Cigarette and Tobacco Products Flat (FLT) File and XML Filing Guide

Beginning June 1, 2020

  • Online filing via Extensible Markup Language (XML) will be available in our online services system for cigarette tax reporting by manufacturers, importers, distributors, and wholesalers.
  • Any information about XML in this guide applies to cigarette tax reporting beginning with the May 2020 reporting period (due June 25, 2020) and after.

Webpage Updates – We will update our webpages with additional information and resources as it becomes available – please check back periodically for updates.

This guide contains general instructions you need to file cigarette and tobacco products tax information (tax returns, schedules, information reports, hereafter collectively referred to as “tax forms”) online with us. We accept schedule (transaction) records in a flat (FLT) file or Extensible Markup Language (XML) format for some tax forms online. This guide, along with other information provided on our Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage, is designed to provide rules, procedures, and technical requirements for the online filing of the cigarette and tobacco products tax forms that offer the FLT or XML file filing format. All directions set forth in this guide and on the website must be followed for successful use of FLT or XML files for online filing.

Tax Forms for Online Filing with a FLT or XML File

We will accept properly formatted online filings with a FLT or XML file for the following tax forms:

TYPE OF FILER TAX FORM TAX FORM TITLE SCHEDULE SCHEDULE TITLE Reporting Periods April 2020 and prior Reporting Periods May 2020 and after
FILE FORMAT FILE FORMAT
CIGARETTES
Cigarette Manufacturer/Importer CDTFA-501-CM Cigarette Manufacturer's Tax Return of Taxable Distributions in California CDTFA-810-CTF Cigarette Tax Disbursement Schedule
  • FLT
  • FLT
  • XML
Cigarette Distributor/Importer CDTFA-501-CD Cigarette Distributor/Importer Tax Report CDTFA-810-CTF Cigarette Tax Disbursement Schedule
  • FLT
  • FLT
  • XML
CDTFA-810-CTI Cigarette Tax Receipt Schedule
  • FLT
  • FLT
  • XML
Cigarette Wholesaler CDTFA-501-CW Cigarette Wholesaler's Report CDTFA-810-CTI Cigarette Tax Receipt Schedule N/A
  • FLT
  • XML
TOBACCO PRODUCTS
Tobacco Products Manufacturer/Importer CDTFA-501-TIM Tobacco Products Manufacturer/Importer Return of Taxable Distributions of Samples in California CDTFA-501-MIT Schedule – Manufacturer/Importer Report of Nontaxable Sales of Tobacco Products
  • FLT
  • FLT

How to Use This Guide

Each section of this guide contains important information relevant to filing cigarette and tobacco products tax forms via FLT and XML file. The Getting Started section provides important information for filing via FLT and XML. For further information about filing online with us and to obtain Microsoft Excel templates that you can use to create a FLT file, visit our Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage.

The FLT File and XML File sections provide the file specifications, XPath data model, XML schema, and other information related to the applicable filing format.

The Guidelines section provides further information relating to filing via FLT and XML.

The File Testing section provides the information necessary to help you complete the optional file testing.

The Examples section provides examples of completed Microsoft Excel templates.

You must connect to the CDTFA website to submit your files and use a browser that supports 128 bit SSL. Usernames and passwords are required. A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted session will be established between you and the CDTFA when you log in. Your system must be configured to accept “cookies.” The CDTFA Online Services system requires a “cookie” as an element in maintaining the secure internet connection.

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Go to our Online Services login page and enter your Username and Password.

For additional information on cigarette and tobacco products online filing, please visit the CDTFA website at www.cdtfa.ca.gov. On the CDTFA website, you can find the latest developments in tax-related news. Some of the topics and information available include:

  • Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage, including:
    • FLT file templates and examples
    • Online Filing Glossary
    • Filing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • CDTFA Online Services Information
  • Hot Topics
  • News Releases, Notices, Publications, and Newsletters
  • Special Taxpayer Alerts
  • Telephone Numbers and Addresses for Other Services

The information contained in this guide is subject to change. We recommend that you check our website for updates to this guide and the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage. Updates may include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes to online filing rules or requirements
  • Changes to cigarette and tobacco products tax returns or reports
  • New schedules or changes to schedules

If you have questions regarding cigarette and tobacco products online filing, please call the CDTFA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday (excluding State holidays) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time); from the main menu, select Special Taxes and Fees.

Or write to us at the following address:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Special Taxes and Fees, MIC: 88
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0088

In your written inquiries, please include the tax program you are inquiring about and provide contact information, such as name, account number, address, phone number, and email address.

Assistance for persons with hearing or speech impairments can be obtained by calling our California Relay Service (CRS:711), Monday through Friday (excluding State holidays) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

This guide summarizes the law and applicable regulations in effect when the document was written. Changes in the law or in regulations, however, may have occurred since that time. If there is a conflict between this guide and the law, decisions will be based on the law, and not this guide.

A FLT file transmission is made up of one or more data sets. “Data set” is the term used to describe the online equivalent of a tax return or information report. In this guide, FLT data is referred to as a data set.

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The data included in a FLT data set conveys the same information as the conventional paper document. Within each data set, there are sections that correspond directly to the format of the paper document:

  • The header section contains information that pertains to the entire document, such as the filing date, business name, business address, filing period, account number, contact information, etc.
  • The return section contains information describing which return is present in the data set.
  • The transaction detail section includes the same information found on the paper schedules, such as document/bill of lading number and date, carrier information, origin or destination information, UPC, etc. The CDTFA has developed transaction file templates that convert transaction records on a spreadsheet into a flat “FLT” file format.

The group responsible for developing the FLT file standards is the CDTFA. These standards apply only to cigarette and tobacco products FLT files.

Cigarette and tobacco products FLT file standards can be found below in the specifications. The standards prescribe the framework for how a specific FLT message is formatted and include:

  • Attribute Conventions – formatting requirements
  • Data Elements – field identifiers
  • File Structure – Cigarette – FS; Tobacco – ES and EN
  • Segments – tax form descriptors

We have developed Excel FLT file templates for many tax forms that can be filed online. The templates convert transaction records entered on a spreadsheet to a FLT file. Although these templates may be used to create valid FLT files, the templates are intended as examples for reference only. The templates are available on the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage. Also available are example templates with sample transaction data that corresponds to one of the example tax forms. Examples can also be found in the Examples section of this guide.

The date format for FLT files must be reflected as follows: YYYYMMDD. For example, June 30, 2013, would be reflected as 20130630.

General

The CDTFA Cigarette Tax Flat (FLT) File Specifications are to be used when creating transaction files for cigarette tax online filing. A FLT file is a file in which data is formatted in plain-text, usually with some kind of delimiter (tab, comma, etc.). You will follow the FLT file format, as defined in Version 1 Release 1 (CDTFA map). The CDTFA requires that your schedules provide the detailed information needed to track monthly cigarette transactions.

Both quantity and dollar amounts must be rounded to the nearest whole number. Do not use decimals.

The following sections provide the information you need to create cigarette transaction files. The sections will cover all the necessary specifications in detail for the creation of these files.

