The sales and use tax rates vary depending on your retail location. A base sales and use tax rate of 7.50 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/specialnotices.htm.
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.