Sales Tax Registration

Register for sales tax accounts in any United States jurisdiciton.

Sales Tax Nexus Determination

Find out where you are required to collect sales and use tax in jurisdictions across the nation. 

Sales Tax Return Filing

Affordable sales tax return filing for any business type and size.

Audit Assistance

We can help you through the audit process, keeping your rights intact and potentially reducing the amount of tax, penalty, and interest assessed. 

VIEW ALL SERVICES

California Sales Tax Guide

Sales Tax by State Guide for Businesses
If you own or operate a business selling products and/or services in California, you may need to collect and remit sales tax according to current state tax rules. In order to determine whether you must file in California depends upon whether you have economic or physical nexus in the state. But how do you know whether you have nexus in California? What are the state sales tax rates? When are California sales tax returns due? Overwhelmed? Don’t be. The information below will help you answer these questions and more.

Sales Tax Faqs

Economic Threshold Sales: 500,000
Statewide Tax Rate: 7.25%
Marketplace Facilitator Law: Yes

Contact Information

CDTFA

Do you need to collect and remit sales tax in California? 

If you meet the economic or physical nexus threshold in California, you must register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and pay sales tax to the state. Certain circumstances may exempt you from needing to file, such as if you sell through a Marketplace Facilitator. Also, sales tax does not typically apply to services in California, unless the services are considered a part of the sale of tangible personal property. If you need more clarification on whether you need to charge sales tax, refer to this document. 

Do you have sales tax nexus in California? 

There are two types of nexuses: physical and economic. Physical applies to having a physical location from which you do business in California, such as a storefront. Economic presence means that you have exceeded the annual $500,000 sale threshold. 

Physical sales tax nexus in California 

Common indicators of having physical nexus in California include: 

  1. Maintaining, occupying, or using an office, place of distribution, sales or sample room, warehouse or storage place, or other physical place of business in state. 
  2. Having representatives, agents, or independent contractors operating in California under your or a subsidiary’s authority to make sales, take orders, make deliveries, etc…. 
  3. Receiving rental payments from tangible personal property located in the state. 

Economic sales tax nexus in California 

The only requirement for meeting economic nexus in California is in exceeding $500,000 of annual sales of tangible personal property to places or people in-state. In instances of non-taxable products or sales for resale, you must still file if you exceed the annual economic threshold.  

 

Are marketplace facilitators required to collect and remit sales tax in California? 

As of October 1st, 2019, California enacted the Marketplace Facilitator Act, which means that if you sell through a marketplace facilitator you are not responsible for collecting and remitting sales tax on goods sold through them. However, the marketplace facilitator must be registered with California and have a current seller’s permit or Certificate of Registration – Use Tax. It is important to verify with whatever marketplace you sell through that they are registered with California and have the correct documentation and permits.  

What platforms are marketplace facilitators? 

Some platforms that are considered marketplace facilitators are: 

  1. Amazon 
  2. eBay 
  3. Etsy  
  4. Walmart (online)  

Not sure what a marketplace facilitator is? In short, marketplace facilitators are companies that provide a platform or service for third-party sellers to sell their products or services to customers. The facilitator collects payment from the customer, processes the transaction, and may also handle shipping and returns.

 

Filing California Sales Tax 

After registering for a California sales tax permit, you can file you California sales tax returns one of three ways: 

File Online 

  1. Like most states, California recommends filing sales and use tax returns online for accurate and prompt filing. To file online, you will have to register for an Online Services Profile on CDTFA 
  2. Note: CDTFA used to offer Limited Access Codes to filers without an online services profile, but they are phasing out the use of these codes as of 2023. 
  3. Once you have created your online services profile, you can file online before or by your return due date. If you need detailed instructions on how to file sales and use tax returns with California, click here. 

File via Paper Return 

  1. If you choose to, California still offers filers the option to fill out and mail paper returns using this form. The main differences between the paper and electronic returns are: 
  2. When filing via paper return, you are limited to paying with either paper check or money order, while online you can pay your tax due with ACH Debit (i.e., bank account), credit card (a convenience fee may apply), or paper check. 
  3. Unlike electronic filing, California paper returns do not offer the option to allocate taxable sales and tax due to cities and counties, which increases the risk of faulty reporting. In such a case where sales and tax are reported incorrectly, you may be at risk of needing to amend your return and pay additional fees.  

Let us file for you! 

If filing sales tax returns is too overwhelming or time-consuming, you’re not alone. Running a business is demanding work and filing tax returns is a nuisance. We at SalesTaxSolutions are here to make things easier! As a company, we help businesses like yours deal with the many state-by-state regulations and file your sales tax returns for you. We’ve got 20 plus years of knowledge and experience to help you get back to saving time and making money as soon as possible. Message, email or call us at 888-544-7730 for a free quote today! 

When are sales tax returns due in California? 

When you register with California to file sales and use taxes, your filing frequency and due dates are assigned to you by the state depending upon your reported sales tax or predicted taxable sales at time of registration. There are five filing frequencies in California: monthly, quarterly prepay, quarterly, fiscal yearly, and yearly. Returns are due the last day of the month following your period end date except for quarterly prepays, which are due the 24th of the month before a quarter end. Additionally, if your due date falls on a weekend or state holiday, it will be extended to the next business day. A detailed look at the due dates for each frequency can be found here. 

STAY INFORMED

More Resources

Get informed on how each seller platform collects sales tax, marketplace facilitator laws, and more

Texas Sales Tax Guide

Texas Sales Tax Guide

Do you need to collect and remit sales tax in Texas?  There are two types of sales tax designations in Texas:  Franchise Tax is a privilege tax on taxable entities doing business in Texas. This applies to Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), corporations,...

Florida Sales Tax Guide

Florida Sales Tax Guide

Do you need to collect and remit sales tax in Florida?  If you meet the economic or physical nexus threshold in Florida, you must register with the Florida Department of Revenue to collect, report and remit sales and use tax to the state. There are two ways to...

West Virginia Sales Tax Guide

West Virginia Sales Tax Guide

Do you need to collect and remit sales tax in West Virginia? Do you make sales in West Virginia? If so, you’ll likely need to collect sales tax. Vendors or businesses in West Virginia who sell or lease tangible personal property or provide a service are required to...