  • Cigarette FLT File Format Flow
    The Cigarette FLT File Format Flow section describes the record types contained within a file. Each record type is used for a specific purpose and, if a record type is required, it must be placed in the file in the order the record types are listed.
  • Cigarette FLT File Structure Overview
    The Cigarette FLT File Structure Overview section lists all of the fields in each record type without the formatting requirements for the fields. It also contains a description of the use of the record type as well as tips for completing record types. This section is useful for laying out the FLT file as it applies to individual reporting needs.
  • Attribute Conventions and Separator Requirements
    The Attribute Conventions and Separator Requirements section provides helpful information for understanding the formatting requirement descriptions for each field in a record type.
  • Cigarette FLT File Reporting Map
    The Cigarette FLT File Reporting Map section provides detailed information on the requirements for each record type. This information includes formatting requirements for each field.

The CDTFA's Cigarette Tax FLT File Specifications version control number for this publication is 1.1. The version control number will change when the CDTFA publishes updates to the FLT file format. This number is used by the CDTFA to manage changes between versions in FLT files. Report the version control number in the File Type (FLT) Segment found in the FLT File Reporting Map.

“Record type” is the term used to describe a line in the FLT file. For cigarette tax online filing, there are two record types, “FLT” and “FS.” The FLT record type is used to report the header information. The FS record type is used to report transaction detail. The record types are composed of fields containing the data needed to convey the required information. A complete FLT file will contain one FLT record type and the FS record type repeated as often as necessary to convey the information required for the tax form to be filed with the CDTFA in the proper format.

The FLT file format is designed to accommodate multiple tax forms. Therefore, fields are included in the record type's map that may not be applicable to every individual tax form. In these instances, no data is required to populate that field, but the empty field must be included in the file to maintain its integrity. A “Filler Pipe” character (|) is used for this purpose.

Examples of acceptable tax forms are provided on the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage. Each example contains an Excel template with sample records used to create a transaction file. The examples illustrate how the transaction records from the Excel spreadsheet convert to a FLT file format.

All cigarette tax forms follow the Cigarette FLT File Format Flow. The number of records in the FS record type section will vary depending on the quantity of transactions being reported. Refer to the Cigarette FLT File Structure Overview section of the tax form (Cigarette Manufacturer or Cigarette Distributor/Importer) being reported to determine the specific reporting requirements.

Record Type Description Comments
FLT Filing Format Identifier Used for all tax forms
FS Schedules Used for all tax forms

The Filing Format Identifier Record Type (FLT) is used for all tax forms. It lets the CDTFA know what type of file is being submitted. It also provides information about the account and period being reported.

Field No Filing Format Identifier
01 Electronic Return Record Type (FLT)
02 Version
03 Test or “Actual” Production Filing Indicator
04 Account Number
05 Report Start Date
06 Report End Date

The Schedule Record Type (FS) is used for all tax forms. It is used to report individual transactions. Each transaction is a separate line and contains all 48 fields. The Schedule Record Type was developed to encompass all the transaction schedules used by the CDTFA; therefore, all fields do not apply to every schedule. If a field does not apply to the schedule used to report a transaction, no entry is required for that field, and a “Filler Pipe” character (|) should be inserted in place of any data to maintain the integrity of the record type.

Field No Schedule
01 Record Type (FS)
02 Schedule Code
03 Universal Product Code (UPC)
04 Mode
05 Document Date
06 Document Number
07 Invoice Date
08 Invoice Number
09 Quantity
10 Unit of Measure (UOM)
11 Tax Value
12 Tax Paid (Y/N)
13 Destination Street
14 Destination City
15 Destination ZIP
16 Destination ZIP + 4
17 Destination ST
18 Destination Country
19 Origin Street
20 Origin City
21 Origin ZIP
22 Origin ZIP + 4
23 Origin ST
24 Origin Country
25 Seller Tax ID Type
26 Seller Tax ID
27 Buyer Tax ID Type
28 Buyer Tax ID
29 Carrier Tax ID Type
30 Carrier Tax ID
31 Consignor Tax ID Type
32 Consignor Tax ID
33 Vessel ID/Rail Car ID
34 Seller Internet Address
35 Seller Area Code
36 Seller Phone Number
37 Seller Extension
38 Future Use #1
39 Future Use #2
40 Future Use #3
41 Future Use #4
42 Future Use #5
43 Future Use #6
44 Seller's Name
45 Consignor's Name
46 Carrier's Name
47 Buyer's Name
48 Product Name

Attribute Definition
Data Element Type Nn – Numeric Numeric type data element is symbolized by the two-position representation (Nn). “N” indicates a numeric, and “n” indicates the decimal places to the right of a fixed, implied decimal point. N0 (N Zero) is a numeric with no decimal places.
R – Decimal (Real) The decimal point is optional for integer values, but is required for fractional values. For negative values, the leading minus (−) sign is used. Absence of this sign indicates a positive value. The plus (+) sign should not be transmitted.
ID – Identifier An identifier data element must always contain a value from a predefined list of values that is maintained by ASC X12, or by other bodies that are recognized by ASC X12, or as developed specifically for the FLT file format by the CDTFA.
AN – String A string (alphanumeric) is a sequence of any characters from the basic or extended character sets. It must contain at least one non-space character. The significant characters must be left justified. Leading spaces, if any, are assumed to be significant. Trailing spaces should be suppressed.
DT – Date Format for the date type is YYYYMMDD. YYYY is the four digits of the year (2013), MM is the numeric value of the month (01-12), and DD for the day (01-31).
TM – Time Format for the time type is HHMMSS, expressed in 24-hour clock format. HH is the numeric value for hour (00-23), MM for minute (00-59), and SS for second (00-59).
Requirement Designator Defines how the data element is used in a segment.
M – Mandatory This element must appear in the segment.
O – Optional The appearance of this data element is at the option of the sending party or is based on a mutual agreement of the interchange parties.
X – Relational Relational conditions may exist between two or more data elements. If one is present the other(s) is (are) required. The relational condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
S – Situational Situational conditions may exist with one or more data elements. The data element may be required to be populated only in certain situations. When a data element is not required to be populated, a “Filler Tab” must be entered in its place. The situational condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
N – Not Required Not Required conditions may exist with one or more data elements. The data element may not be required to be populated for certain tax forms. When a data element is not required to be populated, a “Filler Tab” must be entered in its place. The Not Required condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
Data Element Length x / x – Minimum and Maximum lengths The number of character positions assigned to a data element. Example: Data element length of 2/10. You must have at least 2 characters but no more than 10 characters for this element (minimum of 2/ maximum of 10).

Type ASCII Value EBCDIC Value Character Character Name
Record Separator 1310 1321 <cr> Carriage Return (Paragraph)
Element Separator 9 5 <tab> Tab
Padding Character 32 64 <sp> Space

Key:

Notes
Note: important to read all notes
Syntax Notes
Translation Syntax Requirements – The CDTFA file validation will enforce these.

