Statewide Compliance & Outreach Program
The Statewide Compliance and Outreach Program (SCOP) focuses on educating businesses, as well as identifying and registering businesses who are actively selling or leasing tangible personal property in California without a seller's permit. SCOP also advises on other State tax and fee permits and licenses a business may need to obtain. In general, the purpose of SCOP is to:
- Educate business owners regarding their tax responsibilities,
- Advise business owners when they need a seller's permit,
- Explain to owners how to report and remit their taxes and fees due,
- Verify and update CDTFA account information,
- Review business operations compared to sales and use tax returns filed to provide guidance on proper reporting, and
- Provide business owners the opportunity to ask questions.
SCOP will monitor the ongoing compliance of newly registered businesses, reduce the number of businesses operating without a valid seller's permit, and enhance the awareness of businesses on the consequences of tax evasion.
SCOP teams located throughout the state will conduct door-to-door visits to all non-residential businesses based on zip code. At each visit, SCOP specialists will:
- Identify themselves and show identification,
- Verify the need for and existence of a seller's permit and other required fee permits and licenses,
- Review license/permit to verify that it is updated with the correct information,
- Determine if the business is reporting its sales and use taxes properly,
- Provide information and assistance to the business owner on sales and use tax reporting responsibilities, and
- Answer owner's questions.
If the SCOP specialists find that a business is reporting its taxes incorrectly, they will advise the business to file amended returns or if the business has overpaid taxes, to file a claim for refund. In some instances, the business may be referred for an audit.
Please note: The filing of an amended return does not prevent further CDTFA activity, such as an audit or refund, for the same period(s) in question.
The SCOP is intended to:
- Make sure you have the state tax and fee permits and licenses you need,
- Make sure that our records on your business are updated and correct,
- Allow you to meet a representative who can provide more information and answer your questions, and
- Make sure you understand your reporting requirements so that you are able to report accurately.
It is estimated that about two percent of California businesses are operating without the appropriate permits or licenses. These unregistered businesses have an unfair business advantage over those businesses that are properly registered and reporting their taxes/fees. The SCOP is part of a statewide effort to educate business owners, increase tax compliance and help make our tax system fair. The permit and license verification is not intended to replace audits or other tax compliance or enforcement activity.
The permits and licenses needed depend on your type of business. Some businesses require only a seller's permit, while others also need to register for other state tax and fee programs. For example, cigarette retailers are required to hold a seller's permit as well as a special license to sell cigarettes or other tobacco products. The SCOP specialist will assist you in identifying any additional permits you may need.
For a full list of CDTFA-administered programs and to see what permits or licenses may be required, please go to the Register for a Permit, License, or Account page.
If your business sells or leases tangible personal property in California and does not hold a seller's permit, you will be instructed to electronically register when you are visited by a SCOP specialist. The specialist will provide publication 214, Doing Business Just Got Easier with eReg, which contains additional information about electronically registering for a seller's permit.
For further information on obtaining a seller's permit, please see our Frequently Asked Questions on Obtaining a Seller's Permit.
The CDTFA intends to visit all non-residential businesses statewide over the course of time. There are nine SCOP teams throughout the state that are conducting door-to-door visits based on zip codes. All storefronts and other known business locations in each area will be visited by a SCOP specialist.
If you already have a seller's permit with the CDTFA, a letter will be sent to your business address notifying you of our upcoming visit to your area. However, if you are not registered with the CDTFA, you may not directly receive a notice or letter, since the CDTFA has no address on record for your business. The CDTFA will work with local municipalities and other partners to publicize our visits to businesses and increase awareness of our plan to conduct visits in their area.
Visits to your area may begin as early as two weeks from the date of the letter; however, visits may be delayed several weeks depending on the length of visits to businesses in other zip codes. The SCOP specialists generally remain in the area until all business locations within the zip code have been visited.
At each visit, SCOP specialists will:
- Identify themselves and show identification,
- Verify the existence of a seller's permit, fee permits and other business licenses/permits that may be required, including a city or county business license, if appropriate,
- Review your license/permit to verify that it is updated with the correct information,
- Provide guidance on reporting your sales and use taxes properly,
- Provide information and assistance on your sales and use tax responsibilities, and
- Answer questions that you may have.
