Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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385.0000 NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS—Regulation 1590

Annotation 385.0215


385.0215 Distribution of Free Publications. A taxpayer distributes publications free of charge by placing them in racks inside or outside stores. Some copies are sold by subscription.

If the publication qualifies as a newspaper, tax would not apply either to the charge for printing or to the free distribution of the publication. However, the sales of the publication by the taxpayer would be subject to tax.

If the publication meets the definition of a periodical, the charge by the printer and the free distribution are not taxable. Sales by the taxpayer are subject to tax unless the publication is sold by subscription and delivered by mail or common carrier. In any case, copies which are required to be shipped out of California are not subject to tax. 8/30/94.