Schedule Record Type
Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Length Field Description
Min Max
FLT01 M Electronic Return Record Type AN 3 3 “FLT” = Flat File Type
FLT02 M Version AN 3 7 “1.1” = CDTFA Version
FLT03 M Test or “Actual” Production Filing Indicator AN 1 1 “P” = Production Data
FLT04 M Account Number AN 9 9 CDTFA Account Number
FLT05 M Report Start Date DT 8 8 Start date of the reporting period that the tax form represents. Format is YYYYMMDD.
FLT06 M Report End Date DT 8 8 End date of the reporting period that the tax form represents. Format is YYYYMMDD.
  1. FLT<tab>1.1.CDTFA<tab>P<tab>090123456<tab>20120901<tab> 20120930<cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    None

Schedule Record Type
Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Length Field Description
Min Max
FS01 M Record Type AN 2 2 “FS” = Identifies schedule record type
FS02 M Schedule Code AN 1 4 Identifies the schedule code for the item being reported
FS03 O UPC AN 3 13 Identifies the UPC for the item being reported. Also Stamp, Stamp Roll ID
FS04 S Mode Code AN 1 3 The transportation mode code
FS05 M Document Date DT 8 8 The date the transaction shipped (YYYYMMDD)
FS06 M Document Number AN 1 15 Document Number/BOL Number
FS07 N Invoice Date DT 8 8 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS08 N Invoice Number AN 1 15 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS09 M Quantity N 1 11 Quantity
FS10 M UOM AN 3 3 Unit of Measure
FS11 N Tax Value N 1 11 Tax Value/Wholesale Cost
FS12 S Tax Paid (Y/N) A 1 1 Tax Paid (Y/N)
FS13 S Destination Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS14 S Destination City AN 1 30 City
FS15 S Destination ZIP AN 5 5 ZIP Code
FS16 S Destination ZIP +4 AN 4 4 ZIP + 4 Code
FS17 S Destination State AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS18 S Destination Country AN 3 3 Country Code
FS19 N Origin Street AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS20 N Origin City AN 1 30 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS21 N Origin ZIP AN 5 5 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS22 N Origin ZIP +4 AN 4 4 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS23 N Origin State AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS24 N Origin Country AN 3 3 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS25 N Seller Tax ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS26 N Seller Tax ID AN 9 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS27 S Buyer Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN, “34” = SSN, “49” = CDTFA Account Number
FS28 S Buyer Tax ID AN 9 9 Buyer's FEIN or SSN or CDTFA Account Number
FS29 N Carrier Tax ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS30 N Carrier Tax ID AN 9 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS31 N Consignor Tax ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS32 N Consignor Tax ID AN 9 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS33 N Vessel ID/Rail Car ID AN 1 15 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS34 N Seller Internet Address AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS35 N Seller Area Code AN 3 3 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS36 N Seller Phone Number AN 7 7 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS37 N Seller Extension AN 1 4 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS38 N Future Use #1 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS39 N Future Use #2 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS40 N Future Use #3 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS41 N Future Use #4 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS42 N Future Use #5 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS43 N Future Use #6 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS44 N Seller's Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS45 N Consignor's Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A "Filler Pipe" is required.
FS46 N Carrier's Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS47 X Buyer's Name AN 1 35 Buyer's Name
FS48 M Product Name AN 1 35 Brand and Variant Name
  1. FS<tab>6A<tab>123456789012<tab><tab>20120925<tab>DOC123456<tab><tab>
    <tab>55<tab>CSE<tab><tab><tab>
    450 N Street<tab>Sacramento<tab>95814
    <tab>1234<tab>CA<tab>USA<tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>
    <tab>24<tab>111222333<tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>
    <tab><tab>Cigarette Distributor<tab>Cigarette Brand and Variant<cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    01 FS03: Reporting FS03 is optional, but recommended by the CDTFA.
    02 FS04: Report FS04 when reporting schedule code 7A. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    03 FS12: Report FS12 when reporting schedule code 7A. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    04 FS13-FS18: Report FS13-18 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    05 FS27 and FS28: Report FS27 and FS28 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    06 FS33-FS43: No data is required for fields FS33-43. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
    07 FS47: Report FS47 when reporting FS27 and FS28. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”

    If no data is provided, a “Filler Pipe” is required.

Schedule Record Type
Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Length Field Description
Min Max
FS01 M Record Type AN 2 2 “FS” = Identifies schedule record type
FS02 M Schedule Code AN 1 4 Identifies the schedule code for the item being reported
FS03 O UPC AN 3 12 Identifies the UPC for the item being reported. Also Stamp, Stamp Roll ID
FS04 S Mode Code AN 1 3 The transportation mode code
FS05 M Document Date DT 8 8 The date the transaction shipped (YYYYMMDD)
FS06 M Document Number AN 1 15 Document Number/BOL Number
FS07 N Invoice Date DT 8 8 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS08 N Invoice Number AN 1 15 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS09 M Quantity N 1 11 Quantity
FS10 M UOM AN 3 3 Unit of Measure
FS11 N Tax Value N 1 11 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS12 S Tax Paid (Y/N) A 1 1 Tax Paid (Y/N)
FS13 S Destination Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS14 S Destination City AN 1 30 City
FS15 S Destination ZIP AN 5 5 ZIP Code
FS16 S Destination ZIP +4 AN 4 4 ZIP + 4 Code
FS17 S Destination State AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS18 S Destination Country AN 3 3 Country Code
FS19 S Origin Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS20 S Origin City AN 1 30 City
FS21 S Origin ZIP AN 5 5 ZIP Code
FS22 S Origin ZIP +4 AN 4 4 ZIP + 4 Code
FS23 S Origin State AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS24 S Origin Country AN 3 3 Country Code
FS25 S Seller Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN, “34” = SSN, “49” = CDTFA Account Number
FS26 S Seller Tax ID AN 9 9 Seller's FEIN or SSN or CDTFA Account Number
FS27 S Buyer Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN, “34” = SSN, “49” = CDTFA Account Number
FS28 S Buyer Tax ID AN 9 9 Buyer's FEIN or SSN or CDTFA Account Number
FS29 N Carrier Tax ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS30 N Carrier Tax ID AN 9 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS31 N Consignor Tax ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS32 N Consignor Tax ID AN 9 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS33 N Vessel ID/Rail Car ID AN 1 15 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS34 N Seller Internet Address AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS35 N Seller Area Code AN 3 3 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS36 N Seller Phone Number AN 7 7 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS37 N Seller Extension AN 1 4 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS38 N Future Use #1 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS39 N Future Use #2 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS40 N Future Use #3 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS41 N Future Use #4 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS42 N Future Use #5 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS43 N Future Use #6 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS44 X Seller's Name AN 1 35 Seller's Name
FS45 X Consignor's Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS46 X Carrier's Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
FS47 X Buyer's Name AN 1 35 Buyer's Name
FS48 M Product Name AN 1 35 Brand and Variant Name
  1. FS<tab>2A<tab>123456789012<tab>J<tab>20120925<tab>DOC123456<tab><tab><tab>55<tab>CSE<tab><tab><tab>
    <tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>450 N Street<tab>Sacramento<tab>95814<tab>1234<tab>CA<tab>USA<tab>49<tab>
    002123456<tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>Cigarette
    Manufacturer<tab><tab><tab><tab>Cigarette Brand and Variant<cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    01 FS03: Reporting FS03 is optional, but recommended by the CDTFA.
    02 FS04: Report FS04 when reporting schedule code 7A. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    03 FS12: Report FS12 when reporting schedule code 7A. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    04 FS13-FS18: Report FS13-18 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    05 FS19-FS24: Report FS19-24 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    06 FS25 and FS26: Report FS25 and FS26 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    07 FS27 and FS28: Report FS27 and FS28 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    08 FS31-FS43: No data is required for fields FS31-43. A “Filler Pipe” is required.
    09 FS44: Report FS44 when reporting FS25 and FS26. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”
    10 FS47: Report FS47 when reporting FS27 and FS28. Otherwise, use a “Filler Pipe.”

