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California: Special Taxes and Fees for January 2014

  • Dec 20, 2013 | Gail Cole

 California reveals changes to special fees and taxes, January 2014.

The California State Board of Equalization has published Special Taxes and Fees Newsletter, which details a number of special taxes and fee changes taking effect January 1, 2014.

California special tax and fee changes cover a wide variety of items, from sake to cell phones. For example:

  • Effective January 1, 2014, it is a punishable offense to knowingly possess or use (or sell, purchase, install, transfer…) software programs that falsify reported sales. Such software is often called a tax zapper.
  • The current emergency telephone users surcharge rate of 0.50% will increase to 0.75%, effective January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. This change will ensure that the fund remains solvent.
  • The underground storage tank maintenance fee rate will revert back to $0.014 per gallon, effective January 1, 2014. This fee is owed by the owners of the tanks.
  • The current California tire fee of $1.75 is being extended through January 1, 2024, when it will be reduced to $0.75 per tire.
  • Sake has been defined as wine for tax purposes: the rate is $0.20 per wine gallon.


eWaste fees are not subject to sales and use tax and are owed by the buyer, not the retailer.

However, retailers are required to collect the eWaste fee from the purchaser “at the time of sale of a Covered Electronic Device (CED), which is a video display device with a screen size greater than four inches (measured diagonally) that has been determined by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to be hazardous when discarded.” These include the iPad, Kindle Fire, and similar tablet devices containing LCD screens. Cell phones, even smartphones, “are not CEDs and are therefore not subject to the eWaste fee.”

Live or do business in California? It would be a good idea to read the notice.

How do you keep track of sales tax changes? An automated solution makes it simple.

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.