How to File a Sales Tax Return in California

how to file a california tax return

The California Board of Equalization doesn’t make it easy for online sellers to file sales tax. That’s why we created TaxJar. TaxJar’s state reports simplify the process. We wrote this post as a step-by-step guide for using TaxJar’s California local report to fill in the info you need to file your California sales tax return. Save hours on this tricky process!

Note: You may want to double click to enlarge these screenshots so you can get a good look!

1.) Login to TaxJar. If you don’t have a TaxJar account, don’t worry. You can sign up for TaxJar today and we’ll import your transactions from the platforms and shopping carts you sell on (including Amazon, eBay, Paypal, Square, Shopify, and many more). No more compiling clunky sales tax reports from multiple shopping carts and trying to compile them by hand before filling out California’s complicated return.

2.) Click “California” on your TaxJar dashboard. This will take you to your California report, which will give you the information you need to fill out Schedule A and Schedule B of your California sales tax return.

California state report in TaxJar

3.) View your California Schedule B report on TaxJar.  (While schedule B is second in alphabetical order, we think it’s easier to fill this schedule out first. You’ll soon see why.) To see your schedule B report in TaxJar, click the blue “Schedule B (County Tax Breakdown)” tab on your California State Report.

Your California Schedule B report in TaxJar

4.) Fill out Schedule B. The highlighted column (above) is what needs to be input in Schedule B. California requires that you round up or down to the nearest dollar amount. So if you collected less than fifty cents in a county, either skip that county or enter 0 in the box next to the county on Schedule B. If you collected between .51 and $1.00, enter 1. If

you collected $4.95, enter 5.

When you’re finished, all of the taxes input should amount to 1% of your “sales subject to state and local tax”. The California sales tax filer featured in the Schedule B screenshot below made $3,300 in sales subject to California state and local tax. So it’s correct that the total on Schedule B is $33 (i.e. 1% of $3,300.)

California Schedule B at the California BOO Website

5.)View your California Schedule A report on TaxJar .  Schedule A is also known as your “district taxes” form. Click “Schedule A (District Tax Breakdown)” on your California state report in TaxJar.

Your California Schedule A Report in TaxJar

6.) Fill out Schedule A.  Use the amounts from the highlighted column (above) to fill out your California Schedule A form. This time you enter the amount of sales you made, not the amount of sales tax you collected. Just like you did with Schedule B, round up or down to the nearest dollar amount.

California Schedule A at the California BOO Website

7.) Watch for exceptions.  Some districts, like Alameda (see example above) might be listed twice. In this case, this is because the tax rate in Alameda changed during the year. One field is for the Alameda tax rate before the rate change and the other is for after the rate change. You can see which is which by matching the corresponding district numbers (in the case of Alameda, these numbers are 378 and 087) on your TaxJar report and your Schedule A.

And that’s it! You’ve used your California state report in TaxJar to save hours filling out your California sales tax return!

Jennifer Dunn is TaxJar's Chief of Content. Her passion is making tough sales tax topics simple so you can get back to doing what you do best - running your business! Connect with Jenn on Twitter @TaxJarJenn.

Source: blog.taxjar.com

Category: Taxes

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