For an update to this post, check out our California State Sales Tax 2018 blog post.
Here at TaxJar we get a lot of support questions about collecting sales tax in California. This make sense when you consider that California is the nation’s most populous state, and even if our users don’t live here, many of them are FBA sellers who have to deal with California sales tax due to storing products in one of the state’s Amazon fulfillment centers.
It doesn’t help that California’s sales tax collection doesn’t fall neatly in a box. While most states are either origin-based or destination based, California is a hybrid of the two. If you’re a seller who has to deal with sales tax compliance in California, read on for what you need to know this year.
The Basics of California State Sales Tax
California sales tax rate: 6.5% (with a 1% rate in each county for a total of 7.5%. Most of the time you’ll see California’s statewide sales tax rate listed as 7.5% due to this mandatory 1% local tax.)
California local sales tax rates: Vary by district. Find the most up-to-date California sales tax rates here
How to collect sales tax in California: California is a modified-origin state, which makes figuring out just how much you are supposed to collect in sales tax a little (okay, a lot) confusing. Long story short, California requires that you collect from sellers the California state sales tax rate of 7.5% + a district rate. How to determine that is enough to write a whole other blog post, and so we did just that. Click here for a complete guide on how to collect sales tax in California.
How to File a Sales Tax Return in California: Just as collecting sales tax in California can be tricky, so is filing. Click here for a guide on how to file a sales tax return in California (the easy way!)
Got Nexus in California?
If you have sales tax nexus in California, ensure that you are signed up to collect sales tax. Click here for how to register for a California sales tax permit.
If you sell on FBA and you’re not sure whether you have sales tax nexus in California, check out these resources:
- Does Inventory Give FBA Sellers Nexus in Other States?
- How to Find Where Amazon FBA Gives You Sales Tax Nexus
What’s New in California Sales Tax for 2015?
Sales tax rates, rules and regulations are all subject to change. Here’s what’s new in California for 2015:
Sales Tax Rate Changes: So far no sales tax rate changes have been announced for 2015. Of course, that’s always subject to change. Follow TaxJar on Twitter for the latest sales tax news and updates.
Sales Tax Prosecutions: Some states have more money to enforce sales tax delinquents than others. California is one state that allocates lots of resources toward enforcing sales tax collection and remittance. In fact, the California Board of Equalization recently announced that car dealer Derek Fong Ngai Lai, 42, of Monterey Park, has received a sentence of 12 months in county jail due to sales tax evasion starting in 2007.
Have questions about sales tax rates or collecting sales tax in California? Start the conversation in the comments.