Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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EFT Basics

You are required to make payments by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) if:

  • Your average monthly sales and use tax liability equals or exceeds $10,000 over a 12-month period.
  • Your average monthly Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services (MTS) Surcharge liability equals or exceeds $20,000.
    • Your sales and use tax account is required to make EFT payments, your prepaid MTS account should also remit payments by EFT.
  • Your average monthly special taxes and fees liability equals or exceeds $20,000 over a 12-month period.

Yes. You can choose to make payments by EFT on a voluntary basis.

If you are required to remit payments through EFT and you use another means (check, cash, money order, credit card, etc.), you will be subject to a penalty.

  • Monthly and quarterly tax or fee returns will be assessed a ten percent (10%) penalty on the taxes or fees due.
  • Sales and use tax prepayments will be subject to a six percent (6%) penalty.
  • Special taxes programs will be assessed a prepayment penalty based on the law governing your specific special taxes program.

ACH Debit – you initiate a payment online or by telephone to authorize the state to debit your account and credit the state's bank account. These transactions are simple, and there is no cost to you for using CDTFA's Online Services. However, please check with your financial institution to find out if they charge a fee for the actual transfer of funds. ACH debit is the most common payment method selected by taxpayers, as it has a very low error rate and offers the ability to schedule payments in advance by selecting a future date using the warehousing payment option.

ACH Credit – you must instruct your financial institution to debit your account and credit the state's bank account. Financial institutions vary, so you will need to contact yours for specific details on submitting this type of transaction. You must confirm your financial institution has the ability to send ACH credit transactions in the required format (see our ACH Credit Specifications). Your financial institution may charge a fee for ACH credit transactions. Please contact them for more information.

ACH Debit – To make ACH debit payments online, you must have internet access. To make ACH debit payments by telephone, no special equipment is needed.

ACH Credit – Hardware and software needed to make ACH credit payments vary by financial institution. Please contact your financial institution to learn about their requirements.

No. Information needed to make an EFT payment can be found under our Online Services menu.

You can make an EFT payment for returns, prepayments, billings, payment plans, or audits.

If you transmitted more than the amount due, you may call the section that administers your tax or fee program to obtain instructions for requesting a refund or you may apply the overpayment to a different reporting period.

  • For Sales and Use Tax, Lumber Assessment, and Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services (MTS) Surcharge, contact the EFT helpline at 1-916-327-4229, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, excluding state holidays.
  • For Special Taxes and Fees, contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, excluding state holidays.

Filing Returns

Whether you choose the ACH debit or ACH credit method, you must continue to file your tax returns on or before the due date. The reporting due dates and filing requirements have not changed.

If you have an account and file on a quarterly or yearly prepayment basis, you are only required to make an electronic payment. Paper prepayment forms are no longer provided and should not be submitted. Your electronic payment will fulfill your prepayment requirement.

Simply contact your financial institution to have them initiate your prepayment using the correct ACH Credit Specifications and Tax Type Codes. Tax type codes are used to identify the type of tax or fee payment being made. You do not need to file a prepayment online or send a form to the CDTFA.

Yes. The CDTFA offers convenient online filing services for eligible accounts. The following programs do not have a return filing obligation with us:

  • Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
  • Fire Prevention Fee
  • Hazardous Substances Tax – Transportable Treatment Unit
  • Marine Invasive Species Fee
  • Tax on Insurers
  • Water Rights Fee

You are required to file a return even if you had zero taxable sales or transactions for the return period. You will simply enter zero for these amounts.

Deadline Information

If you are required to make your payment by EFT, all electronic payments made by any of the payment methods described below must be deposited into the state's bank account one banking day following the due date to be considered timely. Depending on what method you use, there is a cutoff for making a timely payment.

