Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Guide
Helping your business succeed is important to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). The fees you collect and pay to the state help fund state and local services and programs that are important to you and your community.
We developed this guide to provide you with easily accessible information to assist you in understanding the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Program and the obligations of employers in California.
Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
The occupational lead poisoning prevention fee applies to employers in industries where there is evidence of a potential for lead poisoning. We administer the occupational lead poisoning prevention fee in partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
The fee was established by Senate Bill 240 (Stats. 1991, ch. 798) adding section 105185, et seq. to the Health and Safety Code.
How the Revenue is Used
The fees we collect are used to support the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program within the CDPH, which provides services to prevent and reduce lead poisoning in California workplaces.
About This Guide
Each section of this guide contains important information relevant to the fee.
The Getting Started section includes a summary of the general application of the fee and lists resources related to registration, applicable fee rates, return filing, and payments.
The Industry Topics section contains specific topics important to the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee, including information about exemptions and refunds.
The Resources section provides links to helpful information, including special notices, publications, and applicable statutes/regulations.
If You Need Help
If at any time you need assistance with topics included in this guide – or with topics not included – feel free to contact us by telephone or email. For contact information and hours of operation, please visit our How to Contact Us webpage.
The Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention fee is imposed on employers in specific Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, which have been identified by the CDPH as having potential for occupational lead poisoning.
The fee amount is based on the following criteria:
- The number of employees employed by you in California for 160 hours or more in a calendar year, and
- Your fee category, A or B, depending on your four-digit SIC code. The categories are based on the number of cases in a SIC code where workers were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood, as reported to the CDPH's California Occupational Blood Lead Registry.
- Category A applies to businesses in a SIC code that had fewer than 20 reported cases of persons with elevated blood lead levels.
- Category B applies to businesses in a SIC code that had 20 or more reported cases.
Register online with us for an Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention account by selecting “Register a New Business Activity.” Visit the Online Services webpage for a list of information you may need to complete your registration.
Who is required to register?
As an employer, you are required to register if your business:
- Is in an industry category that has been identified as having a potential for occupational lead poisoning,
- Had lead or lead-containing materials present in their business operation during the previous calendar year, and
- Had ten or more employees who each worked 160 hours or more in California in the previous calendar year – whether or not an individual employee's specific job involved exposure to lead or lead-contaminating materials.
Visit our Tax Rates – Special Taxes and Fees page to view current fee rates.
Historical occupational lead poisoning prevention fee rates may also be found on our tax rates webpage.
The Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee returns and payments are due on or before the last day of February for the previous calendar year.
File a Return Online – File your return through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to file a return. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the File a Return link and follow the prompts.
Note: If you do not have a username and password, select the Sign Up Now link under the Create a Username heading from the online services homepage.
Additional Return Filing Options – You may also file your return(s) by mail using the return form listed below:
Visit our Tutorials page for how to file your Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee return through our online services.
Returns must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely, even if no amount is owed. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, returns and payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.
Make a Payment – Make payments through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to make a payment. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the Make a Payment link and follow the prompts.
Additional Payment Options – Visit our website for additional convenient payment methods.
Payments must be received or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.
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 should notify both the CDTFA and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) of any business change, such as a change in business ownership, mailing or location address, email address, phone or fax number.
Update Business Information Online – Update your business information through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you wish to update. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the option you are requesting to update under Account Maintenance.
Additional Business Update Options – You may also notify us of any changes by:
- Using form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, Special Taxes and Fees Accounts, or
- Contacting our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS: 711) and selecting the option for “Special Taxes and Fees,” or
- Sending a message through our website at Email Your Tax Questions.
Records must be retained for at least four years from the time the occupational lead poisoning prevention fee is due unless we authorize you in writing to destroy them sooner. For additional information regarding record retention, please view Regulation 4901.
In addition, if your records are being audited by the CDTFA, you should retain all records for the period being audited until the audit is completed. If you appeal the findings of the audit or file a claim for refund, you should retain the records until your case is resolved.
Below are definitions for the occupational lead poisoning prevention program.
An “employee” means any individual employed for at least 160 hours in the prior calendar year, regardless of whether the individual's specific job involved potential exposure to lead or lead-containing materials (section 38001 of title 17 of the California Code of Regulations).
It is presumed that salaried employees and corporate officers are employees, unless they have worked less than the 160-hour minimum.
Visit the sites below for more information about other state, federal, and local taxing and licensing information:
- CalGold for information regarding permit and licensing requirements for other state, federal, and local authorities (for example, you may need to be registered with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department).