If your business is required to hold a seller's permit and you are operating without one, the SCOP specialist will provide publication 214, Doing Business Just Got Easier with eReg, to assist you with electronic registration.
If you hold a valid seller's permit, but appears you may be reporting incorrectly, the SCOP specialist may ask you to file an amend return(s) at the time of the visit or may contact you at a later time to obtain additional information. The SCOP specialist can also provide you with guidance for proper reporting. If you have overpaid your taxes, you will be advised on how to file a claim for refund.
If applicable, a SCOP specialist will follow-up at a later date to make sure that your registration, amended return(s), and/or claim for refund requirements are fulfilled.
Please Note: The filing of an amended return does not prevent further CDTFA activity, such as an audit or refund, for the same period(s) in question.
You are required to obtain a seller's permit if you are considered engaged in business in California where you sell or lease tangible personal property. If you fail to obtain a permit and file back-due returns, a Compliance Assessment (billing) may be issued based upon the information gathered by the SCOP specialist during and/or after the visit. You will be charged a 10 percent penalty on the taxes due for failing to file a return by its due date. You could also be charged an additional 50 percent penalty if it is determined that you knowingly failed to obtain a permit to evade tax. For more information, please see publication 75, Interest and Penalties. In addition to any penalties, you may also receive a misdemeanor citation for operating without a seller's permit or with a revoked permit under section 6071 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
If you are advised to file amended return(s) and do not file the amended return(s) within the time period specified, an estimated billing may be issued based upon the information gathered by the SCOP specialist during and/or after the visit, or your business may be referred for an audit.
If you do file an amended return as advised, please be aware that further CDTFA activity, such as an audit or refund, for the same period(s) may still take place.
If you believe your original sales and use tax returns were filed correctly, or if you have any questions regarding the request to file amended returns, you should contact your local SCOP office.
You have specific legal rights as a California taxpayer. CDTFA employees must honor and uphold them each time we interact with you. As explained in publication 70, Understanding Your Rights as a California Taxpayer, you have the right to:
- Courteous and prompt service,
- Fair treatment,
- Information and assistance
Can I file a complaint if I have concerns about the SCOP visit to my business or the SCOP specialist's behavior?
If you believe a SCOP specialist was unprofessional or violated your rights, you may file a complaint by calling or writing your local CDTFA SCOP office. Be sure to explain how the SCOP specialist was unprofessional or inconsiderate in conducting the permit and license verification. Your complaint will be handled by a supervisor or manager, who will contact you to address your concerns. If you have not been able to resolve a problem through normal channels, you may contact the CDTFA's Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office.
Team 1 – Oakland Office
1-510-906-1581 • FAX 1-510-286-7398
Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, Solano, Sonoma, and Trinity.
Team 2 – Sacramento Office
1-916-309-8809 • FAX 1-916-227-9444
Counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, and Yuba.
Team 3 – San Jose Office
1-408-938-7776 • FAX 1-408-277-8233
Counties of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.
Team 4 – Glendale Office
1-818-543-4954 • FAX 1-818-551-2948
Part of Los Angeles County: Cities of Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, Burbank, Calabasas, Chatsworth, Duarte, El Monte, Glendale, Grenada Hills, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge, Hidden Hills, Los Angeles (Zip Codes ) 90004, 90017, 90020, 90022, 90026, 90027, 90028, 90029, 90031, 90032, 90039, 90041, 90042, 90046, 90049, 90057, 90065, 90068, 90069, 90077, 90210 90601, 90602, 90603, 90604, 90605, 90606, 90638, 90640, 90660, 90670, 91001, 91006, 91007, 91010, 91011, 91016, 91020, 91021, 91024, 91030, 91040, 91042, 91101, 91103, 91104, 91105, 91106, 91107, 91108, 91201, 91202, 91203, 91204, 91205, 91206, 91207, 91208, 91210, 91214, 91301, 91302, 91303, 91304, 91306, 91307, 91311, 91316, 91324, 91326, 91330, 91335, 91352, 91356, 91361, 91362, 91364, 91367, 91371, 91401, 91403, 91411, 91423, 91436, 91501, 91502, 91504, 91505, 91506, 91601, 91602, 91604, 91605, 91606, 91607, 91608, 91706, 91709, 91711, 91722, 91723, 91724, 91731, 91732, 91733, 91740, 91741, 91744, 91745, 91746, 91748, 91750, 91754, 91755, 91765, 91770, 91773, 91775, 91776, 91780, 91789, 91790, 91791, 91792, 91801, 91803, Monrovia, Northridge, Pasadena, Pomona, Rosemead, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, South El Monte, South Pasadena, Temple City, West Covina, and Westlake Village.