    If no data is provided, a “Filler Tab” is required.

General

The CDTFA Cigarette Tax Flat (FLT) File Specifications are to be used when creating transaction files for cigarette tax online filing. An FLT file is a file in which data is formatted in plaintext, usually with a delimiter (tab, comma, etc.). You will follow the FLT file format, as defined in Version 3 Release 0 (See Cigarette FLT File Reporting Map section below). We require that your schedules provide the detailed information needed to track monthly cigarette transactions.

Both quantity and dollar amounts must be rounded to the nearest whole number. Do not use decimals.

The following sections provide the information you need to create cigarette transaction files. The sections will cover all the necessary specifications in detail for the creation of these files.

  • Cigarette FLT File Format Flow

    The Cigarette FLT File Format Flow section describes the record types contained within a file. Each record type is used for a specific purpose and if a record type is required, it must be placed in the file in the order the record types are listed.

  • Cigarette FLT File Structure Overview

    The Cigarette FLT File Structure Overview section lists all the fields in each record type without the formatting requirements for the fields. It also contains a description of the use of the record type as well as tips for completing record types. This section is useful for laying out the FLT file as it applies to individual reporting needs.

  • Attribute Conventions and Separator Requirements

    The Attribute Conventions and Separator Requirements section provides information for understanding the formatting requirement descriptions for each field in a record type.

  • Cigarette FLT File Reporting Map

    The Cigarette FLT File Reporting Map section provides detailed information on the requirements for each record type. This information includes formatting requirements for each field.

The CDTFA's Cigarette Tax FLT File Specifications version control number for this publication is 3.0. The version control number will change when we publish updates to the FLT file format. This number is used by us to manage changes between versions in FLT files. Report the version control number in the File Type (FLT) Segment found in the Cigarette FLT File Reporting Map.

Record type is the term used to describe a line in the FLT file. For cigarette tax online filing, there are two record types, FLT and FS. The FLT record type is used to report the header information. The FS record type is used to report transaction detail. The record types are composed of fields containing the data needed to convey the required information. A complete FLT file will contain one FLT record type and the FS record type repeated as often as necessary to convey the information required for the tax form to be filed with us in the proper format.

The FLT file format is designed to accommodate multiple tax forms. Therefore, fields are included in the record type's map that may not be applicable to every individual tax form. In these instances, no data is required to populate that field, but the empty field must be included in the file to maintain its integrity. A “Filler Tab” is used for this purpose.

Examples of acceptable tax forms are provided on the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage. Each example contains an Excel template with sample records used to create a transaction file. The examples illustrate how the transaction records from the Excel spreadsheet convert to a FLT file format.

All cigarette tax forms follow the Cigarette FLT File Format Flow. The number of records in the FS record type section will vary depending on the quantity of transactions being reported. Refer to the Cigarette FLT File Structure Overview section of the tax form (Cigarette Manufacturer or Cigarette Distributor/Importer) being reported to determine the specific reporting requirements.

Record Type Description Comments
FLT Filing Format Identifier Used for all tax forms
FS Schedules Used for all tax forms

The Filing Format Identifier Record Type (FLT) is used for all tax forms. It lets us know what type of file is being submitted. It also provides information about the account and period being reported.

Field No Filing Format Identifier
01 Electronic Return Record Type (FLT)
02 Version
03 Test or “Actual” Production Filing Indicator
04 Account Number
05 Report Start Date
06 Report End Date

The Schedule Record Type (FS) is used for all tax forms. It is used to report individual transactions. Each transaction is a separate line and contains all 45 fields. The Schedule Record Type encompasses all of the transaction schedules we use; therefore, all fields do not apply to every schedule. If a field does not apply to the schedule used to report a transaction, no entry is required for that field, and a “Filler Tab” should be inserted in place of any data to maintain the integrity of the record type.

Field No Schedule
01 Record Type (FS)
02 Schedule Code
03 Tax Jurisdiction Code
04 Document Date
05 Document Number
06 Universal Product Code (UPC)
07 Product Description Code
08 Product Name
09 Quantity
10 Unit of Measure (UOM)
11 Tax Value
12 Weight/Volume Type
13 Weight Volume
14 Total
15 Extended Amount
16 Price
17 MSA Status
18 Destination Street
19 Destination City
20 Destination ST
21 Destination ZIP
22 Destination Country
23 Origin Street
24 Origin City
25 Origin ST
26 Origin ZIP
27 Origin Country
28 Seller Tax ID Type
29 Seller Tax ID
30 Buyer Tax ID Type
31 Buyer Tax ID
32 Future Use #1
33 Future Use #2
34 Delivery Service ID Type
35 Delivery Service ID
36 Delivery Service Street
37 Delivery Service City
38 Delivery Service ST
39 Delivery Service ZIP
40 Total Cigarettes Sales Price
41 Delivery Service Phone Number
42 Delivery Service Name
43 Seller's Name
44 Buyer's Name
45 Manufacturer Name

Attribute Definition
Data Element Type Nn – Numeric Numeric type data element is symbolized by the two-position representation (Nn). “N” indicates a numeric, and “n” indicates the decimal places to the right of a fixed, implied decimal point. N0 (N Zero) is a numeric with no decimal places.
R – Decimal (Real) The decimal point is optional for integer values, but is required for fractional values. For negative values, the leading minus (−) sign is used. Absence of this sign indicates a positive value. The plus (+) sign should not be transmitted.
ID – Identifier An identifier data element must always contain a value from a predefined list of values that is maintained by ASC X12, or by other bodies that are recognized by ASC X12, or as developed specifically for the FLT file format by the CDTFA.
AN – String A string (alphanumeric) is a sequence of any characters from the basic or extended character sets. It must contain at least one non-space character. The significant characters must be left justified. Leading spaces, if any, are assumed to be significant. Trailing spaces should be suppressed.
DT – Date Format for the date type is YYYYMMDD. YYYY is the four digits of the year (2013), MM is the numeric value of the month (01-12), and DD for the day (01-31).
TM – Time Format for the time type is HHMMSS, expressed in 24-hour clock format. HH is the numeric value for hour (00-23), MM for minute (00-59), and SS for second (00-59).
Requirement Designator Defines how the data element is used in a segment.
M – Mandatory This element must appear in the segment.
O – Optional The appearance of this data element is at the option of the sending party or is based on a mutual agreement of the interchange parties.
X – Relational Relational conditions may exist between two or more data elements. If one is present the other(s) is (are) required. The relational condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
S – Situational Situational conditions may exist with one or more data elements. The data element may be required to be populated only in certain situations. When a data element is not required to be populated, a “Filler Tab” must be entered in its place. The situational condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
N – Not Required Not Required conditions may exist with one or more data elements. The data element may not be required to be populated for certain tax forms. When a data element is not required to be populated, a “Filler Tab” must be entered in its place. The Not Required condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
Data Element Length x / x – Minimum and Maximum lengths The number of character positions assigned to a data element. Example: Data element length of 2/10. You must have at least 2 characters but no more than 10 characters for this element (minimum of 2/ maximum of 10).

Type ASCII Value EBCDIC Value Character Character Name
Record Separator 1310 1321 <cr> Carriage Return (Paragraph)
Element Separator 9 5 <tab> Tab
Padding Character 32 64 <sp> Space

Key:

Notes Note: important to read all notes

Syntax Notes Translation Syntax Requirements – The CDTFA file validation will enforce these.

