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California Reminder: It’s a Crime to Use Sales Suppression Devices


 Zap. Only criminals use sales suppression devices in California.

The California State Board of Equalization has amended its publication on Drug Stores to include a section on “Sales Suppression Software Programs and Devices.” California outlawed sales suppression devices, also known as tax zappers, beginning January 1, 2014.

The section begins: “It is a crime for anyone to knowingly sell, purchase, install, transfer, or possess software programs or devices that are used to hide or remove sales and to falsify records.”

Persons caught using such software programs or devices could be imprisoned for up to three years and/or be fined up to $10,000. All California sales tax owed must also be paid by the violators, along with any applicable penalties, interest and fines. In short, it doesn’t pay to cheat.

California isn’t alone; many other states have also outlawed the possession or use of tax zappers.

photo credit: Angie C via photopin cc


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.