California – Exemption for Indian Tribal Governments

SALT Report 1771 – The California State Legislature recently amended Regulation 1616 Federal Areas to allow a limited exemption for sales to, and purchases by, Indian tribal governments.  Prior to the amendment one of the conditions for the exemption was that the property had to be delivered into Indian Country and onto the reservation.

However, tribes that do not have a reservation or adequate business facilities on their land may now qualify for an exemption from sales or use tax on their purchases of tangible personal property if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The tribe is federally recognized,
  • The property is purchased by the tribal government for use in tribal self-governance,
  • The property is delivered to the tribal government and ownership of the property transfers to the tribal government at the place where the tribal government meets to conduct business, and
  • The property is not used for purposes other than tribal self-governance more than it is used for tribal self-governance during the first 12 months following delivery

The BOE added a list of qualifying tribes and their locations to the American Indian Tribal Issues page on their website. The list can be used by vendors to verify if the tribe and delivery location qualify for the exemption.

For Further Information:

California State Board of Equalization – American Indian Tribal Issues