Start For Free

Fast, Secure, and Always Accurate!

Back to List

Category: California

California Use Tax Worksheet

Taken from California instructions for Form 540

You must use the Use Tax Worksheet below to calculate your use tax liability if any of the following apply:

  • You prefer to calculate the amount of use tax due based upon your actual purchases subject to use tax.
  • You owe use tax on non-business purchases of individual items of property with a sales price of $1,000.00 or more.
  • You owe use tax on any item purchased for use in a trade or business not registered with the Board of Equalization.

If you have a combination of individual items purchased for $1,000.00 or more and individual, non business items purchased for less than $1,000.00 you may either:

  • Use the Use Tax Worksheet to compute use tax due on all purchases, or
  • Use the Use Tax Worksheet to compute use tax due on all individual items purchased for $1,000.00 or more, and use the Estimated Use Tax Table to estimate the use tax due on individual, non business items purchased for less than $1,000.00.

Use Tax Worksheet (enter whole dollars only) See Line # instructions below


Enter purchases from out-of-state sellers made without payment of California sales/use tax.



Enter the applicable sales and use tax rate.


________________ %


Multiply line 1 by the tax rate on line 2.

Enter the result here.



Enter any sales or use tax you paid to another state for purchased included on line1.



Subtract line 4 from line 3. This is the total use tax due. Enter the amount where indicated in the program. If the amount is less than zero,

enter $0.00


Instructions by line#:

Line 1:

  • Report purchases of items that would have been taxable if purchased in a California store. For example, you would include purchases of clothing, but not purchases of prescription medicine.
  • Include handling charges.
  • Do not include any other state's sales or use tax paid on the purchase.
  • Enter only purchases made during the year that corresponds with the tax return you are filing.
  • If you traveled to a foreign country and carried items back to California, generally the use tax is due on the purchase of the goods you listed on your US Customs Declaration less the $800 per-person exemption. This $800 exemption does not apply to goods sent or shipped to California by mail or other common carrier
  • If your filing status is "Married/RDF filing separately," you may elect to report one-half of the use tax due or the entire amount on your income tax return. If you elect to report one-half, your spouse/RDP may report the remaining half on his or her income tax return or on the individual use tax return available form the State Board of Equalization.

NOTE: Report and pay any use tax you owe on the following purchases directly to the State Board of Equalization, NOT on your income tax return:

  • Vehicles, vessels, and trailers that must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Mobile homes or commercial coaches that must be registered annually as require by the Health and Safety Code.
  • Vessels documented with the US Coast Guard
  • Aircraft
  • Leases of machinery, equipment, vehicles, and other tangible personal property.
  • Cigarettes and tobacco products when the purchaser is registered with the State Board of Equalization as a cigarette and/or tobacco products consumer.

Line 2:

  • Enter the sales and use tax rate applicable to the place in California where the property is used, stored, or otherwise consumed. If you do not know the applicable city or county sales and use tax rate, using your computer or mobile device please go to the State Board of Equalization's website and click on City and County Tax Rates.

Line 6:

  • This is a credit for tax paid to other states on purchases reported on Line 1. You can claim a credit up to the amount of tax that would have been due if the purchase had been made in California. For example, if you paid $8.00 sales tax to another state for a purchase, and would have paid $6.00 in California, you can claim a credit of only $6.00 for that purchase.

If you would like to use the Estimated Use Tax Table instead, please click here.