California Sales Tax

On this page you will find handy sales and use tax information about California.

How to use this page:

We’ve pulled in the information from all our Charts for a consolidated view by state.  Here you can see the sales tax rates and if the state has remote seller nexus rules. You can also see any sales tax holidays or amnesty programs that may exist, though these do not apply to all states.

Below the chart you can find any News & Tip item we have published that relates to California that you can filter by topic. This will help you get informed on current and past legislation that has passed in the state.

State Rate

7.250% Note that the true California state sales tax rate is 6%.  There is a statewide county tax of 1.25% and therefore, the lowest rate anywhere in California is 7.25%.  We have listed the combined state/county rate as the state rate to eliminate confusion.

Range of Local Rates

0% – 3.25%

Local Rates Apply to Use Tax



9/15/2012 – repealed effective 4/1/2019


9/15/2012 – repealed effective 4/1/2019


4/1/2019see state notice





Amnesty Filing Dates

September 1, 2013 - December 2, 2013

Go to City of Los Angeles Amnesty Page


The following City of Los Angeles Taxes: Business, Utility Users Taxes (Telephone, Electricity, Gas), Commercial Tenant’s Occupancy, Transient Occupancy, and Parking Occupancy Taxes.


Waiver of penalties.



Amnesty Filing Dates

October 4, 2011 - October 3, 2012

Go to City of Los Angeles Amnesty Page

From October 4, 2011 through October 3, 2012, look-back period for prior City of Los Angeles Business Taxes is three years. Beginning October 4, 2012, the period is limited to five years.


City of Los Angeles Business Tax.


Penalties on late payment of taxes may be waived.



Amnesty Filing Dates

Voluntary registration with the CDTFA and filing by September 25, 2019

Go to California Amnesty Page

A “qualifying retailer” will not be assessed tax by the CDTFA on sales made prior to April 1, 2016 and will be relieved of penalties for sales made for the period April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2019.


Sales and use tax. Effective June 27, 2019, a “qualifying retailer” meets all of the following conditions:

• The retailer is not registered or has not registered with the CDTFA prior to December 1, 2018
• The retailer had not filed sales or use tax returns or made sales or use tax payments prior to being contacted by the CDTFA
• The retailer voluntarily registers with the CDTFA, and by September 25, 2019, files completed tax returns for all tax reporting periods on and after April 1, 2016, and pays in full the taxes due or applies for an installment payment agreement, but only if final payment under the terms of the agreement is paid no later than December 31, 2021
• The retailer is or was engaged in business in California solely because the retailer used a marketplace facilitator to facilitate sales for delivery in California and the marketplace facilitator stored the retailer’s inventory in this state


Limited lookback and waiver of penalties for sales made for the period April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2019.

Administration Information
Streamlined Sales Tax Status

Advisory State


323 Sales Tax Jurisdictions



Sales Tax Sourcing (Intrastate)

Origin *California is mixed. State, county, and city taxes are based on the origin, but district taxes are based on the destination (the buyer)

Sales Tax Return Due Date

Last day of the month following the reporting period

Exemption Information

California Resale Certificate


California has many exemptions and exclusions, they can best be classified by categories as follows: Necessities of Life (food, health and housing related); General Public Benefit (alternative energy, pollution control, veteran vendors, etc.); Industry Based (transportation, entertainment, petroleum, manufactured housing, leasing); Other (electric power generation & distribution; printed materials and sales messages; space flight, sales of certain food plants and seeds, and sales of prescription medicine, various others).


Entity types of exemptions: General Public Benefit (museums and public arts; nonprofit, religious & educational; veterans organizations); Other (sales to the US Government)


California Exemption Certificate Forms

History & Fun Facts

  • California has the highest presumed state-level sales tax rate, at 7.25 percent which is actually made up of a 6.25% state rate and a state-wide 1% county rate. In addition, some cities and many special purposes authorities can impose sales tax.
  • As of July 1, 2017, the California Board of Equalization transferred the bulk of its tax duties to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and the Office of Tax Appeals.

  • Every quarter, the CDTFA posts the Top 500 Sales & Use Tax Delinquencies in California, including an interactive map. Please, don’t be shamed into compliance in this way.
  • Beware of California’s definition and taxation of “fixtures.” This creates a lot of audit issues for construction and service providers.
  • Some exemptions exist in an attempt to promote certain types of consumer choices. For example, there is an exemption for “fresh,” but not prepared, foodstuffs.

