California Integrated Waste Management Fee (Solid Waste & Wood Waste) – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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About the Integrated Waste Management Fee

The integrated waste management fee applies to operators of solid waste facilities (landfills) who are required to have a solid waste facility permit with the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) pursuant to Public Resources Code (PRC) 44000.5. California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers the fee in cooperation with CalRecycle.

The funds are used by CalRecycle to promote waste management programs including solid waste reduction, recycling waste, reusing waste, composting and environmentally safe transformation, and safe land disposal practices.

Operators of solid waste facilities who are required to have a solid waste facility permit with CalRecycle pay a quarterly fee to the CDTFA for all solid waste disposed at each disposal site on or after January 1, 1990.

Operators of solid waste facilities that pay the fee may charge their users an administrative fee of not more than 5 percent of the fees paid to the CDTFA during the previous quarter.

If you have questions, contact the CDTFA Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY: 711) Monday through Friday (except state holidays) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), and select the option for Special Taxes and Fees or email your question to Email Your Tax Questions.

The fee rate is charged on the amount of solid waste (and nonhazardous wood waste), measured by weight or volumetric equivalent, disposed 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.

Registration

Operators of a solid waste facility (landfill) pursuant to Public Resources Code (PRC) 44000.5 are required to be registered with the CDTFA and pay a quarterly fee.

You must first register with CalRecycle and obtain a Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) number. CalRecycle will send your SWIS registration information to the CDTFA. A CDTFA account number is issued based on the information forwarded from CalRecycle. You will be notified in writing by the CDTFA of the account number issued to you.

A Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) number is issued by CalRecycle for solid waste facilities, operations, and disposal sites throughout the State of California.

The processing of solid waste facility permits is administered by CalRecycle in conjunction with Local Enforcement Agencies. Information about obtaining a permit and whether you need to get a Solid Waste Information System (SWIS) account number can be obtained on CalRecycle's website on the Solid Waste Facility Page.

For other state, federal, and local taxing and licensing information, the following sites may provide assistance.

The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. Visit their website for a listing of its assistance centers.

Visit 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.

Also, visit California's Tax Service Center. You may also want to consult a tax professional for assistance about other agencies' requirements.

Feepayers should notify the CDTFA of any change of business ownership, email address, mailing address or location, phone, or fax number to ensure that returns and information about the fee are received timely. Use form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, Property and Special Taxes, to notify the CDTFA of changes.

You may also contact the CDTFA Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY: 711) and select the option for "Special Taxes and Fees" or send a message through our website at Email Your Tax Questions.

Collecting the Fee

The fee rates are set by statute (Public Resources Code section 48000). The current rates can be viewed on the CDTFA's website. It is important for you to keep your account current with the CDTFA so that you can be notified if the rate changes.

CalRecycle may waive fees for 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 #3 on the BOE-501-SQ, Integrated Waste Management Fee Return, as directed on the return.

Filing Returns and Making a Payment

The integrated waste management fee return (BOE-501-SQ or BOE-501-NW) and payment are due quarterly on the 25th day of the month following the quarterly period. For example, the January – March 2015 return was due on April 25, 2015.

All registered feepayers should receive a return within 15 days of the due date. If you do not receive a return, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY: 711) Monday through Friday (except state holidays) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), and select the option for Special Taxes and Fees.

Returns and/or payments must be postmarked by the due date to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, returns and/or payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

Several options are available to make a payment including: directly online from your bank, credit card, check, or money order, and some of our customers are required to make payment through an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Feepayers with an estimated average monthly payment of $20,000 or more are required to pay by EFT. Please note: If you are making a payment via credit card, a vendor charge of 2.3 percent will be added as a processing fee. This service fee is retained by the vendor and is not revenue to the CDTFA. The minimum fee is $1.00.

You may also submit your payment with your return. Make your check or money order payable to "California Department of Tax and Fee Administration." Always write your account number on your check or money order and make a copy for your records. Payments must be 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.

If the amount of fees you pay average $20,000 or more per month, you will be required to pay by an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). CDTFA will notify you in writing if you are required to remit your fees electronically. Voluntary or mandatory EFT payments can be made on our website at "Make a payment."
In order to register as an EFT participant, you must complete and return form CDTFA-555-ST, Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). See our EFT Quick Reference Guide – Special Taxes for detailed information.

In addition to paying the fee by EFT by the due date, you must also file the return by the due date even if no amount is owed. A delinquent return, failure to pay by EFT, or a late payment will result in penalty charges. More information about EFT payments can be found on our website at "Make a payment."

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. For additional information regarding record retention please view
Regulation 3301 and Regulation 4901.

If you have overpaid the fee directly to the CDTFA, you may file a claim by using form CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit, or by filing an amended return(s) stating the specific reason(s) for the overpayment. Claims for refund must be in writing and should specify the period for which you are making the claim and the amount of the claim. Additional refund details can be found on the CDTFA's Special Taxes Refunds webpage.

Mail claims to:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Business Tax and Fee Division
Appeals and Data Analysis Branch (MIC: 33)
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0033

Whichever of the following dates occurs last is your filing deadline:

  • 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

Be sure to file your claim for refund by the applicable deadline. If you do not file on time, the CDTFA cannot consider your claim, even if you overpaid the fee. If you have questions about your deadline to file a refund claim, contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115.