Use Tax Requirements
The new law, which is included in Section 6225 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, requires businesses that meet the definition of a "qualified purchaser" to register with the Board of Equalization (BOE) and to file returns by April 15 (April 18 in 2011) of each year, reporting all purchases subject to use tax from the previous calendar year.
Use tax, which has been the law since 1935, is owed when individuals or businesses in California use, consume, give away, or store tangible personal property (things you can see, weigh, feel, or touch) that they purchase from out-of-state sellers including purchases from retailers, through the mail, over the telephone, or online.
BOE offers information on its website at boe.ca.gov to help educate taxpayers on their tax obligations so that they may voluntarily comply and possibly avoid unnecessary filing delays and penalties. In addition, to simplify the registration process, we automatically registered new applicants to e-file their returns for 2008, 2009 and 2010. And finally, if the taxpayer is not a retailer or service business currently required to register with the BOE, the easiest way to report and pay use tax is on the California state income tax return. You may also register with the BOE as a consumer to pay use tax.
For more information about use tax, see FTB 988, California Use Tax & Your Filing Requirements. Go to ftb.ca.gov and search for 988 for a copy.