- The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. For a listing of their assistance centers, visit GO-Biz.
- California Tax Service Center for additional tax information.
You may also want to consult with a tax professional for assistance on other agency requirements.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program may exempt from payment of fees those employers who demonstrate that lead is not present in their places of employment.
Employers who do not have lead or lead-containing materials present in any amount or who only have a minimal amount in their business operations during the previous calendar year may request a temporary fee waiver which, if granted, will relieve the employer of paying the fee for the waived calendar year. Fee waivers must be renewed each year. CDPH will review fee waiver requests and determine eligibility.
How to Apply
Fee Waiver – Request a fee waiver through our online services when filing your Occupational Lead Poisoning Return. Log in using your username and password, select your Occupational Lead Poisoning account and then the return for the period which you are filing. After you complete the Employees section of your return you will proceed to the Fee Waiver section, where you can request instructions to file a fee waiver online with CDPH.
Additional Fee Waiver Options – To request a fee waiver using a paper return, you must complete Section II, box 2 on the, CDTFA-501-LA, Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Return for Category “A” or “B” Reporting.
After we receive and process your fee return, the CDPH Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will send you instructions for completing the waiver application online. CDPH will review your fee waiver request and determine eligibility. We do not mail or approve fee waiver applications.
Questions about Fee Waivers
If you believe your business has been assigned an incorrect SIC code, contact us at 1-800-400-7115 or by writing to:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Registration and Licensing Section (MIC: 88)
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-7072
You must provide CDTFA with a description of your primary and other business activities. If you believe you know the correct SIC code for your business, you may include it.
Submit a Claim for Refund – File your claim for refund through our online services homepage. Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to claim 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.
Additional Refund Filing Options – You may also file your claim for refund by filing either:
- A form CDTFA-101, Claim for Refund or Credit, or
- An amended return(s) stating the specific reason(s) for the overpayment.
Claims for refund must be in writing, state the reason for overpayment, specify the period for which you made the overpayment, and the amount of the refund requested. Additional refund details can be found on our Filing Claims for Refund – Special Taxes and Fees webpage.
You may email the claim form to the Refund Team or mail it to:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Appeals and Data Analysis Branch (MIC 33)
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0033
Deadline to File a Claim for Refund
Be sure to file your claim for refund by the applicable deadline. If you do not file on time, we cannot consider your claim, even if you overpaid the surcharge. You must file a claim for the refund by whichever of the following dates that occurs last:
- Three years from the due date of the return on which you overpaid the fee.
- Six months from the date you overpaid the fee.
- Six months from the date a determination (billing) became final.
- Three years from the date the CDTFA collected an involuntary payment, such as from a levy or lien.
If you have questions about your deadline to file a refund claim, contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711) weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time (except state holidays).
Laws and Regulations
Forms & Publications
- New Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Rates Effective January 1, 2024
- Revisions to the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Return and Launch of Online Filing Effective November 9, 2020
- California Department of Public Health
- Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
- CDPH's Frequently Asked Questions
Other Helpful Resources
- CDTFA Online Services – Learn about the online services CDTFA offers, including online registration for seller's permits and other accounts.
- Contact Us – This page shows the various ways you may reach us to resolve your questions and concerns.
- Sign Up for CDTFA Updates – Sign up to receive a monthly email detailing important business information, including Special Notices, Tax Information Bulletins, and updates for local services.
- Videos and How-To Guides – These resources will help you avoid common mistakes, file your tax returns online, and more.
- CDTFA Locations – Contact us using this comprehensive listing of all CDTFA offices.
- Get It In Writing! – Tax and fee laws can be complex, and you are encouraged to put your tax questions in writing.
- News Releases – CDTFA News Releases cover a broad range of topics, including updates to tax laws and to resources for taxpayers.
- Taxpayers' Rights Advocate (TRA) – The TRA Office helps taxpayers when they are unable to resolve a matter through normal channels (for example, by speaking to a supervisor), when they want information regarding procedures related to a particular set of circumstances, or when there are apparent rights violations.
- Verify a Permit or License – You can use this search feature to verify a seller's permit, cigarette and tobacco products retailer's license, eWaste account, manufacturer battery fee account, or underground storage tank maintenance fee account.
- GO-Biz – The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. For a listing of their assistance centers, visit their website.
- CalGold – For information with permit and licensing requirements on the other state, federal, and local authorities. For example, you may need to register with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department. You may also want to consult with a tax professional or your local city and county authorities for assistance regarding other agencies' requirements or restrictions.
- California's Tax Service Center – A one-stop tax help and resource website that guides taxpayers to forms and services they need.