Economic Nexus State Guide

Key information such as effective dates, thresholds, and includable sales for out-of-state sellers making sales into states that have enacted economic nexus legislation both before and after the South Dakota v. Wayfair Supreme Court decision.

State Notices & Resources for Remote Sellers

Use this state by state guide to find each state\’s initial guidance on how to proceed post-Wayfair, state resources such as FAQs, and any state activity such as going through a legislative process that impacts remote sellers.

Elective Ultrasound Service Found Taxable in California

California determined that the true object of a taxpayer’s prenatal imaging business was the images captured, not the ultrasound service.

California Offers COVID-19 Relief for Small Business Owners

California is providing immediate tax relief for small business owners due to the impact of COVID-19.

Los Angeles Offers Tax Amnesty Program on Numerous Taxes

The Los Angeles Office of Finance is administering a Tax Penalty Amnesty Program from October 1, 2020 to December 17, 2020.

California Superior Court Bars CDTFA from Applying Sales Tax Regulation to Certain Sales of Bundled Cell Phones

A California Court barred the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration from applying a sales tax regulation to bundled sales of cellular telephones and service by carrier-retailers.

California Disallows Resale Exemption for Contractor Who Used Purchased Materials

A construction contractor was subject to California use tax on materials that it purchased with resale certificates since the contractor failed to establish that it was engaged in the business of selling materials.

PPE Sold to or Purchased by State of California is Exempt

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is temporarily exempt from sales and use tax when sold to or purchased by the State of California.

California Disallows Taxpayer’s Claimed Credit for Overpayment Made in Previous Period

A taxpayer was properly disallowed self-help credits that it claimed on California tax returns for amounts overpaid in the previous quarter.

Taxpayer Not Entitled to Relief Based on Advice from Previous California Audit

A taxpayer’s protest against an assessment of California sales and use tax was denied since the taxpayer could not establish that it was entitled to relief based on written advice provided in a prior audit.

California Enacts Exemptions for Diapers and Menstrual Hygiene Products

Effective January 1, 2020, California has enacted a sales and use tax exemption for diapers and menstrual hygiene products.

California Announces Sales Tax Payment Plan for Small Businesses due to COVID-19

Effective April 2, 2020, qualified small businesses can take advantage of a sales tax payment plan being offered by California due to COVID-19.

Delivery Method Changes Everything: Navigating Sales Tax on Intangible Goods

Explore cases where seemingly intangible goods can be converted to tangible personal property for sales tax purposes.

Sales Tax Nuances of Trade Show Attendance

Trade show attendance in another state can create physical nexus and trigger sales tax obligations. Learn key nuances of trade show rules across the states.

How the West Has Responded to Wayfair

A whirlwind of sales tax changes have swept across the Western region of the U.S. following the Wayfair decision. From novel approaches to economic nexus to shifting thresholds – keeping up with changes for remote sellers is no easy feat…

Pre-Installation Telecommunications Component Parts Taxable in California

Pre-installed component parts such as cables, conduits, and poles of telephone lines are subject to California sales and use tax.

California Limits Lookback Period for Certain Marketplace Sellers

California has enacted legislation that limits the lookback period for assessing sales and use tax on certain out-of-state marketplace sellers making sales into California.

California Enacts Marketplace Nexus Provisions, Changes Economic Nexus Threshold

California has enacted legislation with marketplace nexus provisions and a change to the state’s economic nexus threshold.

Prepaid MTS Sellers to Stop Collecting State MTS Surcharge, Begin Collecting 911 Surcharge in California

Prepaid MTS sellers in California must stop charging state-level portion of MTS surcharge, begin collecting 911 surcharge.

California to Enforce Remote Seller Tax Collection Requirements

California will require out-of-state retailers that exceed an economic threshold to collect use tax on sales into California, effective April 1, 2019.

California Issues Guidance Regarding Taxability of Sales to U.S. Government

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has issued a publication discussing the treatment of sales to the U.S. Government for California sales and use tax purposes.

California Issues Guide for Manufacturing and Research & Development Partial Exemption

California issued an updated tax guide for the state’s expanded manufacturing, research, and development partial sales and use tax exemption.

House Introduces Online Sales Simplicity and Small Business Relief Act of 2018

On September 13, 2018, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and additional U.S. House members introduced the Online Sales Simplicity and Small Business Relief Act of 2018.

Local Agencies in California Prohibited from Taxing Groceries

Effective June 28, 2018, local agencies in California cannot impose, increase, levy and collect, or enforce any California sales and use tax, fee, or other assessment on groceries.