Motor Fuels Online Filing Program

The Motor Fuels Online Filing Program is offered to provide a more convenient method of filing Motor Fuels Tax Forms (returns and reports) and paying amounts owed.

This page contains the general plain text instructions needed to file tax forms (tax returns, reports, and claims for refund) electronically with the CDTFA's Motor Fuels Online Filing Program. It also contains file type and formatting requirements, sample Excel workbooks for creating FLT files, and other useful information related to motor fuels online filing. The information on this page is designed to provide the rules, procedures, and technical requirements for the filing by Information Providers (CDTFA licensees and registrants), Electronic Return Originators (ERO) (also known as "Transmitters"), and Software Developers, collectively referred to as Online Participants. Participants are responsible for complying with the information provided on this page and any supplemental communiqué provided by the CDTFA.

Motor Fuels Electronic Filing Guide

The Motor Fuels Electronic Filing Guide is general plain text instructions needed to file tax forms (tax returns, reports, and claims for refund) electronically with the CDTFA's Motor Fuels Online Filing Program.

Trading Partner Agreement for CDTFA Motor Fuels Online Filing Program CDTFA-400-TPA

A Trading Partner Agreement (application) is required to participate in the Motor Fuels Online Filing Program. Completed and submitted by a Participant (taxpayer or report filer) identifying the account(s) to be filed online.

Authorization for Electronic Transmission of Data

An Authorization for Electronic Transmission of Data authorizes the CDTFA to communicate online matters with you via email. It is essential to successful Motor Fuels online filing.

Application for Direct Transmission of Tax Returns, CDTFA-400-XML

Electronic Return Originators (ERO), also known as Transmitters, must complete and submit an Application for Direct Transmission of Tax Returns to be eligible to file motor fuels returns on behalf of clients. A Transmitter receives data from its clients, reformats the data if necessary according to the electronic map requirements provided by the CDTFA, and transmits the tax forms to the CDTFA. Transmitters must complete certification testing to be approved by the CDTFA.

Software Developers must also register as a Transmitter to be allowed to validate the compatibility of software products to the Motor Fuels Online Filing Program.

Online Payments

Motor Fuels Online Filing Program participants are required to make online payments for any amounts due.

Motor Fuels Online Filing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions and topics of interest to Motor Fuels eFiling Program participants.

Filing Motor Fuels Tax Forms Online

Motor fuels tax forms are required to be filed electronically with the CDTFA's Motor Fuels Online Filing Program. To file electronically follow these steps:

  1. Send Your Trading Partner Agreement
    CDTFA staff is ready to assist you in preparing to file electronically. Please begin by submitting your Trading Partner Agreement (TPA) to register for the Motor Fuels Online Filing Program. The TPA must be processed before you may begin certification testing.
  2. Send Your Authorization for Electronic Transmission of Data
    CDTFA staff will ask you to submit authorization to contact you regarding your filing results via email. You can speed your registration and send this form in with your TPA.
  3. Send Your Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payments Authorization
    Dealers are also required to pay any monies due on the Aircraft Jet Fuel Dealer account electronically. The method for making these payments is called Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Submit form CDTFA-555-ST, Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer to register to make your payments by EFT. Additional information about EFT is available on the CDTFA's EFT information web page.
  4. Complete the Certification Process
    Upon completion of Motor Fuels online return filing registration and receipt of the user activation notifications, you may begin certification testing. The information required for motor fuels reporting is more detailed than many tax forms at the CDTFA. For this reason, the Motor Fuels Online Filing Program requires its participants to complete a certification process. Certification testing is done to ensure that you are able to submit valid electronic files to the CDTFA. It provides a safe environment where mistakes can be made and resolved and you can become comfortable with online filing without affecting "production" returns. After you complete the certification process, you are moved into production status and may begin filing returns online.

    Notify the Online Filing Coordinator assisting you with the certification process after you submit test files. Include the account number, company name, tracking number, and test stage with your notification at a minimum.

    The CDTFA recommends that you use actual data from current periods to create the certification test files. This will smooth the transition to the new reporting requirements. Once you have successfully completed the three certification stages, you will move into production status and may begin filing the tax return online.

Certification Testing

Refer to Chapter 8 in the Motor Fuels Electronic Filing Guide for details on certification testing. Refer to the FLT or EDI file specifications for syntax requirements.

The online filing certification process has three stages. You must receive notification from the CDTFA of successful completion of a stage before moving to the next stage. The three test stages are as follows:

  1. Transmission and Syntax Validation (submit a few records to confirm you can create a valid file)
  2. Syntax and Data Validation (submit one period worth of records to confirm your file is valid and the data in the file meets CDTFA reporting requirements)
  3. Production Simulation (submit two additional periods worth of records to confirm your file is valid and the data in the file meets CDTFA reporting requirements)

Notify the Online Filing Coordinator assisting you with the certification process after you submit test files. Include the account number, company name, tracking number, and test stage with your notification at a minimum.

Motor Fuels Tax Returns and Report/Claim Information

Note: Transportation Mode Codes and Schedule and Summary Codes can be found in CDTFA-810-FTE, Preparing Motor Vehicle Fuel Schedules and Diesel Fuel Schedules

Confidentiality Statement

The Motor Fuels Online Filing Program adheres to all confidentiality procedures and requirements set forth by the CDTFA. The CDTFA's form CDTFA-324-GEN, Privacy Notice – Information Provided to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration provides information on the CDTFA's confidentiality procedures and requirements.

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