Online Filing – Sales & Use Tax & Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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There is no fee to use CDTFA’s online filing to file your return and payment. Other service providers may charge a fee. This fee is not set by, or shared with the CDTFA.

You have two choices to file a sales and use tax return or prepayment online.

CDTFA's Online Filing – This is the CDTFA's free online filing option and is done directly through the CDTFA website.

Other service providers – These third-party service providers have successfully completed CDTFA acceptance testing and have been authorized to receive return and payment information from taxpayers and forward to the CDTFA for processing. These other service providers may not offer all the same features as CDTFA's online filing. There may be a fee for using their services.

Comparison of California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Online Filing Program Options

Service Providers
Items of Comparison  CDTFA Online Filing Avalara.com efilesalestax.com Exactor.com Neoverus.com Tax Tools.com Corptax
Cost to taxpayer No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-screen help Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
E-mail reminders Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
View past returns Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Languages No No Spanish Spanish & Portuguese No No No
Customer Service Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Online Services will be unavailable from Sunday at 7:00 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 a.m., Pacific time for routine maintenance. Responsibility for filing a return and submitting payment for tax due remains with each taxpayer.

Your Express Login code is an eight character code (for instance, a234567b) found on correspondence you receive from the CDTFA. You may also contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays.

You must contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711) during regular business hours. For security reasons you will be required to provide authentication information.

Log in using your User ID, select "User Maintenance". Enter your new User ID in the appropriate box and click "submit".

Click "Forgot password?" Enter your User ID. Answer your forgotten password question. A new default password will be sent to your personal email address. Click the link in the email and log in using your User ID and the default password that was emailed to you. You will be required to enter a new personalized password.

After logging in, select "User Maintenance". Enter your new password in the appropriate box. You will be required to enter your new password twice. Then click "submit".

After logging in, select "User Maintenance". Enter your new email address and submit.

After logging in, select "Maintain Your Sales and Use Tax Account". Enter your new email address and submit.

Yes, the CDTFA uses the latest hardware and software security to ensure the safety and security of taxpayer information.

Below are the payment methods available. The third party service providers may not offer all payment options at this time.

If you are required to pay your tax filings through the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Program, please see What are my payment options as a mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) program participant when I file online? for more information.

E-Check (ACH Debit)

Choose this option to authorize the CDTFA to transfer funds from your checking or savings account to the CDTFA's bank account. You must provide your bank account number and the routing number of your financial institution (ABA number), which is located on your check.

You may select any banking day as the effective date up to the due date of the return or prepayment.

Credit Card

Choose this option to pay by credit card through a third-party vendor. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa cards are accepted. A service fee of 2.3% will be charged by the third-party vendor. This fee is not revenue to the CDTFA.

Please note: You must return to the CDTFA's website to complete the filing of your tax return online. Once you receive your online filing confirmation number, your transaction is complete.

Paper Check

Choose this option to print out a payment voucher to mail in with your paper check. The payment voucher will print after the confirmation page and will only be available to print one time. Use the address printed on the voucher to ensure that your payment is processed correctly.

If you choose to make your payment for taxes due by paper check, a payment voucher is available immediately after filing your return or prepayment. However, if you log off before printing or lose the voucher you can mail your check to the address below. Make your check or money order payable to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. Write your CDTFA account number and return filing period on your check or money order.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
PO Box 942879
Sacramento CA 94279-3535

Below are the payment methods available to accounts required by law to pay their tax filings by EFT. The third party service providers may not offer all payment options at this time.

If you have voluntarily registered in the EFT program, please see When I file online, what are my payment options? above for your payment options.

ACH Debit

EFT accounts registered to pay by this method will have their banking information pre-populated when they file online and select this option. EFT accounts registered to pay by ACH credit may also select this payment option and enter their banking information. You must complete your payment transaction by 3:00 p.m. Pacific time on the tax due date.

You may select any banking day as the effective date up to the due date of the return or prepayment.

ACH Credit

If you file your return online and choose to pay by ACH credit, you must contact your financial institution to initiate your payment so it will be deposited into the CDTFA's bank account timely.

Return Only

File your return online and make your payment separately. You can pay by ACH debit through our data collection service. For ACH credit, you must initiate payment through your financial institution.

For more information regarding the EFT program click the Make a Payment tab on our website.

Simply contact your bank to have them initiate your prepayment using the correct ACH Credit Specifications. You do not need to file a prepayment online or send a form to CDTFA

You will receive immediate confirmation that your return was accepted and payment information was received. Please keep the confirmation of filing for your records.

You must receive confirmation of filing on or before the tax due date to be considered timely. Confirmation is received immediately upon filing your return or prepayment. Please keep the confirmation of filing for your records.

All financial institutions capable of electronically transferring funds through the ACH network can support this payment option. Contact your financial institution to ensure that funds can be electronically transferred from the bank account that you designate.

If you have selected to pay by ACH Debit and have an ACH Debit block on your bank account, you must inform your financial institution of the CDTFA's Company Identification number (1282531033) to avoid your sales and use tax payment from being rejected.

If you are also paying your lumber products assessment, you must also give your financial institution the Special Taxes and Fees identification number (1282435088).

The latest version of the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari browsers are supported.

Yes. Return and payment information for revoked accounts may be submitted to the CDTFA for processing. However, submission of a return and payment of tax does not reinstate the account to active status. Information regarding the reinstatement process is available from your local CDTFA office.

No. Each service provider and the CDTFA set their own policy regarding password/PINs and will not accept a password/PIN assigned by another.

Simply write in the correct figures on the "Confirm Filing" page of the return filed online and write "Amended Return" across the top. Include any additional payment owed. If your amended return results in an overpayment, complete CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit. Mail all documents to the following address:

California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration, MIC 35
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0035

Currently, there is no electronic method to amend or correct a return filed online.

Yes, you can choose to discontinue receiving paper returns if you are a registered user. After logging in you can choose to turn off your paper returns by selecting "Maintain your Sales and Use Tax Account".

You should receive an email from CDTFA confirming that you no longer wish to receive paper returns for the selected account.

On the first day of the month that your return is due, we will send you an e-mail reminding you to file your electronic return instead of a paper return. Failure to receive an e-mail reminder or tax return from the CDTFA does not excuse you from the requirement to file your return timely.

To reprint a confirmation page you must log in as a registered user with your User ID. After logging in to online filing, select "View History" from the Electronic Services Main Menu. You will be able to view and reprint all the returns or prepayments you have filed online.

You may be able to cancel your return on the same day of the transaction. You must contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays. If your return is not available to cancel you will need to complete an amended return via paper which can be downloaded on the CDTFA website.

Yes, you can file delinquent returns.

You must register or log in as a registered user to view and print your previously filed electronic returns and/or prepayments. From the Account Services Menu, select "View History" and you will be able to view and print the returns and/or prepayments you have electronically filed.