How to e-file Tax professionals

Filing an e-file return is much like filing a paper return:

  • Prepare your client's tax return or stand-alone electronic funds withdrawal (EFW) payment as you normally would
  • Individual e-file only - Before you transmit their return, your client must sign the applicable forms:
    • Form FTB 8453, California e-file Return Authorization for Individuals
    • Form FTB 8453 PMT, California Payment for Automatic Extension and Estimate Payment Authorization for Individuals
    • Form FTB 8879, California e-file Signature Authorization for Individuals form
    • Form FTB 8879 PMT, California Electronic Funds Withdrawal Payment Signature Authorization for Individuals and Fiduciaries form
  • Transmit the returns or stand-alone EFW payments to the FTB
  • Retrieve your acknowledgment (ACK) files. They're available within 24 to 48 hours. They tell you either:
  • Correct any errors and retransmit the return
  • Individual e-file only - Record the date we accepted the return or stand-alone EFW payment on the corresponding Form FTB 8453, Form FTB 8453 (PMT), Form FTB 8879, or Form FTB 8879 (PMT). Keep the form for 4 years from the return due date or for 4 years from the filing date, whichever is later.

Visit FTB Pub1345, Handbook for Authorized e-file Providers for more information.

Visit e-Signature Options for e-file to learn about electronic signature options.

Help with acknowledgment (ACK) files

Processing errors with individual e-file

When an error occurs in the initial processing of a return or stand-alone EFW payment, we will:

  • Reject the return
  • Provide information about the error in the ACK file
    • This information includes the error, form or schedule impacted, and number of times the error happened (for multi-page forms and schedules)

Common errors with Individual e-file

Business Rule Description Tips to fix error
Electronic Signature (PIN) Taxpayer's or Spouse's Prior Year AGI does not match FTB records. Double check the Taxpayer's or Spouse's Prior Year AGI from last year's CA tax return or sign the e-file return using form FTB 8453/8453-OL.
Taxpayer SSN or Spouse SSN has been previously used on an e-filed return. To avoid sending duplicate returns, do not retransmit an accepted California return when retransmitting a corrected federal return.
F540/NR/2EZ-220 FTB records indicate the Primary Taxpayer did not file a prior year individual income tax return and does not have a shared secret (Prior Year California Adjusted Gross Income) amount. They may still e-file by signing a California e-file Return Authorization for Individuals, form (FTB 8453 or 8453-OL).

If you're unable to resolve the error, please contact your software provider for assistance.

Missing ACK files

  • Contact your transmitter for assistance
  • If you transmit directly to FTB, contact us