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twistedether
Level 3

Do I have to pay sales tax if I sell protein bars online with shipping to customers in California?

I am getting conflicting information on this.  On one hand, grocery items are exempt from taxes in California.  On the other hand, "supplement" value food items are charged.  I operate my business from inside california.  Most of my customers are in California who buy my product online.  Should I have been charging sales tax to them?

2 Replies
Critter
Level 15

Do I have to pay sales tax if I sell protein bars online with shipping to customers in California?

This forum is to address income tax issues ... for state sales tax issues contact the state agency for information. 

 

 

Carl
Level 15

Do I have to pay sales tax if I sell protein bars online with shipping to customers in California?

You're talking about sales tax, which has absolutely nothing what-so-ever to do with income tax. You need to seek help from a business tax professional in CA or the local CA tax board.

For the most part, when it comes to taxing food, it generally works like this.

 - Unprepared food that is not "ready to eat" upon purchase does not have a sales tax imposed on it. For example, if you go to the grocery store and purchase a can of string beans, that's unprepared food. So no sales tax is imposed.

But if at that same grocery store I purchase a milky way candy bar, that is considered prepared food becuase I can eat it "right now" at this very instant in time. So a sales tax is imposed on that item.

When I buy hamburger patties and buns at the grocery store, those are "unprepared" and not ready to eat. So no sales tax is imposed. However, when I go to Burger King and order a hamburger, it's "ready to eat" right away when it's presented to me. Therefore I will pay a sales tax on that purchase.

 

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