Filing Identifier Record Type
Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Length Field Description
Min Max
FLT01 M Electronic Return Record Type AN 3 3 “FLT” = Flat File Type
FLT02 M Version AN 3 7 “3.0” = CDTFA Version
FLT03 M Production Filing Indicator AN 1 1 “P” = Production Data
FLT04 M Account Number AN 9 9 CDTFA Account Number
FLT05 M Report Start Date DT 8 8 Start date of the reporting period that the tax form represents. Format is YYYYMMDD.
FLT06 M Report End Date DT 8 8 End date of the reporting period that the tax form represents. Format is YYYYMMDD.
  1. FLT<tab>3.0.<tab>P<tab>090123456<tab>20210801<tab>20210831<cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    01 FLT04: Only the numeric portion of an account number should be entered. It should be entered including any leading zeros and without any special characters (such as dashes.) For example: “012-345678” should be entered as “012345678”.

Schedule Record Type

Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Min Length Max Length Field Description
FS01 M Record Type (FS) AN 2 2 “FS” = Identifies schedule record type
FS02 M Schedule Code AN 2 2 Identifies the schedule code for the item being reported. “1C” = Receipt, “2C” = Disbursement
FS03 M Tax Jurisdiction Code AN 1 3 Tax Jurisdiction Code for this event. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
FS04 M Document Date DT 8 8 The date the transaction shipped (YYYYMMDD)
FS05 M Document Number AN 1 15 Document Number/BOL Number
FS06 M Universal Product Code (UPC) AN 3 25 Identifies the UPC for the item being reported.
FS07 N Product Description Code AN 3 3 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS08 M Product Name AN 1 35 Brand and Variant Name. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
FS09 M Quantity N 1 11 The quantity of product as identified by the UOM
FS10 M Unit of Measure (UOM) AN 3 3 Unit of Measure
FS11 N Value N 1 6 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS12 N Weight/Volume Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS13 N Weight/Volume N 1 6 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS14 M Total N 1 12 The total number of cigarettes in this transaction
FS15 N Extended Amount N 1 8 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS16 N Price N 1 8 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS17 M MSA Status AN 2 3 “PM” = Participating Manufacturer, “NPM” = Non-participating Manufacturer
FS18 S Destination Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS19 S Destination City AN 1 22 City
FS20 S Destination ST AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS21 S Destination ZIP AN 5 9 ZIP Code
FS22 S Destination Country AN 2 2 Country Code
FS23 S Origin Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS24 S Origin City AN 1 22 City
FS25 S Origin ST AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS26 S Origin ZIP AN 5 9 ZIP Code
FS27 S Origin Country AN 2 2 Country Code
FS28 S Seller Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN
FS29 S Seller Tax ID AN 8 9 Seller's FEIN
FS30 S Buyer Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN
FS31 S Buyer Tax ID AN 8 9 Buyer's FEIN
FS32 N Future Use #1 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS33 N Future Use #2 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS34 N Delivery Service ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS35 N Delivery Service ID AN 8 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS36 N Delivery Service Street AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS37 N Delivery Service City AN 1 22 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS38 N Delivery Service ST AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS39 N Delivery Service ZIP AN 5 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS40 S Total Cigarettes Sales Price N 1 8 Total sales price of the cigarettes sold. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
FS41 N Delivery Service Phone Number AN 10 10 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS42 N Delivery Service Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS43 S Seller Name AN 1 35 Seller Name
FS44 S Buyer Name AN 1 35 Buyer Name
FS45 M Manufacturer Name AN 1 35 Manufacturer Name.See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
  1. FS<tab>2C<tab>10B<tab>20210821<tab>85418<tab>227458502142<tab><tab>FIREFLY MENTHOL BLUE<tab>150<tab>CAR<tab><tab><tab><tab>30000<tab><tab><tab>NPM<tab>8452 D ST<tab>NEW YORK<tab>NY<tab>544810007<tab>US<tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>24<tab>652356851<tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>125000<tab><tab><tab><tab>ZZZ DISTRIBUTING<tab>XYZ MANUFACTURING<cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    FS03: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for tax jurisdiction code (TJC) reporting requirements.
    FS08: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for product name reporting requirements.
    FS10: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for unit of measure (UOM) reporting requirements.
    FS18-FS22: Report FS18 - 22 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS23-FS27: Report FS23 - 27 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS28-FS29: Report FS28 - FS29 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS30-FS31: Report FS30 - FS31 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS40: Report FS40 when FS03 is 10B. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS43: Report FS43 when reporting FS28 and FS29. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS44: Report FS44 when reporting FS30 and FS31. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS45: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for manufacturer name reporting requirements.

    If no data is provided, a “Filler Tab” is required.

Schedule Record Type

Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Min Length Max Length Field Description
FS01 M Record Type (FS) AN 2 2 “FS” = Identifies schedule record type
FS02 M Schedule Code AN 2 2 Identifies the schedule code for the item being reported. “2C” = Disbursement
FS03 M Tax Jurisdiction Code AN 1 3 Tax Jurisdiction Code for this event.
FS04 M Document Date DT 8 8 The date the transaction shipped (YYYYMMDD)
FS05 M Document Number AN 1 15 Document Number/BOL Number
FS06 M Universal Product Code (UPC) AN 3 12 Identifies the UPC for the item being reported.
FS07 N Product Description Code AN 3 3 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS08 M Product Name AN 1 35 Brand and Variant Name. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
FS09 M Quantity N 1 11 The quantity of product as identified by the UOM
FS10 M Unit of Measure (UOM) AN 3 3 Unit of Measure
FS11 N Value N 1 6 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS12 N Weight/Volume Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS13 N Weight/Volume N 1 6 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS14 M Total N 1 12 The total number of cigarettes in this transaction
FS15 N Extended Amount N 1 8 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS16 N Price N 1 8 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS17 M MSA Status AN 2 3 “PM” = Participating Manufacturer, “NPM” = Non-participating Manufacturer
FS18 S Destination Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS19 S Destination City AN 1 22 City
FS20 S Destination ST AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS21 S Destination ZIP AN 5 9 ZIP Code
FS22 S Destination Country AN 3 3 Country Code
FS23 S Origin Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS24 S Origin City AN 1 22 City
FS25 S Origin ST AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS26 S Origin ZIP AN 5 9 ZIP Code
FS27 S Origin Country AN 3 3 Country Code
FS28 S Seller Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN
FS29 S Seller Tax ID AN 8 9 Seller's FEIN
FS30 S Buyer Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN
FS31 S Buyer Tax ID AN 8 9 Buyer's FEIN
FS32 M Future Use #1 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS33 M Future Use #2 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS34 N Delivery Service ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS35 N Delivery Service ID AN 8 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS36 N Delivery Service Street AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS37 N Delivery Service City AN 1 22 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS38 N Delivery Service ST AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS39 N Delivery Service ZIP AN 5 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS40 S Total Cigarettes Sales Price N 1 8 Total sales price of the cigarettes sold. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
FS41 N Delivery Service Phone Number AN 10 10 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS42 N Delivery Service Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS43 S Seller Name AN 1 35 Seller Name
FS44 S Buyer Name AN 1 35 Buyer Name
FS45 M Manufacturer Name AN 1 35 Manufacturer Name. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
  1. FS<tab>2C<tab>6A<tab>20210815<tab>54812<tab>182452358421<tab><tab>BATISKA RED 100<tab>100<tab>CAR<tab><tab><tab><tab>20000<tab><tab><tab>PM<tab>8542 J ST<tab>SACRAMENTO<tab>CA<tab>958160001<tab>US<tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>24<tab>458421523<tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab><tab>16800<tab><tab><tab><tab>123 DISTRIBUTING<tab>XYZ MANUFACTURING<cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    FS03: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for tax jurisdiction code (TJC) reporting requirements.
    FS08: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for product name reporting requirements.
    FS10: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for unit of measure (UOM) reporting requirements.
    FS18-FS22: Report FS18 - 22 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS23-FS27: Report FS23 - 27 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS28-FS29: Report FS28 - FS29 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS30-FS31: Report FS30 - FS31 when reporting a disbursement schedule code.  Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements.  Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS40: Report FS40 when FS03 is 6A. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS43: Report FS43 when reporting FS28 and FS29. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS44: Report FS44 when reporting FS30 and FS31. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS45: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for manufacturer name reporting requirements.

