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Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is required to pay taxes by EFT?
  2. Will I be assessed a penalty for sending in my payment by check?
  3. Can I participate on a voluntary basis?
  4. What are the benefits of using EFT?
  5. What type of payments can I make by EFT?
  6. Can I make all my California payments to one state department?
  7. Can I choose between different types of ACH EFT payments?
  8. What is the most common payment method?
  9. Will I receive instructions on how to initiate my tax payments?
  10. Do I need special equipment or software to remit payments by EFT?
  11. What do I need to do if my bank account information changes?
  12. What if I have a problem making a payment using the ACH Debit or ACH Credit method?
  13. Do I still have to mail my tax return?
  14. What should I do if I need to file an amended return?
  15. Can FTB debit my account without my knowledge or permission?
  16. What do I do if I transmitted the wrong payment amount or sent my payment to the wrong state department?

  1. Who is required to pay taxes by EFT?

    Bank and corporation taxpayers whose quarterly estimated tax payment or extension payment exceeds $20,000 or whose total tax liability exceeds $80,000 for any income year beginning on or after January 1, 1995.

  2. Will I be assessed a penalty for sending in my payment by check?

    Yes. If you are required to remit payments by EFT and you remit payment by other means (e.g., check, cash, etc.), you will be assessed a penalty equal to 10 percent of the amount paid. Voluntary participants of EFT are not subject to the EFT penalty.

  3. Can I participate on a voluntary basis?

    Yes. A taxpayer who does not meet the mandatory threshold amounts may choose to voluntarily submit EFT payments with prior department approval. To participate, contact the e-Programs Customer Service Unit.

  4. What are the benefits of using EFT?

    Using EFT reduces paper processing and the errors associated with such processing, reduces costs related to check processing and postage and allows for faster response times to inquiries regarding the status of tax payments.

  5. What type of payments can I make by EFT?

    All bank and corporation tax, Nonadmitted Insurance Tax (NIT) and withhold at source payments can be remitted by EFT. For a complete list of payments and the corresponding tax type codes, see FTB's EFT Tax Type Codes (FTB 3826).

  6. Can I make all my California tax payments (e.g., income tax, sales and use tax, personal income tax, withholding, etc.) to one state department?

    No. You must make separate EFT payments to each state department whose EFT requirements you meet.

  7. Can I choose between different types of ACH EFT payments?

    Yes. You can choose either the ACH Debit or ACH Credit payment methods.

  8. What is the most common payment method?

    The ACH Debit method is the most common method used. FTB recommends the ACH Debit method because of the simplicity and cost savings to the taxpayer.

  9. Will I receive instructions on how to initiate my tax payments?

    Yes. Instructions will be provided after FTB receives your Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer (FTB 3815) registering for the ACH Debit or ACH Credit payment method.

  10. Do I need special equipment or software to remit payments by EFT?

    With ACH Debit, to make a payment by telephone, no special equipment is required. To make a payment via the Internet, you will need a PC and Internet access. We will provide additional instructions once we process your Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer (FTB 3815).

    With ACH Credit, there may be special hardware and software requirements. Contact your financial institution for its requirements.

  11. What do I need to do if my bank account information changes?

    If you are remitting EFT payments using the ACH Debit payment and your bank account information changes, you must submit a new Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer (FTB 3815) with the new information. If you are remitting payments using the ACH Credit method, you do not need to notify us of the change.

  12. What if I have a problem making a payment using the ACH Debit or ACH Credit method?

    If you experience any problems making EFT payments, call the e-Programs Customer Service Unit at 916.845.4025 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, to get assistance in making your payment.

  13. Do I still have to mail my tax return?

    Yes. You must still mail your tax return to FTB by the due date, but your payment due, if any, must be transmitted by EFT. However, when you make estimated tax payments by EFT, do not send the estimated tax voucher to FTB.

  14. What should I do if I need to file an amended return?

    If you need to file an amended return, you must mail in the actual amended tax return to FTB. Any tax due must be transmitted by EFT.

  15. Can FTB debit my account without my knowledge or permission?

    No. The ACH Debit method can only be initiated by using your taxpayer identification number along with your unique security code that you create. If you use the ACH Credit method, your payments are initiated by you through your financial institution.

  16. What do I do if I transmitted the wrong payment amount or sent my payment to the wrong state department?

    Contact the e-Programs Customer Service Unit as soon as possible.