Organized Camps (Publication 127)

As discussed here, "organized camps" refers to traditional camps that offer outdoor group living experiences such as camps operated by the YMCA and the Boy Scouts of America. This term is explained in more detail in the "Organized Camp" section on the "Student Meals" tab.

Organized camps are sellers of meals and other tangible personal property sold to campers, staff, and guests. This is true even though camps typically charge a single amount for tuition, meals, and housing. As sellers, camps are required to hold seller's permits and report tax to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).

Applications for seller’s permits and information about filing returns are available on our website. There is no fee for a seller’s permit; however, CDTFA may require a security deposit to cover any unpaid taxes your organization might owe if it stops operating. If you maintain a good record of filing and paying your taxes on time for three years, the deposit may be refunded.

In general, tax applies to sales of tangible personal property and meals served at camps. However, Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1506, subdivision (h) "Organized Camps" provides an exemption for sales of student meals when the camp is considered a school or educational institution. See the "Student Meals" tab for more information.

For More Information

Additional information and all CDTFA forms, publications and regulations are available from our website or by calling our Customer Service Center at 1‑800‑400‑7115  (TTY:711).

If you need help filing your sales and use tax return electronically, please visit our website at and select the File a Return located on our home page. Also, for assistance, call our Customer Service Center at 1‑800‑400‑7115  (TTY:711).

Please note: This publication summarizes the law and applicable regulations in effect when the publication was written, as noted on the cover. However, changes in the law or in regulations may have occurred since that time. If there is a conflict between the text in this publication and the law, decisions will be based on the law and not on this publication.

Revision July 2018