Team 5 – Cerritos Office
1-562-356-1102 • FAX 1-562-402-8503
Part of Los Angeles County: Cities of Artesia, Avalon, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Carson, Cerritos, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Culver City, Downey, El Segundo, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Park, Inglewood, La Puente, Lakewood, Lawndale, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles (Zip Codes ) 90001, 90002, 90003, 90005, 90006, 90007, 90008, 90010, 90011, 90012, 90013, 90014, 90015, 90016, 90018, 90019, 90021, 90023, 90024, 90025, 90033, 90034, 90035, 90036, 90037, 90038, 90040, 90043, 90044, 90045, 90047, 90048, 90056, 90058, 90059, 90061, 90062, 90063, 90064, 90066, 90067, 90071, 90079, 90089, 90094, 90095, 90201, 90211, 90212, 90220, 90221, 90222, 90230, 90232, 90240, 90241, 90242, 90245, 90247, 90248, 90249, 90250, 90254, 90255, 90260, 90262, 90265, 90266, 90270, 90272, 90274, 90275, 90277, 90278, 90280, 90290, 90291, 90292, 90293, 90301, 90302, 90303, 90304, 90305, 90401, 90402, 90403, 90403, 90404, 90405, 90501, 90502, 90503, 90504, 90505, 90650, 90701, 90703, 90704, 90706, 90710, 90712, 90713, 90715, 90716, 90717, 90723, 90731, 90732, 90744, 90745, 90746, 90755, 90802, 90803, 90804, 90805, 90806, 90807, 90808, 90810, 90813, 90814, 90815, Lynwood, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Maywood, Norwalk, Paramount, Palos Verdes Estates, Playa del Rey, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, Signal Hill, South Gate, Torrance, Venice, Vernon, Walnut Park, and Wilmington.
Team 6 – Irvine Office
1-949-224-3212 • FAX 1-949-724-2923
Team 7 – Riverside Office
1-951-880-2187 • FAX 1-951-680-6734
County of Riverside and part of San Bernardino County: Cities of Bloomington, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Highland, Joshua Tree, Landers, Loma Linda, Mentone, Morongo Valley, Pioneertown, Redlands, Rialto, the San Bernardino Valley, Twentynine Palms (Zip Code 92277), Yucaipa, and Yucca Valley.
Team 8 – Santa Clarita Office
1-661-222-6153 • FAX 1-661-286-1385
Counties of Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Santa Barbara, Tuolumne, Tulare and Ventura and part of Los Angeles County: Cities of Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Castaic, Elizabeth Lake, Los Angeles, Lancaster, Littlerock, Llano, Newhall, Palmdale, Pearblossom, Santa Clarita, Stevenson Ranch, Valencia and Valyermo.
Team 9 – San Diego Office
1-858-385-4715 • FAX 1-858-675-4101
Counties of Imperial and San Diego.
Team 10 – Rancho Cucamonga Office
1-909-257-2946 • FAX 1-909-980-1453
San Bernardino County and part of Los Angeles County: Cities of Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Glendora, La Verne, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, San Dimas and Walnut.
SCOP Publications and Additional Resources
- Publication 17, Appeals Procedures Sales and Use Taxes and Special Taxes
- Publication 44, Tax Tips for Districts Taxes
- Publication 54, Collection Procedures
- Publication 70, Understanding Your Rights as a California Taxpayer
- Publication 73, Your California Seller's Permit
- Publication 75, Interest and Penalties
- Publication 103, Sales for Resale
- Publication 110, California Use Tax
- Publication 123, California Businesses: How to Identify California Use Tax Due
- Publication 164, Statewide Compliance and Outreach Program
- Publication 165, Statewide Compliance and Outreach Program
- Translated Publications
- Other Tax/Fee Publications