Tax Guide for Grocery Stores

Updated Information: Effective January 1, 2020, the sales and use of specified diapers and menstrual hygiene products are exempt from tax. For more information, see the new topic, Diapers and Menstrual Hygiene Products, under the Industry Topic tab. Please Note: This exemption was made permanent by legislation effective July 16, 2021.

Helping your business succeed is important to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). Taxes you collect and pay to the state help fund state and local services and programs important to you and your community. We recognize that understanding tax issues related to your industry can be time-consuming and complicated, and want to help you get the information you need so you can focus on starting and growing your business

To help you better understand the tax obligations specific to grocery stores, we have created this guide detailing the tax issues and information important to your business.

How to Use This Guide

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Each section of this guide contains information relevant to your business. The Getting Started section provides key resources related to registration, filing returns, account maintenance, other required licenses, and other important information you need.

The Industry Topics section covers common industry topics in an at-a-glance format that can be expanded to provide more extensive information if you need it.

The Reporting Methods section covers the more prevalent reporting methods used in today's business environments.

Lastly, the Resources section provides links to a wealth of information, including forms and publications, statutory and regulatory information, web-based seminars, and access to live help from our customer service representatives.

Please note that the information included is general in nature and is not intended to replace any law or regulation.

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If You Need Help

If at any time you need assistance with topics included in this guide – or with others we may have not included – feel free to contact us by telephone or email. Contact information and hours of operation are available in the Resources section.

If you have suggestions for improving this guide, please contact us by email.