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California BOE to Reimburse Veterans for Sales Tax Paid Out-of-Pocket


 The California BOE is going to give some to qualifying veterans.

New legislation in California State Board of Equalization (BOE) between April 1, 2002 and April 1, 2010. Qualifying veterans stand to recoup thousands of dollars from the state.

AB 919 explains:

“Prior to the enactment of Chapter 621 of the Statutes of 2009 (Senate Bill 809 of the 2009–10 Regular Session), which became operative on April 1, 2010, there was considerable uncertainty among honorably discharged veterans with respect to their responsibilities under California’s Sales and Use Tax Law. [As a result of mistakenly relying on] Section 16102 of the Business and Professions Code, which exempts honorably discharged veterans from payment of any license, tax or fee whatsoever, for their sales of goods, wares, or merchandise owned by them (except alcoholic beverages) … [many veterans] failed to pay sales tax or to collect sales tax reimbursement on their retail sales.”

The BOE, considering veterans “retailers,” pursued collection of applicable taxes, interest and penalties.

According to Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria), who authored the bill, “These veterans served our country and were rightfully exempt from paying these fees.” He says they deserve to be reimbursed. AB 919 will do just that.

The sales tax reimbursement applies to any qualified disabled veteran who meets all of the following requirements:

  • Has paid state and local sales and use taxes between April 1, 2002 and April 1, 2010.
  • Did not collect sales tax reimbursement from customers.
  • Paid interest or penalties associated with tax liabilities.

Veterans must submit a written claim before January 1, 2016, in order to be reimbursed.

Currently, the BOE has $50,000 available to reimburse qualified veterans. The BOE will have to determine the pro rata share due to each veteran should the total amount of claims exceed that amount.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed AB 919 on September 27, 2014. It takes effect on January 1, 2015.

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photo credit: Philip Taylor PT 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.