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Electronic Tax Filing and Reporting

General Information

The Comptroller's office offers taxpayers the option of filing their tax returns on pre-printed forms or electronically using electronic data interchange (EDI) standards. Since 1991, businesses of every size have taken advantage of the Electronic Tax Filing (ETF) System to save time, paper and postage resulting in cost savings for those businesses. Sales Tax, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and IFTA, (International Fuels Tax Agreement) returns can be filed electronically. The Comptroller also provides free data entry software for each of these taxes.

Only taxpayers or their tax preparers who have been approved to file electronically may send tax returns to the Comptroller electronically. Tax preparers and taxpayers must perform and pass communication tests using the specified EDI format.

You will need to sign our Electronic Filing Agreement. The signedElectronic Filing Agreement will serve as the taxpayerís signature on file with the Comptroller. This will tell the Comptrollerís office whom to contact concerning questions or problems with the transmission or accuracy of the information received.

Electronic filers must comply with established report due dates. Your transmission must be completed by 11:59 p.m. CST on the due date. Any return transmitted after this time will be considered late and appropriate penalties will be assessed. For your convenience, our system operates 24 hours a day.

In addition, the Comptroller's office has electronic reporting for Unclaimed Property Holder Reports. Holders required to file annual Unclaimed Property reports can request the free data entry software. Holders can also request the file layouts for creating their own electronic reports.

Taxpayers can use their own EDI translation software if they are EDI capable. The Comptroller will provide the necessary EDI mappings and file layouts for the ANSI ASC X12 '813' transaction set used for electronic tax filing. The '813' transaction set is also used by other states for electronic tax filing. This gives you a consistent format to use for those states.

Software vendors are welcome to receive the EDI mappings and file layouts if they plan to develop tax filing software. For a list of currently approved vendors, contact the Electronic Reporting section of the Comptroller's office.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why should I file my return electronically?
Surveys of our current ETF users indicate they save between 50% to 75% of time it normally takes to complete the preprinted return. In addition to your time, there are savings of paper and postage.

Do the due dates change for electronic filing?
Electronic filers comply with the same established report due dates. Your transmission must be completed by 11:59 p.m. CST on the due date.

What kind of equipment do I need to use the free software?
The Windows versions of the software require at least a 486DX IBM compatible PC running Windows 3.1 or better. Minimum memory requirements are 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended) and 8 MB of hard disk space (12 MB recommended). You'll need a functioning mouse and a modem with a speed of 9600 BPS, but 28.8 KPS or better is recommended.

If I file by ETF, do I still need to send in paper copies of the return?
No. The confirmation number you receive indicates that we received your electronic return. Please keep a record of this confirmation number.

If I have problems filing electronically how do I get assistance?
The Electronic Reporting section of the Comptroller's office is staffed with people trained to solve a variety of software and communications problems. They can be reached every business day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST at 1-800-442-3453.

When is the Electronic Tax Filing Bulletin Board System open?
The ETF system is open seven days a week, virtually 24 hours a day. The toll-free ETF BBS phone number is 1-800-992-3453. To sign on for the first time, the ETF BBS phone number is 1-512-475-0616.

My company already uses EDI for purchasing and accounts payable. Is ETF the same thing?
Yes, and your EDI staff can contact us for the ETF mappings and file layouts for the '813' transaction set.

If I file electronically, how do I pay my taxes?
The payment must be postmarked by the due date. For sales tax, attach your sales tax coupon with your check. For all other taxes, write your taxpayer number, the tax type you are paying and the reporting period on each check. ETF filers can either continue making payments by check or request to be set up to transfer funds directly from their bank to the State Comptroller's office via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If you want additional information, please call 1-800-442-3453 or e-mail eft.cpa@cpa.state.tx.us.


Sales Tax

The Comptroller's office provides software to monthly and quarterly taxpayers for filing sales tax returns electronically. The software requires at least a 486DX IBM compatible PC running Windows 3.1 or better. Minimum memory requirements are 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended) and 8 MB of hard disk space (12 MB recommended). You will need a functioning mouse and a modem with a speed of 9600 BPS, but 28.8 KBS or better is recommended.

You can download the free software (5 MB) to a temporary folder (i.e. c:\staxtemp). First, double-click on the stax1p7.exe file, then click on the 'EXTRACT' button. If an staxtemp folder does not exist, this will create one for you. After the extract is complete, open the c:\staxtemp folder. Double-click on the setup.exe file to run the setup program. For complete instructions on using the application, please read the STAX User's Guidebook. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the guidebook.

If you are using Version 1.4 or below, you can download the upgrade to the software (864 KB) for Windows to the STAX folder (i.e. c:\stax). Double-click on the stax1p8u.exe file, then click on the 'EXTRACT' button. After the extract has been completed, open the STAX application and check the version number on the main screen.

