COVID-19 State of Emergency (Versión en 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
Due Dates for Quarterly Filers
First quarter 2020 returns, for all but the largest taxpayers, were extended and are now due July 31, 2020. Tax returns for the second quarter, running from April through June 2020, remain due on July 31, 2020. For sales and use taxpayers required to make monthly prepayments against their second quarter sales and use tax obligations, prepayments remain due on May 26, 2020, and June 24, 2020. Please see our sales and use tax and special taxes and fees return due dates pages.
Please note, for taxpayers reporting less than $1 million in tax on a return originally due through July 31, 2020, interest and penalties will not accrue on return amounts or prepayments due, provided payments are made and returns are filed within three months of the original due date. Taxpayers below the $1 million threshold are not required to seek an extension from CDTFA; relief will be provided automatically.
Due Dates for Fiscal Year Annual Filers
For annual filers scheduled to file returns in July, the filing deadline of July 31, 2020, remains in effect. For taxpayers reporting less than $1 million in tax on a return originally due July 31, 2020, interest and penalties will not accrue on return amounts due, provided payments are made and returns are filed within three months of the original due date. Taxpayers below the $1 million threshold are not required to seek an extension from CDTFA; relief will be provided automatically.
Due Dates for Monthly Filers
April and May 2020 return due dates for taxpayers reporting less than $1 million in tax on the return, have been extended for three months. Interest and penalties will not accrue provided the returns are filed and amounts due are paid by August 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, respectively. The due date for monthly filers' June return remains July 31, 2020.
Please note, for taxpayers reporting less than $1 million in tax on their return originally due July 31, 2020, interest and penalties will not accrue on return amounts due provided payments are made and returns are filed within three months of the original due date. Taxpayers below the $1 million threshold are not required to seek an extension from CDTFA; relief will be provided automatically.
Requests for Relief for Larger Taxpayers
Taxpayers with a liability of $1 million or more may still request an extension if they are unable to file and pay by their due date. These requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and they will be notified if their extension has been approved or denied.
For taxpayers required to request an extension, please follow the directions below
How to Request for an Extension to File Your Return or Prepayment for Tax Liabilities of $1 Million or More
You may request relief of interest or penalties or request an extension for filing a return utilizing our online services.
Log in to your online services account using your username and password. Please Note: You cannot request relief using a limited access code. If you need help logging in, please watch one of our video tutorials or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711).
Once you are logged in, please follow the steps below:
- Select the account you would like to request an extension for below Accounts.
- Select Request a Filing Extension located below I Want To.
- Select the A disaster occurred, such as a fire, flood, storm, tidal wave, earthquake, or similar public calamity, whether or not resulting from natural causes, which has prevented the timely filing or payment option.
- Complete the form.
Currently, we are receiving a high volume of requests. We will notify you when your request is processed.
Small Business Relief Payment Plans for Sales and Use Tax
Effective April 2, 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 July 31, 2021, to qualify for zero interest. Please note, this relief only applies to sales and use tax liability.
Payment plan requests can be made through our online services system in the coming weeks. Please complete this form and we will notify you when the system becomes available. You may also contact our customer service center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711) if you are interested in being notified when the final application is available online.
Will a similar plan be created for special taxes accounts?
The program is only available for sales and use tax liabilities.
How will the payment plans work?
Qualifying sales and use taxpayers with deferred liabilities up to $50,000 will pay their tax due in 12 or fewer equal monthly installments. No interest or penalties will be assessed against the liability.
What if taxpayers owe more than the $50,000 relief limit?
The maximum amount that any taxpayer can defer, interest-free under this relief effort, is $50,000. If a taxpayer owes more than $50,000 and needs a payment plan, separate arrangements will need to be made for the amount over $50,000.
Extensions for Filing a Claim for Refund or a Tax Appeal
Taxpayers who have overpaid taxes may file a claim for refund. Through July 31, 2020, the statute of limitations period for filing a claim for refund has been extended by 60-days beyond the normal due date.
Taxpayers who dispute a tax or fee liability may request their case be heard by the Office of Tax Appeals. Taxpayers typically have a 30-day window in which they may request an appeal with the Office of Tax Appeals. Through July 31, 2020, this period has been extended by 60 days, therefore, taxpayers now have a 90-day period to request an appeal with the Office of Tax Appeals.
Public Counters at CDTFA Field and Motor Carrier Offices Accessible by Appointment
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, 8:00 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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):