California Fiduciary e-file Program - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is e-file for Fiduciary returns?
  2. Do I need to enroll separately in the California Business e-file Program?
  3. Do I need to re-enroll if I am currently an ERO for Individual or Business e-file?
  4. Is Fiduciary e-file Mandatory?
  5. What are the benefits of Fiduciary e-file?
  6. Can I e-file all my fiduciary returns?
  7. Will FTB require that the federal return be attached to the state return?
  8. What are the signature requirements for Fiduciary e-file?
  9. Where can I get software to e-file fiduciary returns?
  10. Can I transmit fiduciary returns directly to FTB?
  11. Do I need to complete PATS testing if I will transmit fiduciary returns directly to FTB?
  12. Will FTB include more fiduciary forms for tax year 2013?
  13. How can I get the latest e-file information?

 

1. What is e-file for Fiduciary returns?

Fiduciary e-file is filing estate or trust tax returns electronically using a computer, software, and web-based communication. You can e-file Form 541, California Fiduciary Income Tax Return for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2013.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 2014 for potential inclusion in the mandate beginning in January 2016. For more information about the IRS mandate, see Tax Return Preparers Must Use IRS e-file.

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

Fiduciary e-file benefits include:

  • Proof of receipt - Generally within 24 to 48 hours you receive acknowledgement that FTB has accepted your client's return for further processing.
  • Accurate returns - e-filed returns have an error rate that is less than the error rate for paper returns.
  • Opportunity to correct errors - The e-file program checks returns for common error conditions before we process them. Explanations are provided that pinpoint the location of the error in the return. This provides you the opportunity to correct the return and avoid a notice.
  • Year-round return filing - the Fiduciary e-file system is available year-round.
  • Safe - We use the latest technologies to ensure the security and privacy of all taxpayer information. Our Internet filing service uses the industry standard 128-bit Secure Socket Layer encryption.

6. 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 beginning on or after January 1, 2013. 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.

7. 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 attached 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.

8. What are the signature requirements for Fiduciary e-file?

Fiduciary e-file returns can be signed electronically or by pen on paper (FTB 8453-FID). Regardless of the signing method used, the return must be signed after the taxpayer has reviewed the return but before the return is transmitted. Refer to your software for the signature options they support.

9. Where can I get software to e-file fiduciary returns?

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

10. 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 us.

11. Do I need to complete PATS testing if I transmit fiduciary returns 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, 2013 Test Package for e-file of California Business, Fiduciary, and Individual Tax Returns.

12. Will FTB include more fiduciary forms for tax year 2013?

We are exploring adding more forms to our program each year. Stay tuned for the latest information on what's new for business e-file by joining our Subscription Services (See #13 below).

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.