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What is the difference between sales tax and use tax? California

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  • What is the difference between sales tax and use tax? California

    In California, transfers of tangible personal property for a consideration (sales and purchases) are subject to sales tax or use tax unless the law provides an exemption. Although the rates are the same, sales tax is imposed on the retailer for the privilege of selling tangible, personal property in this state. Use tax is usually the responsibility of the purchaser. Vehicles, vessels, and aircraft purchased from licensed dealers are usually subject to sales tax, which is collected at the time of purchase. Use tax applies to the cost of vehicles, vessels, and aircraft purchased from non-dealers or from outside California for use in this state. Private party sales or brokered transactions are normally subject to use tax. If first use of the property occurs in California, use tax may apply even if the purchaser is not a resident of the state.
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