California State Tax Information

California

What payment solution am I using?  (Not sure? Click here to find out how to identify your account)
IBA Travel Account:  IBAs are subject to sales tax but might be exempt from occupancy tax depending on county policy.
CBA Travel Account: Yes, CBAs are exempt.
GSA SmartPay Tax Advantage Travel Card Account:  Yes, includes CBAs that are exempt for lodging and rental cars only.
Purchase Account (CBA):  Yes, CBAs are exempt.

What forms if any will I need?
California does not require the presentation of any forms or documentation to qualify for tax exemption at the state level. At the county level, however, there may be required forms. See additional information or instructions section below for more details. 

Who is the main point of contact?
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration:
(800) 400-7115 

What are the important links?

Are there any additional information or instructions?

California hotels may charge an occupancy tax and this tax is determined by each COUNTY, not the state. Please visit the county's website prior to traveling for more information. In addition, we encourage all travelers to call their hotel in advance to confirm what documentation or forms are required to qualify for occupancy tax exemption.

The City of San Diego
San Diego County
Sacramento

Part (a) of California Regulation 1614 clarifies California's policy on CBA and IBA tax exemption: 

"Where payment for tangible personal property sold or consumed in this state is made partly by the United States or its instrumentalities and partly by nonexempt persons, the payment is exempt to the extent of the United States' or its instrumentality's share provided it is made directly to the vendor by the United States or its instrumentality. If the nonexempt party makes full payment and then seeks reimbursement from the United States or its instrumentality, the entire amount is taxable even though the United States or its instrumentality may reimburse the party in full or in part."

Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP)
Items purchased through Amazon.com LLC, or its subsidiaries and shipped to this state are subject to tax.  However, the Federal Government may receive tax exemption in these states by Enrolling in the “Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP).”

How to Enroll in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program

  1. Log in to Amazon.com and place your cursor over “Your Account” on the top right corner of the screen
  2. On the drop-down menu, select “Your Account”
  3. Scroll down to “Settings” and select “Amazon Tax Exemption Program”
  4. Accept the Terms & Conditions, if authorized to do so
  5. Select “Upload” and complete the remaining steps to complete enrollment

Are surcharges allowed in this state?
California has a law, California Civil Code section 1748.1, that prohibits retailers from adding a surcharge when a consumer chooses to use a credit card instead of paying by cash. In March 2015, a federal court found the statute unconstitutional and prohibited the Attorney General from enforcing it. The Office of the Attorney General believes that this decision is incorrect and has appealed that order. However, as of now, the Attorney General cannot enforce the statute.  Therefore, vendors can charge surcharges in California.  

*Updated 08/07/2019