    If no data is provided, a “Filler Tab” is required.

Schedule Record Type

Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Min Length Max Length Field Description
FS01 M Record Type (FS) AN 2 2 “FS” = Identifies schedule record type
FS02 M Schedule Code AN 2 2 Identifies the schedule code for the item being reported.  “1C” = Receipt
FS03 M Tax Jurisdiction Code AN 1 3 Tax Jurisdiction Code for this event. “1A”
FS04 M Document Date DT 8 8 The date the transaction shipped (YYYYMMDD)
FS05 M Document Number AN 1 15 Document Number/BOL Number
FS06 M Universal Product Code (UPC) AN 3 12 Identifies the UPC for the item being reported.
FS07 N Product Description Code AN 3 3 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS08 M Product Name AN 1 35 Brand and Variant Name. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
FS09 M Quantity N 1 11 The quantity of product as identified by the UOM
FS10 M Unit of Measure (UOM) AN 3 3 Unit of Measure
FS11 N Value N 1 6 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS12 N Weight/Volume Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS13 N Weight/Volume N 1 6 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS14 M Total N 1 12 The total number of cigarettes in this transaction
FS15 N Extended Amount N 1 8 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS16 N Price N 1 6 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS17 M MSA Status AN 2 3 “PM” = Participating Manufacturer, “NPM” = Non-participating Manufacturer
FS18 S Destination Street N 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS19 S Destination City N 1 22 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS20 S Destination ST N 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS21 S Destination ZIP N 5 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS22 S Destination Country N 3 3 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS23 S Origin Street AN 1 35 Street Address
FS24 S Origin City AN 1 22 City
FS25 S Origin ST AN 2 2 ST/Province Code
FS26 S Origin ZIP AN 5 9 ZIP Code
FS27 S Origin Country AN 3 3 Country Code
FS28 S Seller Tax ID Type AN 2 2 “24” = FEIN
FS29 S Seller Tax ID AN 8 9 Seller's FEIN
FS30 N Buyer Tax ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS31 N Buyer Tax ID AN 8 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS32 M Future Use #1 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS33 M Future Use #2 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A "Filler Tab" is required.
FS34 N Delivery Service ID Type AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS35 N Delivery Service ID AN 8 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS36 N Delivery Service Street AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS37 N Delivery Service City AN 1 22 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS38 N Delivery Service ST AN 2 2 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS39 N Delivery Service ZIP AN 5 9 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS40 N Future Use #3 AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS41 N Delivery Service Phone Number AN 10 10 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS42 N Delivery Service Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS43 S Seller Name AN 1 35 Seller Name
FS44 N Buyer Name AN 1 35 Not required for this report. A “Filler Tab” is required.
FS45 M Manufacturer Name AN 1 35 Manufacturer Name. See CDTFA-810-CTE for detailed instructions.
  1. FS<tab>1C<tab>1A<tab>20190923<tab>DOC123456<tab>123456789012<tab><tab>Brand And Variant<tab>32<tab>
    PAK<tab>21<tab>OZ<tab>123<tab>12345<tab><tab><tab>PM<tab>450 N Street<tab>Sacramento<tab>CA<tab>95814
    <tab>US<tab>450 N Street<tab>Sacramento<tab>CA<tab>95814<tab>US<tab>24<tab>123456789<tab>24<tab>
    999888777<tab>24<tab>111222333<tab>24<tab>012345678<tab>450 N Street<tab>Sacramento<tab>CA<tab>95814<tab>
    US<tab>8004007115<tab>Delivery Name<tab>Seller Name<tab>Buyer Name<tab>MfrNm<cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    FS03: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for tax jurisdiction code (TJC) reporting requirements.
    FS08: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for product name reporting requirements.
    FS10: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for unit of measure (UOM) reporting requirements.
    FS18-FS22: Report FS18 - 22 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS23-FS27: Report FS23 - 27 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS28-FS29: Report FS28 - FS29 when reporting a receipt schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.v
    FS30-FS31: Report FS30 - FS31 when reporting a disbursement schedule code. Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for schedule code reporting requirements. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS43: Report FS43 when reporting FS28 and FS29. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS44: Report FS44 when reporting FS30 and FS31. Otherwise, use a “Filler Tab.”
    FS45: Refer to CDTFA-810-CTE for manufacturer name reporting requirements.

    If no data is provided, a “Filler Tab” is required.

General

The CDTFA Tobacco Products FLT File Specifications are to be used when creating transaction files for the CDTFA-501-TIM, Tobacco Products Manufacturer/Importer Return of Taxable Distributions of Samples in California. A FLT file is a file in which data is formatted in plain-text, usually with some kind of delimiter (tab, comma, etc.). You will follow the FLT flat file format, as defined in Version 1 Release 1 (CDTFA map). The CDTFA requires that all your schedules provide the detailed information needed to track monthly tobacco products transactions.

The following sections provide the information you need to create tobacco products transaction files. The sections will cover all the necessary specifications in detail for the creation of these files.

  • Tobacco Products FLT File Format Flow
    The Tobacco Products FLT File Format Flow section describes the record types contained within a file.
  • Tobacco Products FLT File Structure Overview
    The Tobacco Products FLT File Structure Overview section lists all of the fields in each record type without the formatting requirements for the fields. It also contains a description of the use of the record type as well as tips for completing record types. This section is useful for laying out the FLT file as it applies to individual reporting needs.
  • Attribute Conventions and Separator Requirements
    The Attribute Conventions and Separator Requirements section provides helpful information for understanding the formatting requirement descriptions for each field in a record type.
  • Tobacco Products FLT File Reporting Map
    The Tobacco Products FLT File Reporting Map section provides detailed information on the requirements for each record type. This information includes formatting requirements for each field.

The CDTFA's Tobacco Products FLT File Specifications version control number for this publication is 1.0. The version control number will change when the CDTFA publishes updates to the FLT File format. This number is used by the CDTFA to manage changes between versions in FLT files.

“Record type” is the term used to describe a line in the FLT file. For tobacco products tax online filing, there are two record types, EN and ES. The EN record type is used to report no activity returns. The ES record type is used to report transaction detail. The record types are composed of fields containing the data needed to convey the required information. A complete FLT file will contain either one EN record type for no activity returns or the ES record type repeated as often as necessary to convey the information required for the tax form to be filed with the CDTFA in the proper format.

