California statewide sales tax rate is fixed for all counties but each country can have its own sales tax on top of what’s taken by the state. The district tax rates are between 0.1 percent and 1 percent. While it’s not as much, some areas might have more than one district tax in effect so the sales taxes are added on top of each other.
In this article, we will show you the sales tax rates in all of California.
List of sales tax rates in California
As mentioned, the sales tax rate in California can be quite different depending on where you’re purchasing items. The sales tax can be as high as 10.5 percent as of 2021 with the recent changes to the tax law. The state of California updated the sales tax rates on October 1, 2021. The updated rates meant an increase in the sales tax rates. The highest sales tax rate was under 10 percent before the change but now, multiple areas have a sales tax higher than 10 percent.
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration did a good job displaying the sales tax rate in all locations. You can head over to the CDTFA’s sales tax list to see the rates in every part of California. Take note that the sales tax rates on the CDTFA is updated every time there is a change in the tax rates.
Highest and lowest rates
The highest sales tax rate in California is in only one location – in Santa Fe Springs at 10.5 percent. The areas like Azusa, Compton, Duarte, Gardena, Hawthorne also have a high sales tax rate at 10.25 percent. On the other hand, the lowest tax rate is 7.25 percent where it’s effective in about one-third of the locations in California. In these locations, the districts themselves don’t add a sales tax of their own. This means you will only pay the state in sales taxes, not the district you’re in.
A history of California’s sales tax rates shows that it has always been higher than most other states. Especially in comparison to Southern states.
Sales and use tax exemption
The sales tax can be waived for certain purchases. If you’re buying goods and services to sell, the sales tax won’t apply to you as your purchases aren’t subject to them. However, you must fill out California Resale Certificate to state you’re exempt from sales and use tax. This is also known as a seller’s permit but different than the resale certificate. You should obtain either one to waive the sales tax on your purchases. For example, if you’re a retailer and purchasing items to be resold, make sure to get the seller’s permit to not pay sales tax on your purchases.