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Facts about California State Taxes


California State taxes range from 1 percent to 9.3 percent. The Golden State also assesses a 1 percent surcharge on taxable incomes of $1 million or more.

1) Personal income tax

California’s income tax rates are assessed over six brackets:
- 1% on the first $6,622 of taxable income
- 2% on taxable income between $6,623 and $15,698
- 4% on taxable income between $15,699 and $24,776
- 6% on taxable income between $24,777 and $34,394
- 8% on taxable income between $34,395 and $43,467
- 9.3% on taxable income of $43,468 and above.

A 1 percent surcharge is collected on taxable incomes of $1 million or more, making California's highest marginal rate 10.3 percent.

For heads of households and married people filing joint returns, the rates remain the same but the income brackets are doubled. Residents must complete returns on Form 540EZ, Form 540A (short form), Form 540 (long form) or Form 540-ADS by April 15.

2) Sales Tax
California's minimum combined state, county and local sales and use tax has increased to 7.25 percent (6.25 state-only portion) on Jan. 1, 2002. The rate will be higher in cities and counties with special taxing districts. Many business owners in this state believe that gift wrapping is a nontaxable service. However, unless it is food products that were sold in a nontaxable transaction, sales tax generally applies to gift-wrapping charges.

3) Personal and Real Property Taxes
California State taxes all real properties and they shall be assessed at fair market value. Residents are advised to contact the local County Tax Assessor’s office to inquire about homestead exemptions. The property tax postponement program allows eligible homeowners (senior citizens and blind or disabled residents) to postpone payment of property taxes on their principal places of residence. To secure the postponed amount, a lien is recorded against the property. Interest is charged on the postponed taxes. The state offers a homeowner and renter an assistance program under which a once-a-year payment is allowed to qualified individuals based on part of the property taxes assessed and paid on their homes or paid indirectly as part of their rent.

4) California inheritance tax
California has no inheritance tax and its estate tax is being phased out in connection with federal estate tax law changes which are related to federal estate tax collection. Executors of estates of persons who died on or after Jan. 1, 2005 are no longer required to file a California estate tax return.

Other Facts about California State Taxes

There are many programs wherein payers of California State taxes could get options to make voluntary fund contributions. These options can be found in the states’ instruction book. From there, California taxpayers could also check the status of their refunds. No intangible personal property taxes are levied in California. For more information about California State taxes, you can visit the California Franchise Tax Board website.

Christine Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of Online Taxes. Her website Taxes Exposed provides a wealth of information on everything you will need to know about State Taxes. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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