News Release

Contact: Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release
December 30, 2016
NR 96-16-G

California's Sales Tax Rate to Decrease in January 2017

Sacramento – On January 1, 2017, the statewide sales and use tax rate will decrease one quarter of one percent (0.25%) from 7.50 percent to 7.25 percent. The decrease in the statewide rate is effective for all cities and counties in California; however, in many jurisdictions in California the actual sales and use tax rate may still be higher than the statewide rate due to the addition of district taxes.

Why is the sales and use tax rate decreasing? Proposition 30, The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 that was approved by California voters in November 2012 to temporarily increase the sales and use tax by 0.25 percent expires December 31, 2016.

To find the correct rate in your city or county, visit our Find a Sales and Use Tax Rate webpage and enter the address as prompted. Additionally, a listing of sales and use tax rates for each city and county is available on the California City & County Sales & Use Tax Rates webpage. Please note, however, the 0.25 percent statewide tax rate decrease will not be reflected on these webpages until January 1, 2017.

A retailer who continues to charge and collect the higher statewide sales and use tax rate after January 1, 2017, must either refund the excess tax collected to their customer or pay the excess tax to the Board of Equalization (BOE). If the excess tax collected has been paid to the BOE, the retailer may request a refund on behalf of their customer by completing form BOE-101, Claim for Refund or Credit

For merchandise delivered after January 1, 2017, the applicable sales and use tax rate is the rate that is in effect at the time the sale occurs. Generally, the sale occurs when the merchandise is delivered to the customer, unless the sales contract specifically states that title to the merchandise passes to the customer prior to delivery. With returned merchandise, the customer should be refunded the amount of tax at the rate that was charged and collected from the customer at the time of the original sale.

For information on how this affects fixed-price contracts, partial tax exemptions, fuel sales, and filing split returns, visit the BOE website, or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board that serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes.

Note: This news release may discuss complex tax laws and concepts. It may not address every situation, and is not considered written advice under Revenue and Taxation Code section 6596. Changes in law or regulations may have occurred since the time this news release was written. If there is a conflict between the text of this news release and the law, decisions will be based upon the law and not this news release. For specific help, please contact the BOE at 1-800-400-7115.