California Payroll Tax module

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Important reminder!

Product support for Engagement CS is ending on September 30, 2020. See Engagement CS license expiration 2020 - frequently asked questions for more information.

Licenses for Payroll CS, Trial Balance CS, and Write-Up CS permanently expired on March 1, 2017.

Some processes documented in the Help & How-To Center are no longer applicable, due to the discontinuation of Creative Solutions Accounting.

The California Payroll Tax module supports the following forms, as well as SUTA file creation:

Choose Payroll Utilities > Tax Processing and then either click the CA state flag icon on the shortcut bar or choose View > California. California must be selected in the Payroll tab of the Client Properties dialog in order for the CA flag to appear on the shortcut bar.


  • Payroll tax processing data is kept in separate files, so any changes made to the retrieved data will not carry back to your payroll data.
  • California SUTA files now uses ICESA format rather than the Federal format.
  • When SUTA files are created, they are automatically encrypted for security and stored in the \CSASYS\MAGMEDIA\year \Q# folder (where # represents the filing quarter). Before submitting these files to the appropriate agency, you must use the Save to Submittable Format command, at which point the files are decrypted. Using the Restore from Submittable Format option encrypts the files once again. You can use the preview function to view the decrypted files.
  • The DE 88ALL Worksheet provides a reconciliation of reported tax and payments for the quarter.

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Special information

To identify the employee in a certain class, the application requires that a special letter code be entered in the Text 5 field in the Personal & W-2 tab of the Setup > Employees window. The letter codes are as follows:

The application provides one form for code U and L employees, one for code R employees, and one for all others.

In most cases, employees will fall under code S. However, if your clients have employees that fall under one of the other codes, you must identify them so that the California Payroll Tax module can group them properly for both printed forms and in the SUTA file.

To identify an employee with a code other than S, you must enter the letter of that code in the Text 5 field in the Personal & W-2 tab of the Setup > Employees window. This entry will cause the employee to be printed to proper form or have the correct code in the SUTA file. If the Text 5 field is left blank, or if there is an entry other than one of the one-letter codes listed above, the employee will be treated as a code S employee.

Up to three separate printed Form DE 9s will be created for type R employees, type U or L employees, and type S, J, A, and P employees.

For each state that you will be processing for a client, you must first enter the two-character state postal code in the Payroll tab of the File > Client Properties dialog.

To have the application calculate SUTA amounts and the SUTA Worksheet report, the state field must be completed for the applicable state(s) for each employee - in the Other tab of the Setup > Employees window.

Household Employee setup - To designate an employee as a household employee, the application requires that the letter code H be entered in the Text 5 field in the Personal & W-2 tab of the Setup > Employees window. While H is not an official letter code, using it in the Text 5 field will designate the employee as a household employee. The employee will then be included in the DE 3BHW and DE 3HW forms, and excluded from the DE 9, DE 9C, and DE 88ALL forms.

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Related topics

Processing state payroll tax forms

State Payroll Tax modules in CSA

California supplemental payroll tax information

California e-filing

Processing the California New Hire file

Creating a SUTA file for a payroll tax form

Unemployment file formats by state

Vendor Checks dialog for state payroll tax forms

Tasks > California Independent Contractor

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