Taxation in California

Updated on Thursday 28th June 2018

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California has the 5th biggest economy in the world and it is a prolific business center for numerous investors, local or foreign, who generate significant revenues in this states’ generous and appealing industries. When opening a company in California, entrepreneurs need to understand the taxation system and to respect the requirements of this important sector. Our company formation agents in USA can assist foreign investors when opening companies in any American state. They can also provide information about the tax regime for each type of company.

What is the sales tax in California?

The standard sales tax in California is set at 7.25% rate and it is imposed for companies with products and services available for sale purposes on the market. This is the highest sales tax in USA, and it is good to know that cities in California can collect their own sales tax.

The personal income tax in California

The progressive income tax applicable in California ranges from 1% to 12.3%, as stated in the below table for each type of incomes and taxpayers:
Taxable Income - Single Payers Tax Rate Taxable Income - Married Persons Tax Rate
Up to $8,015       1% Up to $16,030   1%
Between $8,015 and $19,001       2% Between $16,030 and $38,002   2%
Between $19,001 and $29,989       4% Between $38,002 and $59,978   4%
Between $29,989 and $41,629       6% Between $59,978 and $83,258   6%
Between $41,629 and $52,612       8% Between $83,258 and $105,224   8%
Between $52,612 and $268,750       9% Between $105,224 and $537,500   9%
Between $268,750 and $322,499   10.3% Between $537,500 and $644,998  10.3%
Between $322,499 and $537,498   11.3% Between $644,998 and $1,074,996  11.3%
$537,498 and more  12.3% $1,074,996 and more  12.3%
The above-mentioned tax rates are relevant only after all the deductions and exemptions were applied on the registered incomes. It is good to know that for personal incomes over $1 million, a surcharge of 1% is applied. Please feel free to address your inquiries regarding the taxation on incomes in California to our team of advisors. Also, if you want to start a business in USA, we are at your disposal with information and assistance.

Is there an estate tax in California?

No, California does not impose an estate tax. Most of the American states are not subject to such tax, but it is best to bear in mind other taxes imposed.

The franchise tax in California

Companies with establishments in California need to align with the tax requirements in this sense, for example, they need to consider the federal franchise tax. This has a 1.5% rate imposed on the company’s net income. For limited liability companies in California, a flat rate needs to be paid, as seen in the table:
Taxable Income Flat Rate
Between $250,000 and $499,999 $900 
Between $500,000 and $999,999 $2,500
Between $1,000,000 and $4,999,999 $6,000
$5,000,000 or more $11,790

Short details about taxes in California

California is known as a state which imposes the highest taxes in America. Here are some quick facts about the taxes imposed in this state:
Tax Rates
Income Tax 1%-13.3%
Sales Tax 7.25%-10.25%
Property Tax 0.75%-2%

The corporate tax in California

LLCs in California are levied with a 9% corporate tax rate which is applied to the net taxable income of the companies. C-Corporations in California need to pay a corporate tax of 8.84% or 6.65% if they state the net taxable income. Besides this tax, the shareholders of the company need to consider the taxes imposed on personal incomes.

Alternative minimum tax in California

AMT or the alternative minimum tax is imposed for corporations, trusts, and individuals with residency in California. The AMT in California is set at 7% rate for the incomes registered in this American state as a company with businesses and activities in California.

We invite you to contact our team of company formation specialists in USA for in-depth information about the taxation in California and about how you can open a company in this state.