Know Your Sales and Use Tax Rate
The sales and use tax rates vary depending on your retail location. A base sales and use tax rate of 7.25 percent is applied statewide. In addition to the statewide sales and use tax rate, some cities and counties have voter- or local government-approved district taxes. District tax areas consist of both counties and cities. There may also be more than one district tax in effect in a specific location. More than three-fourths of all businesses in the state are located, or do business, in areas with a district tax.
What tax rate do I use?
If your business is located in an unincorporated area of the county, you should generally collect the county sales and use tax rate. Generally, you must collect, report, and pay the rate for the district (statewide rate + county + city)on the sale of taxable items if you are engaged in business:
- At a business location within the district;
- With representatives in the district who make sales or deliveries into the district;
- Leasing merchandise in the district; or
- Selling or leasing vehicles, undocumented vessels, or aircraft that will be registered in the district.
It is not always possible to determine the correct tax rate based solely on a mailing address or zip code. We offer these tools to help retailers identify the correct rate:
- Visit our California City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates guide to find the most current tax rate for any jurisdiction in California.
- You can look up a tax rate by address
- Some cities offer an online database of addresses within their jurisdiction. Links to those databases are available on this webpage.
How will I know if a rate changes?
When a tax rate changes, the BOE notifies retailers by providing information in a special notice. Businesses can sign up to receive the email notifications from the BOE or sign up to get the latest news and updates. BOE special notices are also available at http://www.boe.ca.gov/news/news_and_events.htm#Special_Notices.
When do I begin charging the new rate?
When the sales and use tax rate changes in your city or county, your business must collect, report, and pay the new rate beginning on and after the effective date. Generally, district tax rates become effective on the first day of the next calendar quarter, at least 110 days after the adoption of the district tax.
What if I collect too much sales tax from my customers?
If you collect more than the amount of tax due, you must either return the excess amount to the customer or pay it to the state You may not keep it.
Where can I find more information?
The sales and use tax rate varies depending where the item is bought or will be used. A base sales and use tax rate of 7.25 percent is applied statewide. In addition to the statewide sales and use tax rate, some cities and counties have voter- or local government-approved district taxes. District tax areas consist of both counties and cities. There may be more than one district tax in effect in a specific location. More than three-fourths of all businesses in the state are located, or do business, in areas with a district tax.
What rate should I be charged?
If you buy an item from a business located in an unincorporated county area, you will generally be charged the county sales tax rate on your taxable items. If the same item is purchased in a city with an additional district tax, you will be charged that city's tax rate. If you purchase an item from outside of California for use in the city and/or county where you live, you owe use tax on that purchase. If you have not saved your receipts from such purchases, the Use Tax Lookup Table calculates how much you owe, and you can enter it as a line item when you file your income tax returns.
What happens if the rate changes?
You will be charged the sales and use tax in effect at the time of your purchase.
What do I do if I'm charged an incorrect rate?
Contact the business where you believe the incorrect rate was charged, and request a refund. Find a list of the latest sales and use tax rates. Notify us about the business you believe is charging the incorrect rate by calling our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115.
You can look up the current sales and use tax rate for a specific California address.
* Please ensure the address information you input is the address you intended. If you enter an inaccurate address, then that may result in the incorrect rate of tax. This service is not hosted on the BOE website.*
In addition, you can find current sales and use tax rates by using our city and county listing.
The BOE has a variety of helpful resources to assist retailers and purchasers in determining the correct sales and use tax rate for any city or county in the state.
To verify the tax rate for a location:
- Find a list of the latest sales and use tax rates at the following link: California City & County Sales & Use Tax Rates.
- You can look up a tax rate by address
- Visit or call our Field Offices
- Call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711). We are available to help you 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except State holidays.
- Visit our City & County Tax Rates webpage.
For Shipping and Delivery:
- Shipping and Delivery Charges Publication 100