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Many people are shopping online during the holidays because it’s convenient and it’s easy, but be sure to check those receipts: sometimes, online shoppers are not charged sales tax on their purchases. When that happens, it’s likely those shoppers owe use tax.

Many of your friends, neighbors, and local businesses already pay use tax, which helps support public safety, education, transportation, and other vital services in your community. The State Board of Equalization (BOE) has made it convenient and easy to pay your use tax on the state income tax return you file with the Franchise Tax Board.

Use the handy look-up table, which shows what you owe based on your adjusted gross income. Or, you can save your receipts and calculate what you owe. Simply find the tax rate for the area in which you live, multiply the purchase price of your taxable items by that rate, and include the tax owed on your income tax return. You may also pay use tax on a one-time purchase directly to the BOE either online or by using our ePay mobile application.

Use tax is owed on any taxable items – such as clothing, electronics, and toys – that are purchased from out-of-state retailers, but used in California. The easiest way to know whether you owe use tax is to review your receipts and see if you were charged tax.

The BOE estimates that more than $1 billion in use tax goes unpaid each year, enough to pay the salaries of more than 9,267 police officers, 8,048 firefighters, or 12,951 teachers.

So please do your part this holiday season. Pay your use tax and help fund essential services in your community.

Watch the BOE’s online gift buying video [here] to learn more about use tax.

Comment On This Story
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1 Comment

  1. mellie says:

    “Use tax”?? What the pox! These government types never stop with looking for ways to gouge the people! What next? Will we be forced to put up charts next to our toilets and check off how many flushes there are per day? Sickening!

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 24% contained. This latest update was issued at 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
The California Department of Foresty and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,611 acres and is now 24% contained.
Monday, Jun 17, 2024
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Monday, Jun 17, 2024
Update: As of 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Post Fire has spread to 15,611 acres, with 20% containment, according to CAL FIRE.
Friday, Jun 14, 2024
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Santa Clarita Valley Station is calling all motivated youth aged 14-20 to become a member of the LASD Sheriff Explorer Program.

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