Getting Started with Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee
Application of the Fee
The underground storage tank maintenance fee is collected from the owner of an underground storage tank based on the number of gallons of petroleum placed in the tank during the reporting period. The CDTFA, in cooperation with the State Water Resources Control Board administers this program to provide revenue for the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund in the General Fund.
If you own an underground storage tank, you must register with us. You will be required to file underground storage tank maintenance fee returns and pay any fee amounts due for the reporting period.
Unless there is evidence to support otherwise, we will generally presume that the owner of the real property where the tank is located is also the owner of the underground storage tank.
An owner or operator may be an individual, a company, or a city, county, or district or any of their agencies or departments. The state and federal governments are not defined as owners or operators under the Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee Law.
The owner of the tank is required to pay the underground storage tank maintenance fee. If you operate a storage tank but do not own it, you are not liable for the fee. An operator is defined as the person who controls, or is responsible for, the daily operation of the tank. Generally, if you lease an underground storage tank, you are considered an operator, not an owner and are, therefore, not liable for the fee. However, as an operator, you may have an agreement with the owner to report and pay the fee.
To register for your underground storage tank maintenance fee account, a seller's permit, any other permit, license (cigarette, tobacco, or fuel), or account with the CDTFA, visit our online registration system.
If you have questions, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00p.m., (Pacific time), except state holidays.
Updating Your Business Information with CDTFA
Be sure to notify us if you sell or remove any underground storage tanks you own. Login with your username and password to update your account information including, but not limited to, selling your business, changing your mailing address, email address, or telephone number, or closing your business. If you prefer, you may use form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, Special Taxes and Fees Accounts, to notify CDTFA of changes. It is important to notify us so we can update our records to ensure you receive information, email reminders to electronically file, and other updates timely.
You may also contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS: 711) and select the option for Special Taxes and Fees or send a message through our website at Email Your Tax Questions.
Removing Tanks or Closing Out Your Permit
You will receive a closure report from your local agency and/or a certificate of destruction when an underground storage tank is destroyed. You must send a copy of either document to the CDTFA with a letter requesting closure of your account to:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Compliance Branch (MIC: 88)
P O Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0088
Please Note: You will need to file zero returns until you receive a letter confirming that we have closed your account.
Visit Tax Rates — Special Taxes and Fees to view current and historical underground storage tank maintenance fee rates.
File a Return Online — CDTFA's online filing service is easy, fast, and free!
You may file your return CDTFA-501-TK, Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee Return along with the CDTFA-501-TKX, Summary By Location — Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee and pay the fee online. The CDTFA 501-TKX — Summary by Location is a new schedule required to report for each location.
Return and Payment Due Dates
The return and fee are due on the 25th day of the month following the close of the reporting period (for example, October 25th for the period of July through September for a quarterly filer). The CDTFA will determine, and notify you, at the time of registration if you are required to file monthly, quarterly or yearly. You are required to file a return even if you did not have any reportable activity during the reporting period.
If you have any questions, you may contact the Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS: 711), Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays.
Designating an Operator to File Returns
If you prefer, you may designate the tank operator to file returns and pay the fee on your behalf. Log in to your account on the CDTFA website to download Form 1213. You may also upload the completed, notarized form to your account. Operators must also Log in on the CDTFA website and request access to the owners account as a third party delegate.
When filing online, you are able to file and pay your underground storage tank maintenance fee in one transaction. You may also visit our website to conveniently make a payment or learn about our various payment options.
Feepayers with an estimated average monthly fee liability of $20,000 or more are required to pay amounts due by electronic funds transfer (EFT). The CDTFA will notify you in writing if you are required to pay your fees electronically.
Payments must be submitted by the due date to be considered timely. For an EFT payment to be timely, it must be initiated on or before the filing due date and funds must settle into the CDTFA's bank account on or before the banking day following the due date.
Penalty and Interest
The penalty for filing a late return and/or payment is ten percent of the amount of fee due. Late filers must include payment for the penalty and interest with their fee return.