California Sales Tax Limited Access Code Phasing Out – Taxpayer Action May Be Required

As California’s Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) begins phasing out Limited Access Codes and Express Logins on April 1, 2023, taxpayers will only be able to file timely returns with the CDTFA if they have a valid online CDTFA account login set up with a username and password. Additionally, return preparers who are not owners or officers will need their own CDTFA account login credentials and must separately request access to those accounts for which they prepare CDTFA returns if they haven’t already.

The change affects the following taxes:

  • Sales Tax
  • Use Tax
  • California Tire Fee Return
  • Electronic Waste Recycling Return
  • Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Return
  • Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Pre-Collection Return
  • Cigarette and Tobacco Internet Purchases Return
  • Customs Imports Return
  • One-Time Use Tax and/or Lumber Return
  • One-Time Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Return

Notice Letters From CDTFA

Taxpayers will receive a mailed letter from the State of California before their Limited Access Codes are removed. This letter will include a taxpayer-specific account access code that will enable one of the two access options listed below:

  • Grant business account access to an owner’s CDTFA account login.
  • Grant business account access to a return preparer’s CDTFA account login.

PLEASE NOTE: The only way for someone other than an owner or officer listed as a “responsible party” for CDTFA purposes to obtain an access code is to request access online. Once requested, the CDTFA will then mail a physical letter to the business address on file. If multiple CDTFA account logins need access, a separate request for each account will need to be submitted online. It is important to note that the access code provided in the letter will only be able to connect to the CDTFA account login that requested the access code.

The chart below shows that any taxpayers with a username and password login already connected to the business account will have limited access codes phased out on April 1, 2023, regardless of filing frequency. For businesses that lack a username and password connected to the business’ CDTFA account, Limited Access Codes will be phased out on the removal date shown for each associated filing frequency listed on the right.

Removal Date CDTFA Account Login Status Account Filing Basis
April 1, 2023 Login already connected to account All filing frequencies
July 1, 2023 No login connected Monthly, Quarterly Prepayment, and Mandatory EFT
October 1, 2023 No login connected Quarterly
January 1, 2024 No login connected Calendar Yearly
July 1, 2024 No login connected Fiscal Yearly

Required Actions for California Taxpayers

Taxpayers using Limited Access Codes should review the scenarios described below and follow the instructions that best fit their situation.

  • If you have a CDTFA account login with access to the business account – Your access will not be affected by the removal of the express login. If a letter is received, you can provide the letter and access code to an owner, officer, or return preparer who needs access to the business account.
  • If you do not have a CDTFA account login – Please create a new login on the CDTFA site by clicking “Sign Up Now” under “Create a Username.” On the next page, select “Create My Logon.” If you received a letter, use the access code provided to link the business account to your new CDTFA account login. If you did not receive a letter, you will need to request access to the business account from within the new CDTFA account login. This will generate a letter from the state with an account access code.

If you have questions about the California sales tax Limited Access Code phasing out or would like help with your account, don’t hesitate to contact our SALT team.