November 29, 2010

E-Pay Penalty in California

By Trevor Genereux, Senior Manager, Tax & Business

E-Pay Penalty in California Tax & Business

Beginning January 1, 2011, the California Franchise Tax Board will begin to assess a penalty when a person or business required to make payments electronically uses any other method. While the policy to e-pay has been in place for some time, there historically has been no enforcement of the policy. The penalty will be equal to 1% of the amount paid unless there was reasonable cause not to pay electronically.

A taxpayer is required to make payments electronically when either:

  • An estimated payment or an extension payment is made for over $20,000
  • A tax return is filed with a tax liability of over $80,000

A taxpayer may remit payments electronically in one of four ways:

  • Online with Web Pay at
  • An Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) when e-filing a tax return
  • By credit card online at or by calling toll free 1.800.272.9829
  • Use the pay-by-phone option by completing and submitting form FTB 4073, Mandatory e-pay Pay-by-Phone Authorization Agreement for Individuals, available at

It is worth noting that fiduciaries, estates, and trusts are not required to make payments electronically, regardless of the amount owed.

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Tax & Business