California – Board of Equalization Defines Taxability of Grocery Store Products

SALT Report 3407 – The California Board of Equalization has released a comprehensive guide designed for owners, managers, and other operators of grocery stores and provides basic information on the application of the California Sales and Use Tax Law to grocery store sales and purchases. The publication provides a list of examples of taxable and nontaxable items, the nontaxable list is shown below:

Nontaxable sales

Sales tax generally does not apply to the sales of:

•Baby formulas;

•Cooking wine;

•Edge Bars, Energy Bars, and Power Bars;

•Food products, including baby food, artificial sweeteners, candy and gum, ice cream and ice cream novelties, popsicles, fruit and vegetable juices, olives and jarred onions and maraschino cherries, and beverage and cocktail mixes that are neither alcoholic nor carbonated;

•Granola bars;

•Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider;

•Noncarbonated sports drinks such as Gatorade;


•Phone cards; and

•Drinking water (noncarbonated, noneffervescent)

For Further Information:

BOE Grocery Stores