• Background Image

    News & Updates

    CA Sales Tax Rate

March 26, 2020

Sales Tax by State – California

Sales Tax by State

2020 California Sales Tax Fact Sheet

Last updated on: April 1, 2020

California Sales and Use Tax Rate Lookup by Address:
Use USgeocoder Sales and Use Tax FREE Online Lookup Tool to search state-wide, county, local and special district Sales and Use tax rates and tax reporting details for any physical address and PO Box in California:

California Sales tax components:
Statewide tax
Local district tax: County tax, Municipality (incorporated city) tax, Special district tax (cross-county, cross-municipality, un-incorporated areas, and other special purpose district taxes)

California Statewide Sales Tax Rate:
7.25%

Highest Total Local District Sales Tax Rate in California:
3.25%

Highest Total Sales Tax Rate with Local District Sales Tax in California:
10.50%

Incorporated city with the Highest Sales Tax Rate in California:
Santa Fe Springs City in Los Angels County (10.50%)

Number of Counties in California:
58

Number of Municipalities (Incorporated cities) in California:
482

Special District Sales and Use Taxes in California:

  1. Bay Area Rapid Transit District: Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties
  2. Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transportation Authority: Sonoma and Marin counties
  3. Unincorporated Area Transaction and Use Tax: Santa Cruz and Yuba counties

Can I Use Zip Codes to Determine Correct Sales Tax Rates in California?
No.

**Zip codes cross city boundaries. Different cities might have different local district rates. In addition, city taxes only apply to areas within the respective incorporated city. If an address is in an un-incorporated area, city taxes do not apply. You should look for an address-based solution such as USgeocoder that can identify if the address is within an incorporated city to determine its sales tax rates in California.

Can I Use County and City to Determine Correct Sales Tax Rates in California?
No.

**City taxes only apply to areas within the respective incorporated city. If an address is in an un-incorporated area, city taxes do not apply. You should look for an address-based solution such as USgeocoder that can identify if the address is within an incorporated city to determine its sales tax rates in California.

Are Sales Tax Rates and Use Tax Rates the Same in California?
Yes

Does California Have Tax Codes for Tax Return Reporting Purpose?
Yes

Sales and Use Tax Rate Update Schedule in California:
Update Frequency: Quarterly
Last update: April 1, 2020

Does California Have an Origin-Based or Destination-Based Sales Tax Collection?
Mixed (state, county and city taxes are based on the origin, but district taxes are based on the destination.)

**Origin-based: sales tax is charged based on where the seller is located.
**Destination-based: sales tax is charged based on where the buy is located

Is California a Full Member of Streamlined State?
No

**A streamlined Full Member State is a state that has been found to be in compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) and its laws, rules, regulations, and policies and bring them into compliance are in effect. See details on Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board’s website

Does California Have Sales Tax Holidays?
No

Wayfair Sales Tax Implementation in California:
Sales Thresholds: $500,000
Transaction Threshold: none

Wayfair sales tax implementation applies to out-of-state sales, remote sales, Internet sales and online sales. See Details on https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/industry/wayfair.htm.

Does California Charge Sales Tax on Digital Goods?
Generally no

Does California Charge Sales Tax on Services?
Generally no unless they are an integral part of a taxable transfer of property.

Does California Charge Sales Tax on Shipping?
May apply. See details on https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/pub100/#applying

California State Sales and Use Tax Authority:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA)
Website: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/

Other Resources:

  1. California District Sales and Use Tax Rates Published by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/cdtfa105.pdf
  2. Listing of California City and Unincorporated County Codes Published by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/cdtfa531fl1.pdf
  3. California Tax Matrix for Remote Sellers Published by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/cdtfa758.pdf
  4. California City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates Lookup by City Provided by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/rates.aspx
  5. California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) News Updates: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/news/#Notices-Newsletters

Looking for an Online Solution that provides real-time sales tax rates for your application? 

Try USgeocoder API. It provides all the information you will get from USgeocoder Live Demo.

USgeocoder live demo is free to use. You can use it to lookup sales and use tax rate information one address at a time. However if you have a large number of addresses and would like to save time, USgeocoder can do it for you through batch processing service.


SALES TAX BY STATE

CaliforniaNew York


DISCLAIMERS:

SALES AND USE TAX INFORMATION ON THIS BLOG REFERS TO THE GENERAL SALES OF TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY. IN MANY STATES, THERE ARE DIFFERENT RATES FOR RENTAL, LEASING, AND TANGIBLE ITEMS SUCH AS VEHICLE, EQUIPMENT, FOOD, OR CLOTHING. SOME STATES HAVE DIFFERENT SALES TAX RATES THAN USE TAX RATES. EACH STATE HAS ITS OWN RULES ON EXEMPTIONS. PLEASE REFER TO THE SALES AND USE TAX LAW OF INDIVIDUAL STATES FOR DETAILS.

USGEOCODER LLC IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN ANY MANNER. ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE IS PREPARED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR OWN TAX, LEGAL AND ACCOUNTING ADVISORS TO ADDRESS YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND BEFORE ENGAGING IN ANY TRANSACTION RELATED TO SALES AND USE TAX.

April 2, 2019

How to collect the new Unincorporated Area sales and use tax in California?

California New Sales and Use Tax Effective April 1, 2019

When we were thinking CA sales tax couldn’t get any more complicated, we were wrong!

