Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee

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Employers in specific industries where there is evidence of potential occupational lead poisoning are responsible for registering with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and paying the fee. The CDTFA administers the occupational lead poisoning prevention fee in partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The CDPH identifies employers who are in specific industries with documented evidence of potential occupational lead poisoning, based on the employer’s four-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code.

As an employer, you are responsible for paying the fee if your business:

  • Is in an industry category that has been identified by the CDPH as having a potential for occupational lead poisoning, and
  • Had lead or lead-containing materials present in the business operation during the previous calendar year, and
  • Had ten or more employees who each were employed for 160 hours or more in California during the previous calendar year—whether or not an individual employee's specific job involved exposure to lead or lead-contaminating materials.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are four-digit numerical codes set forth by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to designate the activities of a business operation (California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Article 1, section 38001). The occupational lead poisoning prevention fee applies to businesses in certain industry categories. Those categories are based on SIC codes. A list of SIC codes that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) uses for this fee can be found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Ch. 11, section 38005. The CDPH notifies the CDTFA which businesses are in categories with documented evidence of potential occupational lead poisoning.

Program registrants self-report information by filing an annual return with the CDTFA. Any fees due are remitted to the CDTFA on or before the last day of February for the previous calendar year. The fee amount is based on the following criteria:

  • The number of employees employed by you for 160 hours or more in California, and
  • Your fee category, A or B, depending on your four-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. The categories are based on the number of cases in a SIC code where workers were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood, as reported to the California Department of Public Health's California Occupational Blood Lead Registry. Category A applies to businesses in a SIC code that had fewer than 20 reported cases of persons with elevated blood lead levels. Category B applies to businesses in a SIC code that had 20 or more reported cases.

Yes. An "employee" means any individual employed for at least 160 hours in the prior calendar year, regardless of whether the individual's specific job involved potential exposure to lead or lead-containing materials (section 38001 of title 17 of the California Code of Regulations). It is presumed that salaried employees and corporate officers are employees, unless they have worked less than the 160 hour minimum.

Registration

Every employer is required to be registered with the CDTFA and pay the fee if they:

  • Are in an industry category that has been identified as having a potential for occupational lead poisoning, and
  • Had lead or lead-containing materials present in their business operation during the previous calendar year, and
  • Had ten or more employees who each worked 160 hours or more in California in the previous calendar year – whether or not an individual employee's specific job involved exposure to lead or lead-contaminating materials.

You may register by using the CDTFA's online registration system. Online registration is a convenient, fast, and secure way to register and is available 24 hours a day. You may access online registration from the CDTFA home page, and select "New Registration." Visit the Information Needed to Get Started webpage for a list of information you may need to complete your registration. You may also register in person at one of our office locations.

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, excluding state holidays.

You may want to consult with a tax professional for assistance on other agencies' tax, fee, and/or registration requirements. For example, you may need to be registered with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department.

Visit CalGold for assistance in identifying other state, federal, and local permits and other requirements for your business. That website is maintained by the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).

You should notify both the CDPH and the CDTFA of any business change, such as a change in business ownership, mailing or location address, email address, phone or fax number.

Complete form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, Special Taxes and Fees Accounts, to notify the CDTFA of any changes. If you need additional information or have questions, please 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.

Please notify CDPH of a business change by sending an email to LeadFeeWaiver@cdph.ca.gov. Visit the CDPH's Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program webpage for additional contact information.

Collecting the Tax

The CDPH Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program may exempt from payment of fees those employers who demonstrate that lead is not present in their places of employment. Employers who do not have lead or lead-containing materials present in any amount or who only have a minimal amount in their business operations during the previous calendar year may request a temporary fee waiver which, if granted, will relieve the employer of paying the fee for the waived calendar year. Fee waivers must be renewed each year. The CDPH will review fee waiver requests and determine eligibility.

To request a fee waiver, you must complete Section I on your CDTFA-501-LA, Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Return for Category "A" or "B" Reporting. Completion of Section I on your fee return will let us know whether to provide you with an electronic or paper fee waiver application. Under Section I of the fee return, you must either:

  • Check Box 1A for an electronic fee waiver application sent to you via email, or
  • Check Box 1B for a fee waiver application sent to you by mail.

After your fee return is received and processed by the CDTFA, the CDPH Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will send you a fee waiver application and instructions. The CDPH will review your fee waiver request and determine eligibility. The CDTFA does not mail or approve fee waiver applications.

Please visit the CDPH's Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program's or send an email to LeadFeeWaiver@cdph.ca.gov for additional information.

Contact CDTFA at 1-800-400-7115 or by writing to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, PO Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-7072. You must provide CDTFA with a description of your primary and other business activities. If you believe that you know the correct SIC code for your business, you may include it.

Filing and Making a Payment

The annual fee return and fee payment are due to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) on or before the last day of February for the previous calendar year.

All registered feepayers should receive a fee return (CDTFA-501-LA, Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Return For Category "A" or "B" Reporting) via mail in January to complete and file with the CDTFA. If you do not receive a fee return by early February, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115.

There are several options for paying any fee amount due. You can easily and conveniently make your payment online. Select the "Make a Payment" tab on our website. You can also pay by credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT) at "Make a Payment", or by calling 1-855-292-8931 (for credit card payments). Please note: if you are making a payment via credit card, a vendor charge of 2.3% of the transaction amount will be added as a processing fee.

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.

Payments can be mailed to: California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, PO Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-7072.

All required records must be retained for at least four years. It is important to keep accurate records of your business activities. See Regulation 4901, Records, for general recordkeeping requirements.

In addition, if your records are being audited by the CDTFA, you should retain all records for the period being audited until the audit is completed. If you appeal the findings of the audit or file a claim for refund, you should retain the records until your case is resolved.

If you have overpaid the fee, you may file a claim by using form CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit, or by filing an amended return stating the specific reason(s) for the overpayment. Claims for refund should specify the period for which the claim is being made and the amount of the refund being claimed.

A claim for refund must be in writing, be signed by you, state the specific reason(s) why an overpayment was made, and be filed by the applicable deadline. If you do not file on time, the CDTFA cannot consider your claim even if you overpaid the fee. Publication 117, Filing a Claim for Refund, details the general requirements for filing a claim for refund.

Mail claims to:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Special Taxes and Fees
Appeals and Data Analysis Branch (MIC: 33)
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0033

Additional refund details.

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

  • Three years from the due date of the return on which you overpaid the fee.
  • Six months from the date you overpaid the fee.
  • Six months from the date a determination (billing) became final.
  • Three years from the date the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration collected an involuntary payment, such as from a levy or lien.