Related Sales Tax Electronic Filing links;

SalesTax Rates Sales tax rates change periodically as cities and counties adopt new, reduce or eliminate local taxes. These changes become effective on a quarterly basis so make sure you have the most current tax table for the STAX software. You can download the most current tax table on the ETF bulletin board by dialing 1-800-992-3453, or by clicking here. To order this software and guidebook by mail, click here or for additional information:

  • E-mail us at etf.cpa@cpa.state.tx.us or
  • Call us at 1-800-442-3453 or
  • Fax us at 1-512-475-0397 or
  • Mail your request to P. O. Box 12010, Austin, Texas 78711-2010, Account Maintenance Division, Electronic Reporting

Natural Gas andCrude Oil

The Comptroller's office provides software to monthly taxpayers for filing Natural Gas and Crude Oil Severance tax electronically. The same software (PETRO) will allow the taxpayer to file either tax type or both. The software requires at least a 486DX IBM compatible PC running Windows 3.1 or better (Windows 95 or better recommended). Minimum memory requirements are 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended) and 8 MB minimum of hard disk space (12 MB recommended). You will need a functioning mouse and a modem with a speed of 9600 BPS minimum, but 28.8 KBS or better is recommended.

You can download the free software (7.4 MB) to a temporary folder (i.e. c:\pettemp). Double-click on the pettemp.exe file, then click on the 'EXTRACT' button. If a "pettemp" folder does not exist, this will create one for you. Once the download file is extracted, the setup file will automatically begin to start the installation. Follow the screen promts till the installation is complete. For complete instructions on using the application, please read the PETRO User's Guidebook. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the guidebook.

If your company is EDI capable and would like the EDI mappings and file layouts for Natural Gas and Crude Oil, contact the Electronic Reporting section.

Related Natural Gas and Crude Oil Electronic Filing links;

To order this software and guidebook by mail, click here or for additional information;
  • E-mail us at etf.cpa@cpa.state.tx.us or
  • Call us at 1-800-442-3453 or
  • Fax us at 1-512-475-0397 or
  • Mail your request to P. O. Box 12010, Austin, Texas 78711-2010, Account Maintenance Division, Electronic Reporting

IFTA

The Comptroller's office provides software to quarterly taxpayers for filing IFTA tax electronically. The software requires at least a 133Mhz, IBM compatible PC running Windows 95 or higher. Minimum memory requirements are 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended) and 8 MB minimum of hard disk space (12 MB recommended). You will need a functioning mouse and a modem with a speed of 9600 minimum BPS, but 33.3 KPS or better is recommended.

You can download the free software (6 MB) for Windows to your DESKTOP. Double-click on the ifta2p0.exe file, then click on 'NEXT button. If an iftatemp folder does not exist, this will create one for you. After the extract has been completed click NEXT to run the setup program. For complete instructions, please read the IFTA User's Guidebook. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the guidebook.

Related IFTA Electronic Filing links;

IFTA Tax Rates IFTA tax rates change periodically as states adopt new, reduce or eliminate fuels taxes. These changes are made on a quarterly basis so make sure you have the most current tax table for the IFTA software. You can download the most current tax table on the ETF bulletin board by dialing 1-800-992-3453, or by clicking here.

To order this software and guidebook by mail, click here or for additional information;

  • E-mail us at etf.cpa@cpa.state.tx.us or
  • Call us at 1-800-442-3453 or
  • Fax us at 1-512-475-0397 or
  • Mail your request to P. O. Box 12010, Austin, Texas 78711-2010, Account Maintenance Division, Electronic Reporting

Unclaimed Property Holder Reporting

The Comptroller's office provides free software for holders who wish to file their unclaimed property reports on diskette. This version of the software requires at least a 486DX IBM compatible PC running Windows 3.1 or better. Minimum memory requirements are 4 MB RAM (8 MB recommended) and 4 MB of hard disk space (8 MB recommended).

You can download the data entry software (5 MB) to a temporary folder. You must download both disk 1 and disk 2 to install the application. After the download is complete, double-click on the updisk1.exe file, then click on the 'EXTRACT' button. Once DISK 1 extracts, it creates a DISK1 folder. Next, double-click on the updisk2.exe file, then click on the 'EXTRACT' button. Once DISK 2 extracts, it creates a DISK2 folder. Open the c:\disk1 folder. Double-click on the setup.exe file to run the setup program. For complete instructions on using the application, please read the Unclaimed Property electronic reporting User's Guidebook. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the guidebook.

To order this software and guidebook by mail, click here or: Click here for instructions for filing unclaimed property reports on magnetic tape.

Click here to search for Texas Unclaimed Property online.

Related Electronic Filing links;

For additional information;
  • E-mail us at etf.cpa@cpa.state.tx.us or
  • Call us at 1-800-442-3453 or
  • Fax us at 1-512-475-0397 or
  • Mail your request to P. O. Box 12010, Austin, Texas 78711-2010, Account Maintenance Division, Electronic Reporting