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California Fiduciary e-file Program - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is e-file and Stand-Alone Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) payments for Fiduciaries?
  2. What tax years can I e-file?
  3. Do I need to enroll separately in the California Business e-file Program?
  4. Do I need to re-enroll if I am currently an ERO for Individual or Business e-file?
  5. Is Fiduciary e-file Mandatory?
  6. What are the benefits of Fiduciary e-file?
  7. What are the California forms FTB 8453-FID, FTB 8453-FID (PMT), FTB 8879–FID , and FTB 8879 (PMT)?
  8. Can I e-file all my fiduciary returns?
  9. Will FTB require that the federal return be attached to the state return?
  10. Where can I get software to e-file fiduciary returns and stand-alone EFW payments?
  11. Can I transmit fiduciary returns directly to FTB?
  12. Do I need to complete PATS testing if I will transmit fiduciary returns or stand-alone EFW payments directly to FTB?
  13. How can I get the latest e-file information?

 

1. What is e-file and Stand-Alone Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) payments for Fiduciaries?

e-file for fiduciaries is filing estate or trust tax returns or scheduling stand-alone EFW payments electronically using a computer, software, and electronic communication.

Beginning January 2017, taxpayers and tax practitioners will have the ability to submit a stand-alone EFW request for extension and estimate payments using tax preparation software. These payment requests will be accepted as “stand-alone”, and can be submitted separately from the e-filed return. You should contact your software provider to see if they support stand-alone EFW payments.

2. What tax years can I e-file?

We accept e-filed tax returns for tax years 2016, 2015, and 2014.

3. Do I need to enroll separately in the California Fiduciary e-file Program?

No. Separate e-file registration is not required for Electronic Return Originators (EROs) to participate in the California e-file Program. Get more information.

4. Do I need to re-enroll if I am currently an ERO for Individual or Business e-file?

No. Current individual or business e-file participants are automatically enrolled in the Fiduciary e-file Program.

5. Is Fiduciary e-file Mandatory?

Fiduciaries are not included in the individual e-file mandate at this time. We will reevaluate the fiduciary e-file program at the end of 2017 for potential inclusion in the mandate beginning in January 2018. For more information about the IRS mandate, see Tax Return Preparers Must Use IRS e-file.

6. What are the benefits of Fiduciary e-file?

Here are just some of the benefits:

  • Proof of receipt - The number one reason people choose e-filing is the acknowledgement we provide when we have accepted a return or stand-alone EFW payment for further processing.
  • Accurate returns - The error rate for paper returns is approximately 10 percent, while e-file returns have an error rate of less than 1 percent.
  • Opportunity to correct errors - Since the e-file program checks returns and stand-alone EFW payments for common error conditions before we process them, you have the opportunity to correct the return or EFW payment and avoid a notice later.
  • Safe - We use the latest technologies to ensure the security and privacy of all taxpayer information. FTB receives most returns or stand-alone EFW payments via modem transmission, which is least susceptible to interception. Our internet filing portal uses 128-bit Secure Socket Layer encryption, which is the industry standard.
  • Year-round return filing - the Fiduciary e-file system is available year-round.

7. What are the California forms FTB 8453-FID, FTB 8453-FID (PMT), FTB 8879-FID, and FTB 8879 (PMT)?

The form FTB 8453-FID California e-file Return Authorization for Fiduciaries is a signature form which authorizes the transmission of your client's return to us electronically.

The form FTB 8453-FID (PMT) California Payment for Automatic Extension and Estimate Payment Authorization for Fiduciaries is a signature form which authorizes the transmission of your client's stand-alone EFW payment to us electronically.

The form FTB 8879-FID California e-file Signature Authorization for Fiduciaries allows you to enter your client's PIN without the need for your client to be present.

The form FTB 8879 (PMT) California Electronic Funds Withdrawal Payment Signature Authorization for Individuals and Fiduciaries allows you to enter your client's PIN without the need for your client to be present.

Unless your client enters his or her PIN on your computer, you must have a signed FTB 8453-FID, FTB 8453-FID (PMT), FTB 8879-FID, or FTB 8879 (PMT) before you e-file the return or make a stand-alone EFW payment. (You do not need the original form -- a faxed, scanned, or emailed copy is acceptable.)

You must retain the signed form(s) for four years from the due date of the return or four years from the date the return or stand-alone EFW payment is transmitted, whichever is later.

These forms do not serve as proof of filing an electronic return or making a stand-alone EFW payment; the acknowledgement we send containing the date of acceptance for your client's accepted return or payment serves as proof that your client's return or payment has been filed.

Do not mail form FTB 8453-FID, FTB 8453-FID (PMT), FTB 8879-FID, or FTB 8879 (PMT) to FTB.

8. Can I e-file all my fiduciary returns?

We accept FTB Form 541, as well as most other accompanying forms and schedules for tax years 2016-2014. We currently do not accept Forms 541-QFT, 541-A, and 541-B via e-file. See our complete list of acceptable forms and schedules.

9. Will FTB require that the federal return be attached to the state return?

No, we do not require that the federal return to be attached to the state return. If you do attach the federal return to the state return, we do not require the federal return be accepted prior to the state return being transmitted. If the federal return is rejected and the state return is accepted, DO NOT retransmit the state return to us.

10. Where can I get software to e-file fiduciary returns and stand-alone EFW payments?

We provide a listing of approved e-file software developers on the FTB Website. You can also contact our e-file Customer Service at 916.845.0353.

11. Can I transmit fiduciary returns directly to FTB?

It depends on the software you use. Contact your software company to see if they provide software that will allow you to transmit directly to FTB.

12. Do I need to complete PATS testing if I transmit fiduciary returns or stand-alone EFW payments directly to FTB?

Yes. To transmit fiduciary returns directly to FTB you must complete PATS testing. For more information about PATS testing, review FTB Pub. 1436X, 2016 Test Package for e-file of California Business, Fiduciary, and Individual Tax Returns and Stand-Alone Payments.

13. How can I get the latest e-file Information?

You can join our Subscription Services. Get the latest information on Fiduciary e-file, Business e-file, Individual e-file, e-Services, seminars, and processing developments important to tax professionals.

 

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