Accessing the CDTFA's Records
The CDTFA is committed to complying with California's public access laws, including the Information Practices Act (Civil Code section 1798 et seq.) and the Public Records Act (Government Code section 6250 et seq), and safeguarding confidential taxpayer or feepayer information as required by law.
Information Practices Act
The Information Practices Act generally allows individuals to have access to their personal information maintained in CDTFA files, including financial information such as tax records. The Information Practices Act (IPA) also restricts the disclosure of personal information to third parties. Requests must be filed by the taxpayer, the feepayer, or their representative. Please see the “My Records” tab for additional information.
Public Records Act
The public has a right under the Public Records Act to access public records maintained by the CDTFA. The CDTFA's public records that are not exempt from disclosure by state or federal law may be accessed or requested pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Public Records Act. Please see the “Public Records” tab for additional information.
To view your confidential tax or fee records, log into your account for the following types of information:
- My Seller's Permit
Instructions for Obtaining a Copy of My Seller's Permit Online
- My Tax Return
- My File (Contact your local CDTFA office to request your records)
See Publication 58a, How to Inspect and Correct Your Records for more information.
Records Exempt from Disclosure
A partial example list of records exempt from disclosure are as follows:
- Information maintained for criminal law enforcement.
- Information maintained for the purpose of investigating specific violations of state law, until after the investigation and remedial action, if any, are completed.
- Information that would compromise the objectivity or fairness of a test or examination.
- Medical, psychiatric, or psychological information, if the person responsible for holding the record determines that disclosure would be medically or psychologically detrimental to the individual.
- Any information required by statute to be withheld from the individual to whom it pertains.
- Personal information about other individuals.
- The names of sources of personal information, when confidentiality is authorized or required.
The following CDTFA records are available on the Department's website or Open Data Portal and can be accessed by clicking the links below. Historical records can be requested by submitting a written request to our Disclosure Office using the contact information listed on How to Request Public Records.
- Proposed Rules and Regulations
- Rulemaking Files
- Business Taxes Committee Material
- Business Taxes Law Guide – Laws, Regulations and Annotations
- Annotation Back-Up Opinions
- Certificates Used in Sales and Use Tax Regulations
- Memorandum Opinions
- Video Tutorials
- CDTFA Organizational Chart
- Public Complaint Resource Directory
Requests to obtain copies of the CDTFA's public records may be made in writing and addressed to our Disclosure Office via email, fax or mail.
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Attn: Disclosure Office
P.O. Box 942879, MIC: 82
Sacramento, CA 94279
See CDTFA-854-F, Access to California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Records, for more information.
Some records are exempt from public disclosure pursuant to law. Examples of records that are exempt from disclosure include but are not limited to the following:
Records Exempt from Disclosure
- Tax and fee information that must be kept confidential under state or federal laws
- Confidential legal advice
- Records prepared in connection with litigation
- Preliminary drafts of intra-agency memoranda or other documents not retained by CDTFA staff in the normal course of business
- Personnel, medical or similar files
- Test questions, scoring keys, and other data regarding licensing, employment and academic examinations
What You Can Request
The following are examples of records that may be requested by submitting a request to our Disclosure Office.
- Settlement Public Records Statement
- Offers in Compromise Public Records Statement
- Refunds over $50,000 Public Records Statement
Department Staff Memoranda or Letters
Memoranda or letters written by Department staff may be requested by author, date, subject, statute, or regulation. Confidential taxpayer information will be redacted prior to disclosure. Documents protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work product privilege will not be disclosed.
Operations Memoranda (“Ops Memos”) are used to inform Department staff and the public of changes in laws and Department procedures. Ops Memos are public unless they contain confidential information, in which case, when it is possible to do so, a redacted copy will be provided. Ops Memos may be requested by subject, title, or Ops Memo number. In time, individual Ops Memos become obsolete as they are incorporated into CDTFA manuals. A list of current Ops Memos may be requested.
Policy Memoranda Issued to Field Offices
Policy memoranda are circulated to the Field Offices as needed to clarify departmental issues and/or policies relating to specific topics. Policy memoranda may be requested by subject or date.
A list of Sales and Use Tax or Special Taxes and Fees training courses may be requested. The materials in some courses may be restricted to use by Department employees. If a course contains restricted/confidential information, a redacted copy of course materials will be provided.
Decisions (after January 1, 2018)
A Decision represents an Appeals Attorney's or Appeals Auditor's recommendation regarding a petition for redetermination or a claim for refund after hearing an appeals conference. A Decision does not reflect the ultimate disposition of the appeal by the Office of Tax Appeals. A Decision has no precedential value. Copies of Decisions may be requested by subject, statute, or regulation and will be provided if they can be effectively redacted to protect confidential taxpayer information, including the identity of the taxpayer or feepayer. Decisions are not released if requested in conjunction with a specific hearing or hearing date since there would be no effective way to redact the document.
Decision and Recommendation (before January 1, 2018)
A Decision and Recommendation represents an Appeals Attorney's or Appeals Auditor's recommendation regarding a petition for redetermination or a claim for refund after hearing an appeals conference. A Decision and Recommendation does not reflect the ultimate disposition of the appeal by the Board of Equalization. A Decision and Recommendation has no precedential value. Copies of Decisions and Recommendations may be requested by subject, statute, or regulation and will be provided if they can be effectively redacted to protect confidential taxpayer information, including the identity of the taxpayer or feepayer. Decisions and Recommendations are never released if requested in conjunction with a specific hearing or hearing date since there would be no effective way to redact the document.