News Release

Contact: Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release
February 8, 2017
NR 4-17-G

It's Never Been Easier to Pay Your Use Tax

Lookup Table Simplifies Things When Filling Out Your California Income Tax Return

Sacramento – If you still haven't filed your state income taxes, at least one part will be simple. You or your tax preparer can easily figure out the amount of use tax you owe with the use tax lookup table included in your California income tax return instructions.

Adjusted Gross Income Range Use Tax Liability
Less Than $10,000 $2
$10,000 to $19,999 $6
$20,000 to $29,999 $10
$30,000 to $39,999 $14
$40,000 to $49,999 $17
$50,000 to $59,999 $21
$60,000 to $69,999 $25
$70,000 to $79,999 $29

This is a portion of the 2016 Use Tax Lookup Table

You may owe use tax on items you purchased online, by telephone, or by mail order from an out-of-state retailer, for use in California, without paying California sales or use tax. Some examples include toys, consumer electronics, clothing, or small appliances. Use tax is not an "Internet tax." Use tax has existed since 1935.

The lookup table provides an easy way to determine the use tax due on all your non-business purchases that cost less than $1,000, made during the prior calendar year, even if you did not save your receipts. Simply locate your adjusted gross income range on the table, and enter the corresponding use tax amount on the use tax line that appears on your state income tax form (540 or 5402EZ). For example, as shown in the table to the right, if your adjusted gross income is between $30,000 and $39,999, you would owe $14 in use tax. Use tax due on individual items purchased for $1,000 or more must be calculated separately.

Last year, use tax revenues paid through California income tax returns grew approximately 15 percent. Despite the increase, the BOE estimates $1 billion goes uncollected each year – enough money to pay the salaries of about 8,000 firefighters, 9,000 police officers, or 13,000 teachers.
Note: Watch BOE's Use Tax Table Public Service Announcement

For more information about Use Tax, visit the use tax webpage.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board that serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes.

Note: This news release may discuss complex tax laws and concepts. It may not address every situation, and is not considered written advice under Revenue and Taxation Code section 6596. Changes in law or regulations may have occurred since the time this news release was written. If there is a conflict between the text of this news release and the law, decisions will be based upon the law and not this news release. For specific help, please contact the BOE at 1-800-400-7115.