Fields are included in the record type's map that may not be applicable to every reporting situation. In these instances, no data is required to populate that field, but the empty field must be included in the file to maintain its integrity. A “Filler Pipe” character (|) is used for this purpose.

All tax forms follow the FLT File format flow. The number of records with the ES record type section will vary depending on the quantity of transactions to be reported. Refer to the Tobacco Products FLT File Structure Overview and Tobacco Products FLT File Format Flow sections to determine specific reporting requirements.

Record Type Description Comments
ES Transactions Used to report transactions
EN No Activity Used when reporting no activity

The Record Type ES is used to report individual transactions. Each transaction is a separate line and contains 13 fields. If a field does not apply to a transaction, no entry is required for that field, and a “Filler Pipe” should be inserted in place of any data to maintain the integrity of the record type.

Field No Schedule
01 Record Type (ES)
02 Account Number
03 Report Period
04 Schedule Code
05 Document Date
06 Distributor Name
07 Distributor License Number
08 Document Number
09 Product Description Code
10 Product Name
11 Roll Your Own Weight
12 Wholesale Cost
13 File Sequence Number

Attribute Definition
Data Element Type Nn – Numeric Numeric type data element is symbolized by the two-position representation (Nn). “N” indicates a numeric, and “n” indicates the decimal places to the right of a fixed, implied decimal point. N0 (N Zero) is a numeric with no decimal places.
R – Decimal (Real) The decimal point is optional for integer values, but is required for fractional values. For negative values, the leading minus (−) sign is used. Absence of this sign indicates a positive value. The plus (+) sign should not be transmitted.
ID – Identifier An identifier data element must always contain a value from a predefined list of values that is maintained by ASC X12 or by other bodies that are recognized by ASC X12 or as developed specifically for the FLT file format by the CDTFA.
AN – String A string (alphanumeric) is a sequence of any characters from the basic or extended character sets. It must contain at least one non-space character. The significant characters must be left justified. Leading spaces, if any, are assumed to be significant. Trailing spaces should be suppressed.
DT – Date Format for the date type is YYYYMMDD. YYYY is the four digits of the year (2013), MM is the numeric value of the month (01-12), and DD for the day (01-31).
TM – Time Format for the time type is HHMMSS, expressed in 24-hour clock format. HH is the numeric value for hour (00-23), MM for minute (00-59), and SS for second (00-59).
Requirement Designator Defines how the data element is used in a segment.
M – Mandatory This element must appear in the segment.
O – Optional The appearance of this data element is at the option of the sending party or is based on a mutual agreement of the interchange parties.
X – Relational Relational conditions may exist between two or more data elements. If one is present the other(s) is (are) required. The relational condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
S – Situational Situational conditions may exist with one or more data elements. The data element may be required to be populated only in certain situations. When a data element is not required to be populated, a “Filler Pipe” must be entered in its place. The situational condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
N – Not Required Not Required conditions may exist with one or more data elements. The data element may not be required to be populated for certain tax forms. When a data element is not required to be populated, a “Filler Pipe” must be entered in its place. The Not Required condition is displayed under the Syntax Notes.
Data Element Length x / x – Minimum and Maximum lengths The number of character positions assigned to a data element. Example: Data element length of 2/10. You must have at least 2 characters but no more than 10 characters for this element (minimum of 2/ maximum of 10).

Type ASCII Value EBCDIC Value Character Character Name
Record Separator 1310 1321 <cr> Carriage Return (Paragraph)
Element Separator 124 106 <|> Pipe (Vertical Bar)
Padding Character 32 64 <sp> Space

Key:

Notes
Note: important to read all notes
Syntax Notes
Translation Syntax Requirements – The CDTFA file validation will enforce these.

Schedule Record Type
Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Length Field Description
Min Max
ES01 M Record Type (ES) AN 2 2 “ES” = Identifies record type
ES02 M Account Number N 9 9 Account number
ES03 M Report Period N 4 4 Reporting period (MMYY)
ES04 M Schedule Code AN 3 3 “MIT” = Schedule code
ES05 M Document Date DT 8 8 Date transaction shipped or delivered into California (YYYYMMDD)
ES06 M Distributor Name AN 1 40 Name of Purchaser
ES07 M Distributor License Number N 3 9 Distributor's California License Number

OR

Code for exempt sales:
100 – Interstate and foreign commerce (export out of California or country)
200 – Common carrier engaged in interstate and foreign passenger service
300 – U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard exchanges and commissaries and Navy or Coast Guard Ships' stores and sales to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
400 – sale or transfer to law enforcement (prior CDTFA approval required)

ES08 M Document Number N 1 20 Document/BOL number
ES09 M Product Code N 1 1 The tobacco product (1-7):
1 – Snuff
2 – Chewing Tobacco
3 – Pipe Tobacco
4 – Cigars
5 – Roll-Your-Own
6 – e-Cigs/Vapes
7 – Other type of tobacco product
ES10 M Product Name AN 1 40 Product brand name
ES11 S Roll-Your-Own Weight N 1 11 Ounces of roll-your-own (NNNNNNNN.nn)
ES12 M Wholesale Cost N 1 13 Wholesale cost of product (NNNNNNNNNNNNN)
ES13 M File Sequence Number N 1 7 Position of record in file
  1. ES|076100000|1019|MIT|20191023|Tobacco Now|090000000|453219|Brand And Variant||144.00|1 <cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    ES01: Report “ES” when reporting transactions
    ES07: Report distributor's 9 digit California license number or 3 digit exemption code
    ES09: Report the single digit product code
    ES11: Report roll-your-own weight in ounces if ES09 = 5. Otherwise, use filler pipe (|)

    If no data is provided, a “Filler Pipe” is required.

Schedule Record Type
Field No Field Status Field Name Field Type Length Field Description
Min Max
EN01 M Record Type (EN) AN 2 2 “EN” = Identifies record type
EN02 M Account Number N 9 9 Account number
EN03 M Report Period N 4 4 Reporting period (MMYY)
EN04 M Schedule Code AN 3 3 “MIT” = Schedule reported
EN05 N Document Date DT 8 8 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN06 N Distributor Name AN 1 40 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN07 N Distributor License Number N 3 9 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN08 N Document Number N 1 20 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN09 N Product Code N 1 1 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN10 N Product Name AN 1 40 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN11 N Roll Your Own Weight N 1 11 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN12 N Wholesale Cost AN 1 13 Not required for this record type. A “Filler Pipe” character is required.
EN13 M File Sequence Number N 1 7 “1” = File sequence number
  1. EN|076100000|1019|MIT|||||||||1 <cr>

    SYNTAX NOTES:
    EN01: Report “EN” when reporting no activity.
    EN05-EN12: Do not report. Use a filler pipe (|) for each element.

    If no data is provided, a “Filler Pipe” character is required.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple text-based format for representing structured information. We use an XML schema set based on the State Cigarette version 2.0 schema set by the TIGERS National Standards.

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CDTFA XML file standards can be found in the cigarette XML schema and cigarette XPath document.

The XPath document has additional information about how the individual data elements are used within the XML schema. Your file must contain all of the required tags within the XPath document to be valid. The XPath uses an absolute location path which consists of one or more steps and begins with forward slash (/) with each step separated by a forward slash (/) and each attribute separated by a commercial at (@). Use the XPath document to navigate through elements and attributes in an XML document.