For the first time ever, California now has a new district sales and use tax that only applies to an un-incorporated area within a county. Voters in County of Santa Cruz has approved a “Santa Cruz County Unincorporated Area Transactions and Use Tax” for 0.50% operative April 1, 2019. Voters in Yuba County also approved a same tax named “Yuba County Unincorporated Area Transactions and Use Tax” for 1% however this one is subject to pending litigation. Such tax only applies to areas that are not within an incorporated cities. It does not affect the rate that applies in incorporated cities within the these counties either.

Some people are confused about this un-incorporated tax with the county-wide tax. County-wide tax applies to every address within the county. The un-incorporated tax is only for areas that are not within the boundaries of any incorporated cities within the county.  We consider this “un-incorported tax” as a special district tax because it is not a county-wide tax. Neither it is an incorporated city tax because these un-incorporated areas are not within any incorporated city.

So how to determine if an address is in an incorporated city or not?

The only way to accurately determine it is to find out if such address is within the incorporated city boundary. Incorporated city is also called Municipality. USgeocoder has the incorporated city boundaries for the entire US. When you send an address to our geocoder, it first tries to geocode the address and find out where this address is located on the map, then by querying the incorporated city mapping database, We know exactly whether the address falls in a particular incorporated city boundary or not. If you want to know more about how to find the municipality by address, here is another blog article explains it in full details with real life examples.

For an address you have, mostly of the time it’s a mailing address issued by US Postal Office. The city in the address could be a mailing city only, which has nothing to do with incorporated city. So the “City” name in your address might not necessary be the name of its municipality. Usgeocoder uses street address and a five digit zip code to determine the municipality of an address. If it’s in a particular municipality, it provides the name of the municipality; If it’s not in a particular municipality, it will provide “Unincorporated” as the value for the given address.

Sometime every address within a mailing city is in un-incorpoted area, for example, addresses in city of Aptos in Santa Cruz county are all in un-incorporated areas. However for the incorporated city of Santa Cruz, some areas within Santa Cruz city are outside of the incorporated city boundary. They are just having Santa Cruz as a mailing city for US Postal Office mail person to deliver mail to. For these un-incorporated areas with “Santa Cruz” as their mailing city, there is no other way but using geocoding technology to find out whether they are within the incorporated city limit or not.

How to correctly calculate sales and use tax rate?

USgeocoder API offers realtime sales tax rate for every address in California. The formula we use is statewide tax rate + countywide tax rate + incorporated citywide tax rate + special district tax rate. You can take a test drive with our live demo by entering a California street address and zip code, press “Free Lookup” and see the sales and use tax rate information for the input address.

Click here to learn more about how to correctly calculate the California Sales Tax Rate Using Geo-based technology.

March 14, 2017

CA Sales Tax Rate Increase Operative April 1, 2017

New CA Sales Tax Rate Changes Effective April, 1, 2017

California voters in many counties and cities approved sales tax rate increases in the November 2016 general election.  No city or county sales tax rates decreased in California. Higher sales tax rates will start in 43 cities and 7 counties in California on April 1, 2017. To see if you will be charged higher sales taxes, go to our Online Demo starting April 1.

Have you ever wondered where the highest and lowest sales tax rates in California will be as of this April? Here are some interesting numbers when the new CA sales tax rates become operative on April 1, 2017:

California’s sales tax rate of 7.25% applies to every address in the state. Counties and cities might have their own sales taxes on top of the California sales tax. The highest sales tax rate with California state, county and city sales tax rates combined is 9.75%.  Starting 4/1/17 you’ll be charged 9.75% sales tax if you buy anything within these CA cities:

Union City
San Leandro
Newark
Hayward
Albany
South Gate
Santa Monica
Pico Rivera
Lynwood
Long Beach
La Mirada
Compton
El Cerrito

Among California’s 58 counties, Alameda county charges the highest county sales tax at 2%. Here are the counties with 1% or more sales tax rates:

Alameda county: 2%
Santa Clara county: 1.75%
Los Angeles county: 1.5%
San Mateo county: 1.5%
Santa Cruz county: 1.25%
San Francisco county: 1.25%
Contra Costa county: 1%
Marin county: 1%

The city with the highest city sales tax is Greenfield. These cities levy 1.25% or more on sales:

Greenfield: 1.75%
Salinas: 1.5%
Del Rey Oaks: 1.50%
Lakeport: 1.50%
Clearlake: 1.5%
El Cerrito: 1.5%
Stockton: 1.25%
Nevada City: 1.25%

Counties that do not have county sales tax

Among California’s 58 counties, the following 25 counties do not charge any sales tax. However some cities inside these counties charge sales tax:

Alpine
Butte
Calaveras
Colusa
El Dorado
Glenn
Kern
Kings
Lake
Lassen
Modoc
Mono
Placer
Plumas
San Benito
San Luis Obispo
Shasta
Siskiyou
Sutter
Tehama
Trinity
Tuolumne
Ventura
Yolo
Yuba

Do you know that if an address is not inside an incorporated city limit, the city sales tax does not apply? For instance, the City of Davis has 1% city sales tax, 0% county sales tax (Yolo county does not have county district tax) and 7.25% state sales tax. If you live in an un-incorporated area with Davis as your mailing city, you won’t need to pay for 1% sales tax to the city of Yolo.  Click here to learn more about how to correctly calculate Sales Tax Rates for unincorporated areas in CA.

Least Expensive Places to live in CA – No County or City  Sales Taxes

Have you ever thought about relocating to different parts of CA? There is no county or city sales taxes anywhere within the following counties. All you need to pay is the 7.25% California sales tax.

Alpine county
Calaveras county
Kings county
Lassen county
Modoc county
Mono county
Plumas county
Sierra county
Sutter county

To find out the sales tax for a specific location in CA, just enter the address in our online demo and you will get the current tax rate information for the input location.