California – New Tax Guide for Cell Phone and Wireless Device Dealers

SALT Report 2608 – The California State Board of Equalization released a new tax guide for cell phone and wireless telecommunications device dealers who may be unaware of the registration, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements under California’s state and local sales and use tax laws. The guide will help dealers in the cell phone and wireless device industry better understand the tax obligations specific to them.

The guide is divided into the following sections:

Industry Topics

This section discusses the application of sales tax to different types of transactions such as: sales with/without a service plan, unbundled/bundled transactions, optional warranties, refurbished mobile phones, trade-ins, obsolete mobile phones, activation fees, service and data plans, pay as you go plans, and charge backs for early termination.

Getting Started

This section discusses the registration and filing requirements for businesses that sell products or merchandise in the State. It also provides the resources necessary to register your business, file returns, open and maintain a business account, as well as important deadlines and electronic payment options.


This section provides links to web-based seminars, forms and publications, and statutory and regulatory information specific to the cell phone and wireless communication industry.

The BOE warns that the guide is general in nature; therefore, if you need immediate assistance, the BOE offers live, online access to their customer service representatives.

For Further Information

California State Board of Equalization – Industry Guide