Column Header Purpose
XPath This field provides the absolute location path for each element and attribute
Efile Type This field provides the data type
Length This field provides the maximum field length for each element and attribute
Req This field provides the element's and attribute's status (Req = Required, Opt = Optional)
Choice This field specifies a number of alternatives of which only one can be present in the XML file
Occurs This field provides the minimum and maximum number of occurrences for the node or field
Notes/Comments This field provides the rules and validations performed for each element or attribute

Download the applicable XPath document listed below.

General

If you experience any electronic transmission problems, you should contact our Online Services Coordinator at 1-916-323-6353, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays. For information on making your payments online, go to our Online Services webpage or select the Make a payment button on the login webpage.

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Cigarette and tobacco products tax forms transmitted online to the CDTFA will have reporting requirements similar to those for paper forms. This means that the same information included on paper tax forms is also included in the transmitted online data.

If you are registered for more than one CDTFA cigarette and tobacco products tax account number, you must transmit separate tax forms for each account.

You are required to follow the filing specifications detailed in this guide and on the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage. You will be required to submit correct and complete cigarette and tobacco products tax forms.

You must submit schedule/transaction files online containing the supporting transactions and following the filing specifications detailed in this guide and on the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage for online filing.

You may also use our Excel FLT file templates for each tax form accepted online. The templates convert transaction records entered on a spreadsheet to a FLT file. Although these templates may be used to create valid schedule/transaction FLT files, the templates are intended as examples for reference only.

The FLT file templates are available on the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage. Also available are example templates which contain sample transaction data that correspond with one of the example tax forms. More information on templates and schedule/transaction FLT files is available in the FLT File section.

Submitting a cigarette and/or tobacco products tax form online is simple.

  • Log in to the our secure website at https://onlineservices.cdtfa.ca.gov/_/ and follow the prompts.
  • Always review the filing for accuracy.
  • Always check the status of your online filing submission. If the status remains “Processing” or “Pending CDTFA Processing” after three (3) business days, contact us.
  • If the status of the online filing submission indicates “Filed” or “Processed,” your filing is complete.

After you have filed a cigarette and/or tobacco products tax form online with us, we will validate the schedule/transaction file. Schedule/Transaction files will be validated in the order they are received. This may result in a delay in the status of your filing being posted to your account during peak filing periods. The validation confirms that the schedule/transaction file's syntax is correct and we will be able to process it.

You should keep all information received from us during the filing as proof of filing. It is important to note that rejected files may not be received by us due to processing errors that render the filing information unreadable.

You may test the syntax of FLT and XML file formats before filing. After logging in, select “Return Bulk File” and then “Validate Bulk File.” After a successful syntax check, the filing is not complete until it is uploaded through the process addressed in Submitting a Tax Form Online.

To view the online filing results:

  1. Log in to our secure website at https://onlineservices.cdtfa.ca.gov/_/.
  2. Select the account for which you want to review an online filing or select “File and/or View a Return.”
  3. A status of “Filed” or “Processed” indicates the upload file successfully processed.

An upload failure during submission will result with a message similar to the examples below.

  • Flat File (FLT) Failure Example:

    The record value length is too long. Line: 3, Value: PACK

    Using this message as an example, we will illustrate how to fix the error.

    The message tells us that record 3 in the transaction file reports the unit of measure (UOM) field to be “PACK.”

    The CDTFA-810-CTE, Instructions for Preparing Cigarette Tax Schedules, in the Unit of Measure (UOM) Codes section, shows that the correct UOM code for a pack is the three (3) character code “PAK.” We now know that we can correct this error by changing “PACK” to “PAK.”

    If you are using the Excel template from the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Online Filing webpage to create the schedule/transaction FLT file, the correction should be made in the template and a new schedule/transaction FLT file created.

    Contact us if you need assistance resolving errors in a schedule/transaction FLT file.

  • XML File Failure Example:
    Sequence Error Category Error Code Line Position Error Message
    1 Schema Validation ERR-001 204 19 The 'http://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/efile:UPCUOM' element is invalid – The value 'PACK' is invalid according to its datatype. 'http://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/efile:CigUPCUOMType' – The Enumeration constraint failed.

    Using this message as an example, we will illustrate how to fix the error.

    The message tells us that line 204 in the transaction file reports the unit of measure (UOM) element to be “PACK.”

    The XML XPath data model and schema indicate the element UPCUOM is restricted to the values in the enumerated list. Also, the CDTFA-810-CTE, Instructions for Preparing Cigarette Tax Schedules, in the special notes section, shows that the correct UOM code for a pack is the three (3) character code “PAK.” We now know that we can correct this error by changing “PACK” to “PAK.”

    Contact us if you need assistance resolving errors in a schedule/transaction XML file.

Once a tax form has been submitted, we will validate the schedule/transaction file. Tax forms are considered timely if all of the following occur:

  1. The file is submitted successfully without a failure message;
  2. The filing period for the account has a status of “Filed” or “Processed”; and
  3. Any amount due corresponding to the tax form submitted is paid on or before the due date. You are encouraged to pay using one of our online payment methods.

After the tax form is filed and received successfully, CDTFA staff will review the filing. If issues are found with the computations, reported transactions, etc., CDTFA staff will contact you to correct the reporting issue. You will need to provide corrected information to the CDTFA staff. Depending on the severity and/or frequency of data errors, the CDTFA may require you to file paper returns until the problems are corrected.

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Optional file testing is available! In order to ensure the quality of the electronic information received online, we will subject the information to a set of tests. We recommend you complete file testing for each type of cigarette and tobacco products tax form that will be filed online.

The information required for cigarette and tobacco products tax reporting is more detailed than many of our tax forms. For this reason, we provide a file testing process. File testing is provided to ensure that you are able to submit valid files online to us in a safe environment where mistakes can be made and resolved without affecting your “actual” filings.

If you would like to participate in the file testing process, please contact the Business Taxes and Fees Division at 1-800-400-7115; from the main menu, select the option “Special Taxes and Fees.”

Note: In order to begin testing, you must first complete and submit form CDTFA-82, Authorization of Electronic Transmission of Data. The CDTFA-82 authorizes us to communicate online filing matters with you via email. The form is available on our website.

The examples below are intended to illustrate how a tax form would be reported online to us and contain sample transaction records that you can use to see how the records are converted from an Excel template file to a FLT file (with a “.txt” file extension) format.

Important Note: The example file templates listed under reporting periods May 2020 and after include the cigarette tax reporting changes. Please download and use the appropriate example file template.

TYPE OF FILER TAX FORM AND TITLE Reporting Periods April 2020 and Prior Reporting Periods May 2020 and After
EXAMPLE TEMPLATE EXAMPLE TEMPLATE
Cigarette Distributor/Importer CDTFA-501-CD, Cigarette Distributor/Importer Tax Report CDTFA-501-CD Example CDTFA-501-CD-F Example
Cigarette Manufacturer CDTFA-501-CM, Cigarette Manufacturer's Tax Return of Taxable Distributions in California CDTFA-501-CM Example CDTFA-501-CM-F Example
Cigarette Wholesaler CDTFA-501-CW, Cigarette Wholesaler's Report N/A CDTFA-501-CW Example