Reporting California Sales Tax: Process Overview
This is for businesses based in California or have Nexus in California.
This process mainly consists of Getting the Sales Tax reports from your site(s) using our plugin, formatting it for the state worksheet,
putting it in the CDTFA worksheet, and submitting the worksheet to the state in your sales tax return via the CDTFA Website.
Sales Tax is reported for California on the CDTFA website at https://onlineservices.cdtfa.ca.gov/ .
1. Get the State Sales Tax Report(s) from All WooCommerce Websites
- Use our free plugin to get this report from each WooCommerce website; download each as CSV
- Recommended: Save them all in one folder labeled for the year and quarter so that they’re easy to find
2. Combine Reports
- Add The Sales Tax Report CSVs to our Combine & Format Tool
- You can select or drag & drop multiple reports at once
- Look at the summary of the Combined table to see that the totals look about right
3. Get the Current State Worksheet .XLSX & Copy Columns to New CSV
- Login and/or File a Return on the CDTFA Website: https://onlineservices.cdtfa.ca.gov/
- These can change Quarterly
- Download & Open the Worksheet with any Spreadsheet software (For California, it’s a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet only as of now)
- Copy Columns to a New spreadsheet and save as a CSV file as State Template Format CSV, and label the date in the title
(add the Date in the Title so not to confuse with other downloads from past quarters)
4. Add State Format Template CSV To Combined Reports & Download
- Add the Template Format CSV from the last step into the Combine & Format Tool
– drag and drop it onto the page or click to browse to select the file
- This will generate the report in the order that matches the state’s reporting worksheet
- Download the state-formatted table at the bottom of the page by clicking the download button under it.
6. Complete Worksheet, Save It
- Fill in any other required info
- The combine tool will have a sum of the taxable amount that can be clicked to copy to clipboard, then pasted into the worksheet to complete the other cells as needed
- Any small left over amounts can be reported as state-only rate in box K2. There may often be 1 dollar or less difference because the state rounds to the nearest dollar and there may be small differences because of rounding
7. Submit to State / CDTFA & Pay
- on CDTFA Website:
- Continue or File New Return
- Upload into District Tax Reporting page
- Complete the State Sales Tax Return
- Pay the amount due for sales tax
California Sales Tax for WooCommerce Websites: Process Background
California requires state sales tax to be reported and paid for all California-bound products sold. Your WooCommerce site is most likely using JetPack and WooCommerce Tax Services to look up and apply California district taxes to your customers orders at checkout.
If you ship to only one or two towns, you may be able to use our plugin to get the report(s) for the sales tax collected and then probably just enter the couple numbers directly in their website one a a time as the quickest option.
If you ship to more locations in California, or maybe also have multiple websites that all do, then that’s way too many numbers to enter manually. Using our tools this process will be much faster, maybe around 10-20 minutes total, which is a lot faster than doing it manually, and a lot cheaper than using paid plugins or services (free!)