Three Extra Days to File Your Income Tax: Time to Use the Handy Lookup Table


By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – You have until April 18th to file your taxes, which means there is plenty of time to see if you owe any use tax. The Board of Equalization (BOE) reminds taxpayers that they can use their personal income tax returns to report use tax they may owe on items they purchased online from out-of-state and mail order retailers, or purchased from an out-of-state retailer and brought back into California.

It’s easy to figure out how much you owe on non-business purchases of items that cost less than $1,000 each. You or your tax preparer can use the convenient, easy-to-read reference guide called the Use Tax Lookup Table included in the instructions that accompany tax Forms 540 and 540 2EZ. Use your adjusted gross income to determine how much you owe, and then enter that amount on your state income tax return.

What is “use tax”?Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 2.13.24 PM

In its simplest form, use tax is due on any item bought from an out-of-state retailer for “use” in California that would be subject to sales tax if purchased in the state. Generally, the use tax rate is equal to your local sales tax rate.

Use tax generates revenue for the state and local communities to help fund important services all Californians enjoy, such as public safety, education, and transportation.

Use tax is not an “Internet tax.” It has been state law since 1935 to protect in-state retailers from the competitive price advantage held by out-of-state retailers who do not collect California tax.

An estimated $16 million in use tax last fiscal year was reported on state income tax returns, a step toward closing California’s $1.1 billion use tax gap.

Visit us online for more information on the Use Tax Lookup Table and to watch our helpful video.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects $60.5 billion annually in taxes and fees, supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes.  For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit

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.

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