How to File and Pay

We are constantly looking for ways to make your tax filing easier. This includes up-to-date methods, quicker submissions, and improved accuracy. Review the following for the filing method that is best for you or your business.

Sales and Use Tax

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) can help with your tax filing and payment obligations. If you have a question about how to complete your return, call 1-800-400-7115. The following services make it easier to file your returns and pay your taxes.

Short Form - Sales and Use Tax Return

Our simplified sales and use tax return can save you time and paperwork. If you make sales only within the district where your business is located and claim few tax exemptions or adjustments, you may qualify to file the simplified return. For information,call 1-800-400-7115 or contact your nearest CDTFA office. You may also download a copy of the State, Local, and District Sales and Use Tax Return (CDTFA-401-A) (PDF) (this form can also be used by CDTFA -401-EZ filers) from the CDTFA website.

Sales and Use Tax Return Preparation Classes

Filling out a sales and use tax return can be challenging, especially for new businesses. To help you correctly complete your return, some of our district offices offer tax return preparation classes. They are held each quarter before the quarterly return due date. Some offices offer classes in Spanish. For information, call 1-800-400-7115 or contact your nearest CDTFA office.

Online Services

The CDTFA provides California taxpayers a convenient method for filing their sales and use tax returns and paying amounts owed through service providers. Visit online services for information and eligibility requirements.

Electronic Funds Transfer

If you prefer to pay your sales and use taxes electronically, you can take advantage of our electronic funds transfer (EFT) option. If your average monthly tax liability is $20,000 or more, you are required to pay by EFT. You can initiate payment online or using your telephone.

Businesses can voluntarily pay by EFT after contacting a CDTFA office and completing Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (CDTFA-555-ST) (PDF).

For more information, visit EFT Frequently Asked Questions or call 1-800-400-7115.

Credit Card Payment Program for Sales and Use Tax Payments

The CDTFA offers several methods for paying your sales and use taxes. Payments can be made using Automated Clearing House Debit, Credit Cards, EFT , and by Check or Money Order.

For more information on how to make a payment, visit the CDTFA website or call 1-800-400-7115. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding State holidays.

State Payroll Tax

As of January 1, 2018, all employers are required to electronically file employment tax returns, wage reports, and payroll tax deposits to the Employment Development Department . For more information on this mandate, visit E-file and E-pay for Employers.

e-Services for Business is a fast, easy, and secure way to manage your employer payroll tax account online at no cost, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With e-Services for Business you can:

  • Register for an employer payroll tax account number.
  • File, adjust, and print returns/reports.
  • Make payments.
  • View and update account information.
  • Close or re-open an employer payroll tax account.
  • View notices and letters regarding registration, payments, returns, and more.
  • File a Report of New Employee(s) (DE 34).
  • File a Report of Independent Contractor(s) (DE 542).

Note: The DE 34 and DE 542 may be filed from 5 a.m. to 12 midnight, Pacific Time, 7 days a week. All other services on this page may be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Visit File and Pay Options for additional information and other filing and payment options.

State Income Tax

In addition to the Franchise Tax Board’s forms and instructions, you have several paperless options for filing and paying taxes. Visit File online and Payment options for more information.

Federal Income and Payroll Tax

Although there may be times when you need to send materials to the IRS in the mail, there are many benefits to electronic filing (IRS e-file) and downloading and retrieving information online. Visit the following to learn about IRS e-file and your electronic filing options: