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California Sales and Use Tax Questions For Businesses Updated


The California Board of Equalization Sales and Use Tax Questions for the Business Person Publication 53-B was updated May 2012. The publication is a presentation called “10 Sales and Use Tax Questions for the Business Person.”

Publication 53-B covers questions such as:

  • I purchase from an out-of-state vendor who ships to my California business location—are my purchases taxable? (Yes)
  • “My customer resells merchandise purchased from my business. Will a copy of her seller’s permit support my claimed sale for resale? (No. You must obtain a timely resale certificate that is dated and includes required elements….)”
  • “A tourist purchased merchandise in my store. He provided proof that he will leave the state later in the week. Is this sale exempt as a sale in interstate commerce? (No. If the purchaser takes possession in California, the sales is subject to tax unless you ship or deliver the property outside the state of California.)”
  • “I purchase cleaning supplies for my business. Can I issue a resale certificate to my supplier so that I may pay the lower wholesale price? (No. You may only issue a resale certificate for items that you intend to resell during your normal course of business.)”

In addition to questions like these, the following critical question was responded to in the publication:

Q: I have completed my sales and use tax return. The amount of tax I actually collected is more than what the return indicates is due. Which amount do I pay?

A: It is important to verify that the tax you collected matches the amount due on your return. If you collected tax on transactions that were not subject to tax or collected tax in excess of the amount due, you may either refund the excess tax to your customer or remit the tax to the Board. You may not keep excess tax collected.

You can read more details and the answers to additional questions here: http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub53b.pdf

California Exemption Certificate - Multijurisdiction

This is the California State exemption certificate form, broken out by state. California State exemptions may change every month, and this exemption is only current for the month in which it was downloaded.
Download California Exemption Certificate — Multijurisdiction

Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”