this state.
Operators of solid waste landfills that pay the fee may charge their users an administrative fee of not more than five percent (5.00%) of the fees paid to the CDTFA during the previous quarter.
For more information about CalRecycle permits, see the Regulated Businesses page on the CalRecycle website.
There is no online registration for this program with the CDTFA. For registration information, contact CalRecycle.
After you register with CalRecycle and obtain a Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) number, CalRecycle will send your SWIS registration information to the CDTFA.
The Integrated Waste Management Fee rate is charged on the amount of solid waste (including nonhazardous wood waste), measured by weight or volumetric equivalent, disposed of at a disposal site in California. The total tons of solid waste subject to the fee are multiplied by the fee rate to calculate the amount due.
Visit the Tax Rates – Special Taxes and Fees page to view current and historical tax rates. Rates for the integrated waste management fee program are set by statute (Public Resources Code Section 48000).
The Integrated Waste Management Fee returns and payments are due on the 25th day of the month following each quarterly period. For example, the 1st quarter 2020 return (January – March 2020) return was due on April 25, 2020.
File a Return Online – File your return through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to file a return. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the File a Return link and follow the prompts.
Note: If you do not have a username and password, select the Sign Up Now link under the Create a Username heading from the online services homepage.
Additional Return Filing Options – You may also file your return(s) by mail using the return forms listed below:
- CDTFA-501-SQ, Integrated Waste Management Fee Return or
- CDTFA-501-NW, Integrated Waste Management Fee Return – Nonhazardous Wood Waste Facility
Visit our Tutorials page for how to file your Integrated Waste Management Fee returns through our online services.
Returns must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely, even if no amount is owed. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state holiday, returns postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.
Make a Payment – Make payments through our online services. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to make a payment. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the Make a Payment link and follow the prompts.
Additional Payment Options – Visit our website for additional convenient payment methods.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – Taxpayers with an estimated average monthly fee liability of $20,000 or more are required to pay amounts due by electronic funds transfer (EFT). We will notify you in writing if you are required to pay your fees electronically. Please visit our Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for payment methods and payment deadline information.
Payments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.
The penalty for filing a late return and/or late fee payment is ten percent of the fee amount due for the period. Interest also applies to late fee payments.
Interest also applies to late fee payments.
Update Business Information Online – Update your business information through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to update. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the option you are requesting to update under Account Maintenance.
Additional Business Update Options – You may also notify us of any changes by:
Records must be retained for at least four years from the time the fee is due unless the CDTFA authorizes you in writing to destroy them sooner.
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers the Integrated Waste Management Fee Program pursuant to sections 40195.1 and 48000; of the Public Resources Code. For the purposes of the fee imposed by Section 48000, facilities which receive only nonhazardous wood waste derived from timber production or wood product manufacturing shall, notwithstanding Section 48000, pay a quarterly fee to the CDTFA on all solid waste disposed at each disposal site, as provided under the Integrated Waste Management Fee Law beginning with section 45001 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
Every operator of a disposal facility accepting nonhazardous wood waste exclusively is required to have a solid waste facility permit from CalRecycle and must pay a fee quarterly to the CDTFA based on all solid waste disposed of at each disposal site on or after January 1, 1990.
A Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) number is issued by CalRecycle for solid waste facilities, operations, and disposal sites throughout California.
This number is needed to register for an Integrated Waste Management Fee account with the CDTFA.
The processing of solid waste facility permits is administered by CalRecycle in conjunction with Local Enforcement Agencies. For information about obtaining a permit and whether you need a Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) account number, see the Solid Waste Facility Page on the CalRecycle website.
Visit the sites below for more information about other state, federal, and local taxing and licensing information:
- The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. For a listing of their assistance centers, visit GO-Biz.
- CalGold for help with permit and licensing requirements for other state, federal, and local authorities (for example, you may need to be registered with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department).
- California Tax Service Center for additional tax information.
You may also want to consult with a tax professional for assistance on other agency requirements.
CalRecycle may exempt from the fee any operator of a solid waste landfill that, on a monthly average, receives less than five tons of solid waste per operating day.
To obtain an exemption, you should complete Section I, box 3 on the CDTFA-501-SQ, Integrated Waste Management Fee Return.
Submit a Claim for Refund – File your claim for refund through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to claim a refund. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the Submit a Claim for Refund link and follow the prompts.
Additional Claim for Refund Filing Options – You may also file your claim for refund by filing either:
- A form CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit, or
- An amended return(s) stating the specific reason(s) for the overpayment.
Claims for refund must be in writing, state the reason for overpayment, specify the period for which you made the overpayment, and the amount of the refund requested. Additional refund details can be found on our Filing Claims for Refund – Special Taxes and Fees webpage.
You may email the claim form to the Refund Team or mail it to:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Appeals and Data Analysis Branch (MIC 33)
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0033
Deadline to File a Claim for Refund
Be sure to file your claim for refund by the applicable deadline. If you do not file on time, we cannot consider your claim, even if you overpaid the fee. You must file a claim for refund by whichever of the following dates that occurs last:
- Three years after the due date of the return on which you overpaid the fee.
- Six months after you overpaid the fee.
- Six months after the date a determination (billing) became final.
- Three years after the CDTFA collected an involuntary payment, such as from a levy or lien.
If you have questions about your deadline to file a refund claim, contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711) weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time (except state holidays).
Laws and Regulations
- Revisions to the Integrated Waste Management Fee Returns and Launch of Online Filing Effective November 9, 2020
Other Helpful Resources
- Contact Us – A listing of CDTFA contacts for your questions and concerns.
- Sign Up for CDTFA Updates – Subscribe to our email lists and receive the latest news, newsletters, tax and fee updates, public meeting agendas, and other announcements.
- Videos and How-To Guides – These resources will help you avoid common mistakes, file your tax returns online, and more.
- Online Services – Learn about the online services CDTFA offers.
- Office Locations and Addresses – A comprehensive listing of all CDTFA offices and contact information.
- Get It In Writing! – Tax and fee laws can be complex, and you are encouraged to put your tax questions in writing. You may send your request to: Special Taxes and Fees, MIC: 31, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, P.O. Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-0031.
- Taxpayers' Rights Advocate (TRA) – The TRA Office helps taxpayers when they are unable to resolve a matter through normal channels, such as speaking to a supervisor, or when there are apparent rights violations.
- GO-Biz – The Governor' Office of Business and Economic Development offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. For a listing of their assistance centers, visit their website.
- CalGold – Provides help with permit and licensing requirements on the other state, federal, and local authorities. For example, you may need to register with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department. You may also want to consult with a tax professional or your local city and county authorities for assistance regarding other agencies' requirements or restrictions.
- California's Tax Service Center – A one-stop tax help and resource website that guides taxpayers to forms and services they need.