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Incorporating e-file Into Your Office

Acknowledgements process

One of the greatest benefits of e-file is the acknowledgement (ACK) process which provides you with proof that we have received your submissions.

How to get the ACK:

  • After you transmit the submissions, your transmitter will provide an ACK report.
  • You can normally retrieve the ACK report from your software company within 24 to 48 hours. Timeframe varies; please check with your software company.

Follow your software's instructions for retrieving the ACK report. Some software sends an ACK report each time you transmit, others have separate ACK and transmission processes. Keeping track of ACK reports is critical, especially if they contain rejected submissions. An e-file submission is not considered filed until we issue an accepted ACK.

If you are missing a batch of ACK files, contact your transmitter for assistance. If you transmit directly to us, please contact e-Programs Customer Service.

What to do next:

  • If the submission was accepted, the process is complete. File the signed authorization form and retain it in your records for four years from the due date of the return or four years from the date the return or payment is filed, whichever is later.
  • If the submission was rejected, correct the submission and retransmit it.

Error Management

e-file is much more accurate than paper. Part of the reason is that FTB performs up-front error checks on all e-file submissions.

After you transmit your submissions and we perform our error checks, we will issue an acknowledgement (ACK) for each California return and payment. The ACK tells you whether the submission was accepted or rejected. If we reject a submission, the ACK will include the error and additional information to help you resolve the error. Your software may provide additional information.

Correct the error and then follow your software company's instructions for retransmissions. Check back for the ACK of the retransmitted submission to verify acceptance. Here is a list of the top errors.

The IRS issue acknowledgements for federal submissions as well. Check with the IRS publications for explanations of their errors. It is possible for the federal submission to be rejected while the state submission is accepted. Click here for tips on resolving these types of situations.

Final tips

Now that you know the process for e-filing returns, here are some final, important tips:

  • Attach paper forms and supporting documentation that are not included with the electronic return data to the California e-file Return Authorization (FTB 8453 form series) or the California e-file Signature Authorization (FTB 8879 form series) to complete the e-file return. For more information on retention of form FTB 8453 series or form FTB 8879 series and attachments, see FTB 1345, Handbook for Authorized e-file Providers , Section 7.
  • Provide an acknowledgement letter (along with a copy of their signed form FTB 8453 series or form FTB 8879 series) for all accepted returns to your clients. Your software may provide this option.


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Last Updated: 12/18/2017

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