COVID-19 State of Emergency (Español)
During this time of uncertainty, we're supporting California businesses so they can focus on their health and personal priorities.
Relief & Extensions for Filing Returns
Automatic extensions for taxpayers reporting less than $1 million in tax have expired. Please see our sales and use tax and special taxes and fees return extension due dates page for a list of the filing periods, original due dates, and extension due dates.
Small Business Relief Payment Plans for Sales and Use Tax
We are no longer accepting applications for this program.
Effective December 15, 2020, small business taxpayers with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales, can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability only. All payment plans must be paid in full by April 30, 2022, to qualify for zero interest. Businesses with $5 million or more in annual taxable sales in sectors particularly impacted by operational restrictions due to the pandemic may also apply for this 12-month interest-free payment plan. Please note: This relief only applies to sales and use tax due on returns with original due dates between December 15, 2020 and April 30, 2021. A business that previously took advantage of the 12-month, interest-free payment plan that must be paid in full by July 31, 2021, may also request to participate in this new 12-month interest-free payment plan.
Payment Plan FAQ
Is a similar plan available for special tax and fee accounts?
No. The program is only available for sales and use tax liabilities.
How do I know if I qualify?
You generally will qualify for this program if:
- You have less than $5 million in annual taxable sales
- The liabilities included in the program were for sales and use tax returns originally due between December 15, 2020 and April 30, 2021
- Your seller's permit is not revoked
- You are not under any active collection actions
- You are not in an active bankruptcy or have been discharged from bankruptcy
- You are not on an approved offer in compromise
- You are not on the list of the Top 500 Sales and Use Tax Debtors
Is there a limit to how much can be included in an interest-free payment plan?
The maximum amount of sales and use tax due that may be included in this program is $50,000.
What if I owe more than the $50,000 limit?
The maximum amount that any taxpayer can defer, interest-free, under this payment plan is $50,000. If you owe more than $50,000 and need a payment plan, separate arrangements must be made for the amount over $50,000. Your options are to either pay down the liability so the amount outstanding is $50,000 or enter into a separate penalty and interest accruing plan for the amount above $50,000.
What if I have more than one period that qualifies for the program?
You may include multiple periods in the interest-free payment plan provided the other qualifying conditions are met, the period due dates were between December 15, 2020 and April 30, 2021, and the amount included in the plan does not exceed $50,000. If multiple periods will be included in the interest-free payment plan, we recommend that you file all such returns prior to applying.
How will the payment plans work?
Qualifying taxpayers will pay their sales and use tax due in 12 or fewer equal monthly installments. Interest and penalties will not be assessed against the liability, or, depending upon the plan details, the interest and penalties will be adjusted at the conclusion of the payment plan.
What are my payment options?
Payments must be made by ACH Debit or credit card. ACH Debit payments allow funds to be electronically withdrawn from your bank account using your bank routing number and account number. You may not make payments via check or money order.
Credit card payments will be assessed a service fee of 2.3% of the transaction amount by the credit card processing vendor. This service fee is retained by the vendor and is not revenue to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). The minimum service fee is $1.00.
Can I pay my balance off sooner than the one-year timeframe?
Yes. Simply click on the Make a Payment/Prepayment button at the top of our home page on our website, and follow the prompts.
What if I am currently in a payment plan for other periods? Do I still qualify for this program?
You can still qualify for this program if the $50,000 tax liability was for sales and use tax returns originally due between December 15, 2020 and April 30, 2021. The payments previously agreed to for your existing payment plan will continue to be due. If making these payments, in addition to the payments for the small business relief payment plan, cause a hardship, please contact your local office to discuss your options.
What if I cannot make my payment one month? Can I "double up" the next month to stay on the plan?
Contact us immediately as soon as you know you will not be able to make a payment under your plan, so that we can work with you to keep your plan current. You may be subject to interest charges and collection action on the remaining balance if you default.
Main Street Small Business Tax Credit II
2021 Main Street Small Business Tax Credit II
The Main Street Small Business Tax Credit II will provide Covid-19 financial relief to qualified small business employers. On November 1, 2021, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration will begin accepting applications for tentative small business hiring credit reservation amounts through our online reservation system. Qualified small business employers must apply with the CDTFA for a credit reservation. The credit reservations will be allocated to qualified small business employers on a first-come, first-served basis. The reservation system will be available from November 1, 2021, through November 30. 2021. Qualified small business employers may apply to reserve $1,000 per net increase in qualified employees, not to exceed $150,000. Tentative credit reservation amounts will generally be reduced by credit amounts reserved or received under the first Main Street Small Business Tax Credit. Qualified small businesses will be able to offset their income taxes or their sales and use taxes with the credit when filing their returns. For more information, see Main Street Small Business Tax Credit II.
Public Counters at Field and Motor Carrier Offices Accessible by Appointment Only
To protect public health, the Public Counters in our local field and motor carrier offices are accessible by appointment. We are also providing services via phone, video, mail, and online. Here are the many ways to reach us directly:
- Visit us online on the CDTFA website.
- Call us.
- You can call our customer service center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711)
- Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.
- You can call or email your local CDTFA office.
- You can call our customer service center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711)
- Email – you can send us your general, non-confidential tax questions.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Watch our collection of "How To Videos" and other online instructional resources.
- Send us a letter:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279
Field Office & Public Counter FAQs
Will CDTFA provide in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic?
If you have a specific in-person need, certain services will be made available by appointment only. Please visit our contact page to find your office email or phone number to request assistance.
What if I want to make a tax payment at a local office?
If you need to make a tax payment at your local office please contact us to discuss the availability for an appointment.
What if I need to make a same-day payment at my local office?
You can send your payment to the address below. During this time, you will not be charged penalties or interest for late payments.
Please 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
General COVID-19 FAQ
I own a restaurant; can I start selling goods other than food products?
Yes. A seller’s permit allows you to sell items ordinarily subject to tax in California. Depending on what type of products you begin to sell, you may need to register for other licenses as well. If you are selling products from a different business location, you will need to update your registration information for your seller’s permit to include your new location. You may visit our Permits & Licenses webpage for additional information.
Are sales of personal protective equipment exempt from tax?
No. In general, sales of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves, are not exempt from tax. Please note: The sales and use tax exemption specified in Governor Newsom’s April 7, 2020, Executive Order for certain sales and purchases of PPE is limited to a coordinated, centralized purchase by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
Are sales of FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic kits tax exempt?
No, the retail sale of diagnostic test kits is generally subject to sales or use tax. There are no specific exemptions for the sales of these items.
If I donate merchandise from my resale inventory to a business, do I owe use tax?
Yes, if you donate your resale inventory to a business rather than a qualified organization, you will owe use tax. Generally, the donation of property constitutes a use of the property. If the property was purchased under a valid resale certificate, use tax is due on the cost of the property that is donated. However, if resale inventory is donated to certain qualified organizations, use tax does not apply provided the property was not purchased specifically for the purpose of donation. A qualified organization is an organization that is described in Section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code and generally includes religious organizations, charitable organizations, and the State of California. Please see Regulation 1669 for additional information.
I have a business and I am adding a separate COVID surcharge to my customers’ bill. Is the surcharge subject to tax?
Yes, a surcharge, whether it is a flat fee or a percentage of the selling price, is generally subject to tax when separately added to a taxable sale, unless a specific exemption or exclusion applies. Tax is applied to the total selling price, including the surcharge. Below illustrates the computation of sales tax on a taxable sale that includes an added surcharge. The example assumes an 8.75 percent sales tax rate (actual rate may differ):