  • ACH Debit – If you submit your payment online directly through us, you must complete your transaction by the due date. If you pay online on the due date, your transaction must be completed by 3:00 p.m. Pacific time, to ensure your funds are deposited into the state's bank account by the next banking day.
  • Third-Party Vendor – If you submit your payment through the state's third-party payment processor, First Data, on the due date, you must complete your transaction by 3:00 p.m. Pacific time, and select the next banking day as your debit date.
  • ACH Credit – You must contact your financial institution to determine when to initiate your payment so that your payment is deposited into the state's bank account no later than the first banking day following the due date.

Yes. When paying by ACH debit, you can warehouse your payment for a future date, up to the due date of the return.

If you make your ACH debit payment through the state's third party payment processor, First Data, you can designate any banking day as a debit date (up to 90) days in advance of the due date. You should not select a debit date beyond one banking day following the due date. The debit date is the date your payment transfers from your bank account to the CDTFA's bank account. Payments debited more than one day following the due date are subject to penalty and/or interest charges.

Yes. Payments that are received after the due date are subject to interest and/or penalties. A penalty of ten percent (six percent for prepayments) of the tax is imposed on amounts received after the due date. Interest is also due for each month or fraction of a month the tax payment is late. Therefore, if your payment is only one day late, an entire month's interest will be imposed. However, if your payment is only one day late, you may be eligible to have the interest charge reduced to a daily interest rather than a full month of interest if all the following conditions are met:

  • The payment of the tax or prepayment was made electronically.
  • The payment of the tax or prepayment was made one day after the due date.
  • You were granted relief from all penalties that applied to your late payment of tax or prepayment.
  • You file a request for an oral hearing before the CDTFA.

For more information on one day late interest adjustments, please visit our website and follow the instructions on form CDTFA-734, Request for Interest Adjustment Electronic Payments – One Day Late.

Banking days are days the Federal Reserve banks are open. They are open Monday through Friday, except for the following dates:

New Year's Day – January 1 *
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday in January)
Presidents Day (third Monday in February)
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Independence Day -July 4 *
Labor Day (first Monday in September)
Columbus Day (second Monday in October)
Veterans Day – November 11 *
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
Christmas Day – December 25 *

*If this day falls on a Sunday, the banks are closed the following Monday

If a tax or fee due date falls on a weekend or holiday (national or State of California), the payment is due on the first business day following the weekend or holiday. For example, if the tax or fee due date is January 31 and that date falls on a Saturday, the tax or fee due date will become Monday, February 2 and the funds must be deposited into the CDTFA's bank account by February 3.

Holidays recognized by the State of California:

New Year's Day – January 1 *
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday in January)
Presidents Day (third Monday in February)
Cesar Chavez Day – March 31 *
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Independence Day – July 4 *
Labor Day (first Monday in September)
Veterans Day – November 11 *
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November **)
Day after Thanksgiving – Friday after Thanksgiving **
Christmas Day – December 25 *

* If this date falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the following Monday.
** If the tax due date falls on Thanksgiving Day or the day after, the tax due date will move to the following Monday. In addition, if the due date falls on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the payment must be deposited into the CDTFA's account by the day after Thanksgiving.

EFT Resources

Yes. You can switch your payment method between the ACH debit or ACH credit method when making your EFT payment. No prior authorization from us is required. You will need to contact your financial institution regarding their requirements.

If you are making your EFT payment by ACH debit or ACH credit, you do not need to notify us of the change. However, if you are making your payment by ACH credit, you will need to contact your new financial institution to verify their ability to originate an ACH credit transaction in the required record formats. You will also need to provide CDTFA's bank account and routing number information to them.

If you have an ACH debit block on your bank account, you must inform your financial institution of the CDTFA's Company Identification Numbers to avoid your payment from being rejected. The CDTFA Company Identification Numbers are 2822162215 and 1822162215.

ACH debit payments can only be initiated by you or your authorized personnel. ACH credit payments are initiated only by you through your financial institution.

If you experience any problems making an EFT payment, please call the appropriate section that administers your account as listed below.

  • For Sales and Use Tax, Lumber Assessment, and Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services (MTS) Surcharge, contact the EFT helpline at 1-916-327-4229, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, excluding state holidays.
  • For Special Taxes and Fees, contact the Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, excluding state holidays.