Free CDTFA resources aim to help small business owners

Small businesses drive California’s economy, and in the first quarter of 2024, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration registered more than 31,000 new sales and use tax accounts. CDTFA resources are available to help business owners – new and longstanding – understand their tax responsibilities.

Governor Gavin Newsom has proclaimed May as Small Business Month, and the CDTFA has a variety of free resources available to help small business owners understand how taxes and fees apply to sales in their industry.

CDTFA resources available to businesses include:

Easy Access to Online Services. On CDTFA’s website, you can register for an account, file a return, make a payment, look up a tax rate using an address, check on your account status, and sign up for news and updates. Online services also allow you to verify a permit, license, or account.

Personal Assistance. Taxpayers can make an appointment to visit in person or arrange a virtual meeting with the nearest local office, or can contact CDTFA’s Customer Service Center representatives by phone at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific time). Taxpayers can also chat with representatives online for fast and convenient answers to common questions. CDTFA also offers free one-on-one consultations to new, qualified taxpayers through its Taxpayer Educational Consultation Program. Eligible taxpayers can seek free legal assistance through its Tax Appeals Assistance Program.

Industry-specific Resources. Business owners can find answers to common tax questions for their industry in Industry & Tax and Fee Guides, downloadable Forms & Publications, and more than 200 industry-specific publications. Business owners also have access to free seminars, classes, webinars, clinics, and workshops.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration administers California’s sales and use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, cannabis taxes, and other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. CDTFA-administered programs accounted for more than $96.2 billion last fiscal year, supporting essential local services such as transportation, public safety and health, libraries, schools, social services, and natural resource management programs through the distribution of tax dollars going directly to local communities.

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