Federal and State Employment Taxes – Bulk Transmissions FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Federal and State Employment Taxes (FSET) bulk transmissions for large filers, bulk filers, or payroll agents.

This program is for large filers, bulk filers, or payroll agents. It is application-to-application transmission of data, completely automated, with no manual intervention. Transmitters can use the services of an approved vendor or they can program their own application.

For the complete background on the FSET program, review Federal/State Employment Taxes (FSET) Implementation Guide (DE 545) (PDF). The guide provides information, direction, and examples required for enrollment, testing, and implementation.

The FSET application allows you to send:

  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages(DE 9)
  • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation)(DE 9C)
  • Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88), Quarterly Contribution Return (DE 3D)
  • Report of New Employee(s)(DE 34)
  • Report of Independent Contractor(s)(DE 542)

Payroll service providers may submit Data Exchange and Enrollment files to:

  • Retrieve their clients’ tax rates.
  • Verify their clients’ EDD employer payroll tax account numbers.
  • Check their clients’ EFT mandatory status.
  • Notify us when they acquire or no longer represent clients.

Note: The FSET program was developed by the IRS, several states, and software vendors to create a standard format to submit both federal and state employment tax information online. The tax returns are sent to us using web services.

The FSET program is open to software developers, transmitters, and payroll service providers who act as reporting agents. It is also open to employers who want to develop their own software. For more information, refer to the Federal/State Employment Taxes (FSET) Implementation Guide (DE 545) (PDF). This guide provides information, direction, and examples required for enrollment, testing, and implementation.

Individual business taxpayers who want to do bulk filings can choose to use the services of a participating payroll service provider or transmitter listed as approved FSET providers.

The FSET program has the following benefits:

  • Faster processing and response time.
  • Secure online transmission.
  • No mailing costs.
  • Accurate reporting.
  • Opportunity to correct errors.
  • 24-hour availability, except for maintenance periods.

The FSET program is available 24 hours a day except for the following maintenance periods:

  • Every Sunday from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m., Pacific time.
  • Every third Sunday of each month from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., Pacific time.

If your organization develops their own software, there is no cost to transmit your files to us.

If you use the services of a payroll service or transmitter, you will need to purchase software or services. You can refer to the list of approved FSET providers for more information.

The FSET program processes large volumes of tax data from multiple files. For the best results, do not exceed 10,000 employer returns per bulk transmission.

If you are already participating in the FSET program and you are using the services of a software provider, payroll service, or transmitter, contact them directly.

If you are developing your own FSET software application, you can:

  • Email your questions to Tax FSET office.
  • Contact our FSET Help Desk, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific time at 1-866-592-1651.

Contact our Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886, if you have questions about a previously submitted or posted filing:

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

The certification test package provides a two-step testing process to make sure your data is formatted and the transmissions are working correctly.

Refer to the Federal/State Employment Taxes Implementation Guide (DE 545) (PDF) to learn more.

Note: Our staff will work with customers during the testing process to help resolve data and transmission issues.

The Wage Plan Code shows the types of benefit coverage employees have for their Unemployment Insurance and Disability Insurance and is connected to your employer payroll tax account number. This is a required element for each employee on the DE 9C.

Refer to Appendix U of the Federal State Employment Taxes Implementation Guide (DE 545) (PDF) for more information.

  • DE 9 - Include the NoPayrollAnnualElect tag with the value “X.”
  • DE 9C - Include the NoPayrollElect tag with the value “X.”

The FSET program can accept supplemental DE 9 and DE 9C returns if you enter the enumeration Supplemental in the FilingAction.Action tag in the file.

Online

You cannot file an amended DE 9 or DE 9C by FSET. You can use e-Services for Business to adjust a previously filed tax return or wage report.

Refer to the tutorial Adjust a Tax Return or Wage Report (YouTube) for more information.

By Mail

You can complete and send the Quarterly Contribution and Wage Adjustment Form (DE 9ADJ) (PDF) by mail to:

Employment Development Department
PO Box 989073
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9073

The files within each transmission are validated and an acknowledgment (ACK2) is generated. If there is a problem, the ACK2 will let you know the following:

  • There are errors in the file.
  • The file must be corrected.
  • The file must be retransmitted to us.

If there are no errors in the return(s), the ACK2 will:

  • Confirm no errors occurred.
  • Tell you that the files will be processed accordingly.

We reserve the right to suspend any participant who does not comply with the requirements, specifications, and procedures for FSET outlined in the Federal/State Employment Taxes (FSET) Implementation Guide (DE 545) (PDF) or any corresponding administrative rules. This also applies to any participant who does not consistently transmit correct returns.

If suspended, the participant will be notified of the requirements for reinstatement into the program.

Refer to the current issue of the California Employer’s Guide (DE 44) (PDF) for due dates and settlement dates for the DE 9, DE 9C, and DE 88 payments.

If you have selected to pay DE 88 payments by FSET and have an ACH debit block on your bank account, you must inform your bank of our Company Identification number to avoid your tax payment being rejected. The Company Identification number is a 10-digit number used to identify an originator of the transaction.

Our Company Identification number is: 2282533055

The FTP is only used for sending and retrieving files. Web Services can return acknowledgements and errors and allows us to interact with our transmitters. This allows transmitters to correct their returns in many cases without manual intervention.

A bulk transmitter can use the FSET schema Version 4.3 for Data Exchange to request employers’ rates or payroll tax account numbers electronically.

Refer to the Federal/State Employment Taxes (FSET) Implementation Guide (DE 545) (PDF).

e-Services for Business

Use e-Services for Business to manage your employer payroll tax account online.

Contact Us

If you have questions, Contact Payroll Taxes. You can also contact the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 or visit your local Employment Tax Office.

Last Revised: 04/26/2022