Required Filings and Due Dates

Employers are required to report specific information periodically. Detailed information is available in the California Employer’s Guide (DE 44) (PDF). We offer several electronic filing and payment options through e-Services for Business and no-fee seminars to help you follow California’s payroll tax laws

You are required to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports, and payroll tax deposits to the EDD. You can use e-Services for Business to fulfill this e-file and e-pay mandate.

These are the most common forms that you are required to file with the EDD:

Report of New Employee(s) (DE 34)

You must report all new or rehired employees who work in California to the New Employee Registry within 20 days of their start date. The start date is the first day services were performed for wages.

Report of Independent Contractor(s) (DE 542)

If you are required to file a federal Form 1099-MISC, you must report specific information to the EDD. This information will be used to locate parents who fail to pay child support.

You are required to submit a DE 542 to the EDD within 20 days if you hire an independent contractor and all of the following apply:

  • You are required to file a Form 1099-MISC for the services performed by the independent contractor.
  • You pay the independent contractor $600 or more or enter into a contract for $600 or more.
  • The independent contractor is an individual or sole proprietorship.

For more information, visit Independent Contractor Reporting.

Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (DE 9) and (Continuation) (DE 9C)

You must file both a Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (DE 9) and the Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation) (DE 9C) each quarter.

DE 9

The DE 9 reconciles reported wages and paid taxes for each quarter. If your DE 9 shows an overpayment, the EDD will send you a refund automatically. If a tax payment is due, you should submit it separately with a Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88/DE 88ALL). Mandatory EFT filers must send all State Disability Insurance and Personal Income Tax deposits by EFT to avoid penalties.

DE 9C

The DE 9C reports individual employee wages for each quarter. If you are a household employer, visit Household Employers for specific information.

How to Report

You can use e-Services for Business to file the DE 9 and DE 9C. For more information, refer to File a Tax Return or Wage Report (YouTube).

If you have an approved E-file and E-pay Mandate Waiver Request (DE 1245W), your tax forms will be mailed to you automatically. Mail the DE 9 and DE 9C together to this address:

State of California
Employment Development Department
PO Box 989071
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9071

Note: Do not mail your Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88/DE 88ALL) with the DE 9 and DE 9C to avoid delays in processing.

You must specify the quarter on the report or deposit. The date format for reporting and making deposits is the last 2 digits of the year and then one digit for each quarter.

For example:

  • Enter the 1st quarter of 2020 as 201 (20 for 2020 and 1 for the first quarter).
  • Following quarters would be 202, 203, and 204.

Entering the incorrect format may cause delays, penalties, interest, and errors.

Timeliness of Forms

For electronic forms, the EDD uses the date they are completed and transmitted to decide if it is on time. For paper forms, they use the postmark date. When the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the next business day is considered the last timely date. Penalty and interest will be charged on late reports.

The following table shows the due dates for the DE 9, DE 9C, and DE 88:
Report Covering Filing Due Dates Late if Not Filed By
January, February, March April 1 April 30, 2020
April, May, June July 1 July 31, 2020
July, August, September October 1 November 2, 2020
October, November, December January 1 February 1, 2021

If you paid no wages during a quarter, you are still considered an employer and required to file the DE 9 and the DE 9C. Using e-Services for Business, select No Payroll to Report, then submit for both reports. If you do not expect to pay wages within the next year, you can notify the EDD by writing to us or in e-Services for Business by selecting Close My Account from the I Want to menu. We will send you a letter confirming that your account is inactive.

If the DE 9C is not submitted on time, the EDD will issue a written demand for the report. If the DE 9C is not submitted within 15 days of the demand date, we will charge a penalty of $20 for each unreported employee, plus interest, unless there is good cause for the delay. We will also charge a penalty of $20 for each employee, plus interest, if an employer fails to report by magnetic media when required, unless there is good cause. For information on good cause, refer to Information Sheet: Waiver of Penalty Policy (DE 231J) (PDF).

Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88/DE 88ALL)

Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88/DE 88ALL) is used to report and pay Unemployment Insurance (UI), Employment Training Tax (ETT), State Disability Insurance (SDI) withholding, and California Personal Income Tax (PIT) withholding to the EDD. A DE 88/DE 88ALL coupon is not required when payments are submitted electronically.

Although employer contributions for UI and ETT are due quarterly (same dates as the DE 9 and DE 9C), withholdings from employees’ wages for SDI and PIT may need to be deposited more often. Due dates for combined deposits of SDI and PIT are based on an employer’s federal deposit schedule/requirement, see Depositing Taxes in IRS Publication 15 (PDF), and the amount of accumulated PIT they have withheld. A 15 percent penalty and interest are charged on late payments.

How to Report

You can use e-Services for Business to file, pay, and manage your employer payroll tax account online. For more information, refer to Make a Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88) Payment (YouTube).

If you have an approved E-file and E-pay Mandate Waiver Request (DE 1245W), your coupons will be mailed to you automatically. You must include DE 88/DE 88ALL coupon with your payment to avoid penalties, interest, or delays with your deposit. Mail all tax payments with DE 88/DE 88ALL coupons to:

Employment Development Department
PO Box 826276
Sacramento, CA 94230-6276

Include your employer payroll tax account number on your check or money order.

Note: Do not mail your DE 88/DE 88ALL with your quarterly DE 9 and DE 9C to avoid delays in processing.

You must specify the quarter on the report or deposit. The date format used on forms for reporting and making deposits is the last 2 digits of the year and then one digit representing each quarter.

For example:

  • Enter the 1st quarter of 2020 as 201 (20 for 2020 and 1 for the first quarter).
  • Following quarters would be 202, 203, and 204.

Entering the incorrect format may cause delays, penalties, interest, and errors.

Important: You may be required to submit deposits more frequently if you withhold over $350 in PIT, visit California Deposit Requirements for more information.

Deposit Requirements

California Deposit Requirements for PIT and SDI deposit due dates are based on federal deposit schedule, payday, and state PIT withholding. You must make Monthly SDI and PIT deposits if either:

  • You are a Quarterly depositor but accumulate $350 or more in PIT during one or more pay periods.
  • You are Next-Day or Semiweekly depositor and you accumulate $350-$500 in PIT during one or more pay periods.

Additional Information

For assistance, contact our Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 or visit your local Employment Tax Office.