Getting Started with the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fee & Oil Spill Response Fee

Online Registration

Register online with us for Oil Spill Prevention and Administration (OSPA) fee and Oil Spill Response (OSR) fee accounts applicable to your type of business. Online registration is the convenient way to register and is available 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Beginning November 1, 2021, renewable fuel production facility operators and renewable fuel receiving facility operators will be able to register online. Existing OSPA feepayers may add new site(s) for each facility type (as defined in Revenue and Taxation Code section 46024) to their account when filing their OSPA fee return starting in November 2021.

The facility types listed below must register for the OSPA and/or OSR fee programs as shown below:

Facility Type Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fee Oil Spill Response Fee
Marine terminal located in waters of the state Yes Yes
Refineries in California Yes Yes
Renewable fuel receiving facility Yes No
Renewable fuel production facility Yes No
Pipeline operator transporting crude oil out of California No Yes
Pipeline operator transporting petroleum products into California No Yes

Multiple Facilities

If you have multiple facility operations under the same legal entity, you only need one account under the OSPA Fee Program and the OSR Program, as applicable. If you are a marine terminal operator or a refinery operator, you will need both an OSPA fee account and an OSR fee account.

More Than One Type of Account, Permit, or License May Be Required

You may need additional accounts, permits, or licenses issued by us, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Seller's permit
  • Motor vehicle fuel supplier license
  • Diesel fuel supplier license
  • Terminal operator license
  • Underground storage tank account

Fee Rates

Visit our Tax Rates – Special Taxes and Fees page to view current and historical rates for the OSPA and OSR fees.

Annual Fee Rate Setting – OSPA

The OSPA fee rate is set by statute (Government Code section 8670.40). Beginning July 1, 2023, and every July thereafter, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will adjust the OSPA fee rate based on changes in the California Consumer Price Index.

Return and Payment

File your return online – Our online filing service is easy, fast, and free.

Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fee

You must use our Online Services to file your CDTFA-501-OA, Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fee Return and pay the fee. The return and fee are due on the 25th day of the calendar month following the reporting period. For example, a return and payment for the reporting period of April 2022 would be due on or before May 25, 2022. You are required to file a return even if you did not have any reportable activity during the reporting period.

Filing a late return and/or late payment may result in a penalty and/or interest. See the Penalty and Interest section below.

Oil Spill Response Fee

Feepayers registered under the OSR program are required to file CDTFA-501-IR, Oil Spill Response Fee Annual Information Return annually. You may use our Online Services to file the return, which covers a one-year calendar period and is due on or before the following January 25th. The OSR Fund reached the fund maximum in January 1991 and the OSR fee is not currently being collected.

When the fee is active, a monthly return and fee are due on the 25th day of the calendar month following the reporting period. At that time, you are required to file a return even if you did not have any reportable activity during the reporting period. Filing a late return may result in a late penalty fee. See Penalty and Interest topic in this section.


You may file and pay your oil spill fees in one transaction when you file online. Visit our website to make a payment and learn about our various payment options.

If your average monthly fee payment is $20,000 or more, you are required to pay by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). We will notify you in writing if you are required to pay your fees electronically.

Payments must be submitted by the due date to be considered timely. For an EFT payment to be timely, it must be initiated on or before the filing due date and funds must settle into our bank account on or before the banking day following the due date.

Penalty and Interest

The penalty for filing a late return and/or late fee payment is ten percent of the fee amount due for the period. Interest also applies to late fee payments.

You may log into your account to submit an online request for an extension to file a return or relief from penalty (including interest due to a disaster).

Updating Your Business Information

Log in with your username and password to update your account information. You may update your email address, mailing address, location address, telephone number, and close your account. If you prefer, you may use form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change Special Taxes and Fees Accounts, and mail it to the address provided in the form. It is important to notify us so we can update our records to ensure you receive information, email reminders to file online, and other updates timely.

Record Retention

Records required to be retained must be kept for at least four years from the time the tax is due unless we authorize in writing their destruction sooner.

Claim for Refund

If you have overpaid the fee directly to us, you may file your refund claim using our online services. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to request a refund. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the Submit a Claim for Refund link and follow the prompts.

You may also file a refund claim by completing and mailing form, CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit, or file an amended return stating the specific reason(s) for the overpayment. Additional details about filing a claim for refund can be found in publication 117, Filing a Claim for Refund.

You may mail your claim to:

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Appeals and Data Analysis Branch (MC: 33)
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0033

Additional refund details can be found on our Special Taxes and Fees Refund page.

Claims for Refund to be Forwarded to the Department of Fish and Wildlife

Claims for refund based on the grounds that the crude oil, petroleum products, or renewable fuel did not pass over, across, under, or through waters of the state will be forwarded to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response).