Credit Card Payment Program for Tax & Fee Payments – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Any tax or fee payer who is not required to pay by electronic funds transfer and has a Sales and Use Tax, Prepayment of Sales Tax on Motor Vehicle Fuel Distributions, Special Taxes and Fees, Fuel Tax or Consumer Use Tax Account and is also an active holder of a Discover Network, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card.

You can use your credit card to make tax payments due with your tax or fee returns and prepayment forms. You may also make your billing payments and audit payments with a credit card.

American Express, Discover Network, MasterCard, and Visa cards are accepted.

Credit card companies charge merchants a processing fee for accepting their cards. Retail merchants can pay for this by including it in the cost of their merchandise but the CDTFA cannot do this with tax payments. The only way for CDTFA to handle the cost is to pass the fee on to the taxpayer. This service fee is charged by the credit card processing vendor, Official Payments Corp. and is not revenue to the CDTFA. The fee is 2.3% of the transaction amount. Please note: Transactions under $43 are subject to a $1.00 minimum. The following are some examples of how the fee is calculated:

Transaction Amount Multiplied by the Service Fee Service Fee
$10 × .023 (2.3%) = $1.00 minimum
$100 × .023 (2.3%) = $2.30
$1,000 × .023 (2.3%) = $23.00
$10,000 × .023 (2.3%) = $230.00

No. You will have the option of paying by credit card or paying by check with each return or prepayment. The ability to pay by credit card has been established for your convenience. You may pay by check one month, and then by credit card the next month, and so on.

You must be a holder of Discover Network, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card and you will need to have your return, prepayment form or billing notice in front of you. Call 1-855-292-8931 or make a payment over the Internet.

If you are making a return payment or prepayment, you must mail timely the return and/or prepayment form. Be sure to indicate on the return or prepayment form in the space provided, that you made your payment by Credit card. For Consumer Use Tax Returns, enter your confirmation payment number.

No. If you are a mandatory electronic funds transfer (EFT) account, you cannot make your tax payment by credit card. This is because the law specifically defines the electronic funds transfer payment as ACH Credit, ACH Debit or fedwire. Credit card payments are not included in the definition of the law.

If you are currently a voluntary electronic funds transfer (EFT) account, you can make your tax payment by credit card.

Yes. There is no change in the current due dates of the prepayment or return payment.

Prepayments – *No. Once you make your credit card payment for the prepayment period, you do NOT need to send in a paper prepayment form nor do you need to file online the prepayment period. Your filing requirement for the prepayment period has been satisfied.

* For Hazardous Waste accounts only – the paper prepayment form must be mailed to satisfy your filing requirement.

Returns – Yes. The fact that the payment was made by credit card does not relieve you of the obligation to mail the form. If you do not file online or you are exempt from filing online, your paper return form must be postmarked on or before the due date to be considered timely.

NOTE:

  • There is a 10% penalty for a late return form even if the tax payment is timely. This applies if you are filing a yearly, fiscal yearly, monthly or quarterly tax/fee return – not the prepayment period. See exception below for Hazardous Waste prepayments.
  • Hazardous Waste accounts – There is a penalty of 10% of the amount of tax due for a late prepayment form even if the payment is timely.
  • Alcohol or IFTA accounts – There is a penalty of $50 or 10% of the amount of tax due, whichever is greater, for a late return even if the payment is timely.
  • Sales and Use Tax accounts – If filing a paper return, before mailing the return form, mark the appropriate box if you made your payment by credit card.

Most payments to the Department can be made by credit card.

You cannot make credit card payments for Property and Timber Tax accounts.

Yes. Delinquent tax or fee notices, Statements of Account, or demand for immediate payment notices that include tax, penalty and/or interest can be paid with a credit card.

Select the Payment Type "Billing Payment". Include the Notice ID number from your bill to ensure proper application of your payment.

You may call in your payment using a touch tone phone or submit your payment over the Internet on or before the tax due date. The toll-free number and website are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. If you call using a touch tone phone or submit your payment over the internet on the due date, your transaction must be completed before 12:00 midnight (Pacific Time) to be considered timely.

It can take up to five working days for the payment to show on the Department's system. The payment effective date, however, is the date of the call. If your call is completed before 12:00 midnight (Pacific Time) on any day, that will be the effective date of the payment.

Any credit card payment called in using a touch tone phone or submitted over the Internet on a weekend or holiday will have an effective date of that day. For example, any call made on Sunday will have an effective date of payment as Sunday.

If you make your credit card payment on the due date, the transaction must be completed prior to 12:00 midnight (Pacific Time) to be considered timely.

Credit card payments can be made after the due date; however, these late credit card payments are subject to the same penalty and interest charges as late payments made by check, cash, money order, etc.

When you call in your payment using a touch-tone phone or submit your payment over the Internet, you will receive a confirmation number. This confirmation number, along with your tax account number and payment amount, will be used to trace your payment.

Five days after making your credit card payment, you may contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, excluding state holidays.

This is the number issued to you by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. For example:

TYPE OF ACCOUNT ACCOUNT NUMBER YOU ENTER
Prepayment of sales tax SR KH 28-123456 2-8-1-2-3-4-5-6
Sales and use tax on fuel distributions SG BH 77-123456 7-7-1-2-3-4-5-6

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration administers several different tax programs. Some of the programs require certain filers to make payments prior to filing their return; these payments are referred to as "Prepayments." If you are required to make prepayments, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration will let you know.

The number of prepayments you will need to make depends on the program. For example the generator fee requires one prepayment, which would be referred to as "Prepayment 1"; however other tax programs require two prepayments due at two different times before filing the return for the reporting period. The second prepayment is referred to as "Prepayment 2".

The final payment made is the return payment. This payment is the payment made when you file the actual return. You will be allowed to deduct any prepayments from the amount determined to be due on the return. The difference is the return payment.

It is the last day of the reporting period in which you are reporting tax. Having your prepayment or return form in front of you will help you. For example:

Reporting Period Last Day of That Period You Enter
January – March 2014 March 31, 2014 033114
April – June 2014 June 30, 2014 063014
July – September 2014 September 30, 2014 093014
October – December 2014 December 31, 2014 123114
February 2014 February 28, 2014 022814
March 2014 March 31, 2014 033114
April 2014 April 30, 2014 043014

Normally, penalty (not interest) is due on a late prepayment. Therefore, the system is not programmed to accept interest on a prepayment.

Yes, you may pay amounts due by credit card on returns filed online. If you select to pay by credit card you will be routed to the credit card vendor to make payment. You must return to the CDTFA site to submit your return after you have completed your credit card payment.