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Sales Tax Requirements of Volunteer Fire Departments in California


 All-volunteer fire departments in California may not need a sales tax license.

Beginning January 1, 2016, qualifying all-volunteer fire departments in California are no longer required to obtain a seller’s permit or file or remit sales tax returns for sales of tangible personal property (including hot prepared food) when the profits are used “to further the department’s purposes.”

In these cases, the fire department is considered the consumer and must pay sales tax on items purchased for resale.

To qualify as an “all-volunteer fire department, ”all of the following requirements must be met:

  • It must be “regularly organized for volunteer fire department purposes.”
  • It must qualify as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
  • Its members may not be paid a regularly salary (hourly or per incident payments are allowed).
  • Its purpose must be to protect lives, property and environment within a designated geographical area from disaster, emergency incidents, and fire.
  • Gross receipts may not exceed $100,000 in each of the two prior calendar years

This policy will expire December 31, 2020.

California State Board of Equalization Special Notice L443 contains additional information.

 

 


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.