Guidance for issuing and reporting information returns


Overview

If you made a payment as part of your trade or business, including a government entity, corporation, partnership, individual, estate, and trust, who makes reportable transactions during the calendar year, you may be required to file an information return.

Information returns report transactions made during the calendar year to the IRS, sometimes us, and the recipient.

You will need to supply a copy of the information return you file to the recipient. Recipients use their copy to file their taxes. For example, you may file one or more of the following information returns to report a transaction:

  • Form W-2, for employee wages (Employers do not file form W-2 with FTB)
  • Form 1099-NEC, nonemployee compensation
  • Form 1099-MISC, miscellaneous information
  • Form 1095, health coverage
  • Form W-2G, gambling income

Filing requirements

You need to file an information return with us if either of the following are true:

When to file

You must file your information returns to us and to the recipients by the due dates listed in the following tables.

If any date shown falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date is the next business day.

Information return (payer or transmitter) due to FTB
Due date Information return
February 28 Paper filing
March 31 IRS Forms 1098, 1099, and W-2G submitted through the Internet
June 1 IRS Form 5498 sent through the Internet
Information return due to recipient
Due date Information return
January 31 All IRS Forms 1098, 1099, W-2G; IRS 5498 for fair market value of the participant's account or any required minimum distribution
April 30 IRS Form 5498-ESA, Coverdell ESA Contribution Information
June 1 IRS Form 5498 for contributions

Extension to file

You can request an extension to file by submitting Request for Extension to File Information Returns (FTB 6274A).

You do not need to request an extension to file with us if you file electronically under the IRS Combined Federal/State Filing Program.

1099-B filers

We allow extensions on filing 1099-B records up to 90 days. In the “Briefly explain your need for an extension” section, specify that you are filing 1099-B records and indicate the length of extension you are requesting.

Waiver from filing electronically

You can request not to file information returns electronically. File Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns (FTB 6274).

How to file

We follow the same record layout as IRS with a few exceptions. To prepare your information return, visit IRS Publication 1220 and General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for detailed instructions. Visit IRS's A Guide to Information Returns for more information.

For FTB layout exceptions, visit Help with information returns.

We only accept .txt files and .zip files of the .txt format. (PDF formatted files, even if zipped, will not be accepted).

250 or more information returns

Information reporters who submit 250 or more information returns must use one of the following electronic methods to file:

Contact us for 250 or more returns to set up a SWIFT account.

IRPhelp@ftb.ca.gov—expect a response within one business day. For new accounts, please include the following information in your email:
  • Business Name*
  • Business Address*
  • Business FEIN*
  • Primary Business Contact Information* (First and last name*, Email*, Phone number*)
  • Back Up Business Contact Information (First and last name, Email, Phone number)
  • Primary Technical Contact Information (First and last name, Email, Phone number)
  • Back Up Technical Contact Information (First and last name, Email, Phone number)

*required information

Fewer than 250 information returns

Information reporters who submit 249 or fewer information returns, can, but are not required to file electronically. Fewer than 250 information returns can be filed via paper.

If you file paper returns with IRS, do not send a paper copy to us. IRS will forward the information to us, whether you are located in or out of the State of California.

If you have an exception that requires you to report something different for federal and state purposes, such as a different dollar amount, file separate returns with IRS and us.

If you are filing paper returns with us, they should be mailed to the following address.

Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 942840
Sacramento, CA 94240-6090

Top electronic filing errors

  1. Combined file indicated. “A” record
    • Entry field needs to be left blank. This is only for IRS Combined Federal/State filers
  2. Non-California records indicator. “B” record
    • If you are a combined Federal/State filer, you do not send your file to California. IRS forwards your file to us as part of the program agreement
  3. IRS Combined Federal/State code indicated. “B” record
    • If you are a combined Federal/State filer, you do not send your file to California. IRS forwards your file to us as part of the program agreement
  4. Files must be submitted in a fixed length format in accordance to the specifications listed in IRS Publication 1220. Files in PDF format will not be accepted.

Consult a qualified tax professional for advice on filing requirements.