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Navigating the CA Tax and Fee Admin

California Department of Tax

With over 30 different taxes and fees, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has various online services, knowledge and FAQ material along with the ability to make a payment or file a return. The Tax and Fee Administration provides updates in the form of letters, videos and even online seminars, classes or workshops. 

How Do I…

The “How Do I” section is a great place to start if you are new to the site. In this section on the California Tax and Fee Administration site, you can register, verify or close a permit, license or account. You may change business information, find tax rates and review any video tutorials. The site recently went under some web construction in 2018, however there are video tutorials for new and current users.

Registering online is efficient and reliable. There are online status updates along with emails to update the user and various permits, agreements, taxes that can be registered such as a seller’s permit, cannabis tax permit, fuel trip permit, international fuel tax agreement, annual flat rate decals, claim an exemption and more. A request for an extension or relief is possible through the “How Do I” on the CDTFA site. This might be a relief from a penalty that was incurred or interest due to an unreasonable error or delay, relief due to a disaster, relief from collection cost recovery fee so on and so forth. A list of tax rates per city and county sales is easily accessible which is important for those ready to sell a service or product.

Taxpayer Events and Education on CDTFA

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration did a wonderful job providing resources to assist the user in various formats; in-person seminars, classes, clinics and workshops. The in-person seminars/ courses are available in several cities with great options. Of course, if in-person is not an option the online seminars are about getting started, growing the business, various types of organizations such as nonprofit, exempt or faith based along with other resources beneficial for any business. An online calendar of events is always available to allow any user to see options in various counties. Some of the events are for the retail sales of cigarette and tobacco products, speaker’s bureau, small business seminars, basic sales and use tax, tax return preparation classes and more.

Utilizing this site to its capacity may help small businesses avoid unnecessary tax audits and in some cases failure to file. A very important section called special notices provides updates and or changes to areas such as: new sales and use tax rates, new use tax collection requirements, special notices for cigarette and tobacco product distributors, making a sale tax prepayment, liquor licenses. These notices are a great way to stay informed and up to date for business and sales.  

Industry Guides and News

A one stop-shop perfect for owners and operators, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administrations guides provide key tax information and tax fee issues. Imbedded within the guides are links to resources, forms and additional links. A clean layout with tabs such as an overview, getting started, possible exemptions, or things such as ingredients (depending on the area of interest), manufacturers, industry topics and resources is available. 

The CDTFA is up to date with the main social feeds. A link to register to vote and find out how you can save water and energy is available in the lower right corner. A well-rounded site indeed. However, it is easy to get lost as a new business owner or even an existing business owner. Tax collections change and vary depending on the business or county the owner is in. With so much information and endless rules and regulations, it is important to have a subject matter expert by your side such as a tax attorney. Filing returns on time and doing it accurately so that a tax audit is minimal would check one less worry off the list. Contact Brunoro Law, a practice focused on assisting businesses and individuals with business and tax related matters, to assist today.  

Posted in: International Tax, Tax Planning

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