Tax Guide for Native Americans

We recognize that understanding tax issues related to sales and purchases of tangible personal property (items) involving Native Americans and non-Native Americans residing within and outside a reservation are unique and can be complicated. This guide is intended to help Native American and non-Native American purchasers, as well as businesses making sales on a reservation, get a better understanding of how tax applies. Please note that we use the term “Native American” in this tax guide to mean “American Indian” and “Indian,” as these terms are used in state and federal law.

How to Use This Guide

Each section of this guide provides information relevant to your business.

The Getting Started section provides key resources related to registration, filing returns, payments, account maintenance, recordkeeping practices, and other important information you may need.

The Key Definitions, Purchasers, Retailers, and Other Taxes and Fees sections cover many topics, each in an at-a-glance format that can be expanded to provide more extensive information.

Lastly, the Resources section provides links to a wealth of information, including forms, publications, current updates, and other helpful resources

The general information provided in this Tax Guide does not supersede any law or regulation. This guide summarizes the law and applicable regulations in effect when it was published. However, changes in the law or regulations may have occurred. If there is a conflict between this guide and current law, the current law governs.

Get it in Writing

Tax and fee laws can be complex and difficult to understand. If you have specific questions regarding how tax applies to transactions related to Native Americans or in Indian country, we recommend that you get answers in writing from us. This will enable us to give you the best advice and may protect you from owing tax, interest, or penalties should we give you erroneous advice. Such protection is not provided for advice given to you verbally, in person, through online chat, or on the telephone.

Requests for written advice can be emailed to us or mailed directly to one of our offices nearest you.

For more details, please see CDTFA-8,Get it in Writing.

Free Educational Consultations

Now that you have your new business up and running, you may be faced with the challenge of interpreting and complying with the complex and changing sales and use tax laws.

As part of our commitment to helping you understand your sales and use tax obligations, we have established the Taxpayer Educational Consultation Program. This free program provides eligible businesses with education and personal assistance. It can help you prepare for your sales and use tax reporting requirements as well as answer any questions you may have.

If You Need Help

If you need assistance with the topics included in this guide, feel free to contact us by email at

Contact information and hours of operation are available in the Resources section.

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