Laws, Regulations and Annotations


Business Taxes Law Guide—Revision 2024

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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325.0000 Interstate and Foreign Commerce—Regulation 1620

Annotation 325.0010

(a) In General—Shipments Into California from Points Outside State

325.0010 Deliveries from Storage. A taxpayer manufactures, prints, and purchases for resale business forms and supplies. The taxpayer stores the merchandise in its warehouses and ships the merchandise, as needed, by common carrier to customers in California and in other states. Some customers periodically order merchandise to be stored in the warehouse until needed. A customer may agree to a specific time limit for the storage of merchandise. The taxpayer may not know where specific merchandise so stored will be shipped until instructions are received from the customer. Some customers are billed for the merchandise when it is received for storage at the taxpayer's warehouse. Others are billed when the merchandise is actually shipped to the customer. The contract provides that title passes upon full payment.

When merchandise is shipped from an out-of-state warehouse to a California customer, California use tax would apply. If the customer incurs tax or tax reimbursement liability in the other state, the customer is allowed a credit for the tax or tax reimbursement liability actually incurred. However, if tax was paid to the other state in error, no credit would be allowed.

If shipment is made from a California warehouse to a customer's location outside the state and the contract specifically requires delivery to the out-of-state location, the tax will not apply even though title may have passed in California. This result is valid only if the purchaser is not authorized under the contract to direct that the property be diverted to a California destination.

If a shipment is made from a California warehouse to a California customer located in a different tax district, the applicable district tax is that of the destination district if the taxpayer is required by the contract to ship the merchandise to the customer in the other tax district.

If it is unknown at the time of the contracting whether merchandise will be shipped instate or out of state, the application of tax will depend on the time of title passage. Under the contracts provided, title passes upon full payment. Accordingly, if the customer is billed when merchandise is delivered to the taxpayer's warehouse, tax will apply at that time. If the customer is billed at the time that the taxpayer makes shipment, tax will apply at that time if the merchandise is shipped to a California location. Also, when billing takes place at the time of shipment, no tax applies if the merchandise is shipped out of the state pursuant to the contract of the sale. 8/26/94.