Tax Refund Tourist USA information

How to get Tax Refund in USA as Tourist, Resident for Shopping ? FAQs

America is one of the best places to buy clothes, electronics, etc. You get the best value for the money spent. If you are a tourist from Asia or Europe, you will find the prices much cheaper when you buy things in the US at outlet malls.

Many are not aware that you may be able to get tax refunds as a tourist if you buy in some states like Texas in the US. In this article, we will cover all the details on how to get tax refunds, the requirements and conditions, and address some commonly asked FAQs.

Do you get a Tax Refund for Shopping in the US at Malls or Online Stores?

It depends on the US state you do shopping in. If you shop in certain states like Texas, you will likely get a tax refund for your purchases in the US as a tourist. The US Government or US Tourism websites do not have a published list that says that you get a Sales Tax Refund when you buy things in a certain US state.

It is unclear if you would get a tax refund if you buy stuff online. You need to check with the online retailer on this, as this depends on where you ship your goods and how the seller will charge you state tax. Also, even if you get a refund, there are way too many conditions to get a decent refund back. We will look at these details in later sections of the article.

Tax Refund:  State Sales Tax vs. Federal Sales Tax?

In America, there is no Federal Sales Tax (national-level sales tax). When you buy goods in the US, the respective State or Local Government charges you State Sales Tax . The US Federal Govt., usually imposes customs duty or tariffs on the federal level and is not charged directly to the end consumer.

The sales tax you pay for shopping in the US goes to the respective state govt. or local govt and does not go to the federal government.  So, you usually get the State Sales Tax or Local Govt. Sales tax as a refund if you are exporting the goods outside of the US.

Below is a reference image from Taxfoundation.org that shows approximate State tax by the state for your reference.

Sales Taxes in the US by State for Year 2023

As you would usually get the State Tax as a refund, it is important for you to review the respective tax you paid for you to get an estimate. You can see that in the purchase receipt. There will be a section that clearly tells as Sales Tax. That is nothing but the State Sales Tax.

Below is one of the purchases in Houston, Texas, done by me for your reference. You can see the Sales Tax highlighted to get an idea.

Sales Tax Receipt for Refund in US as Tourist Sample

The US Government does not refund Sales Tax to Visitors

US Customs and Border Protection has clarified on the CBP website that says the below:

“The United States Government does not refund sales tax to foreign visitors. Sales tax charged in the United States is paid to individual states, not the Federal government …” . – US Customs and Border Protection(CBP) Website

It means that the US Federal Government on a country level does not refund any sales tax and you need to check with the respective US State, where you made the purchase from.

Check the below screenshot from the US CBP Website that clarifies the tax refund status from the US Govt. side.

US Sales Tax Refund Clarification by CBP Website - 2023

Hence, it is important to be clear that the Sales Tax refund completely depends on the US State, where you purchased your goods as a visitor and has nothing to do with the US Govt. or Federal Govt. We will look at some states and requirements to get a tax refund in the next section.

Requirements to get Tax Refund in USA as Tourist or Resident

The requirements to get a tax refund varies by the US State. Also, they are slightly tricky to get a decent refund, as they force you to purchase more at a single store. Most of the requirements or conditions are common for foreigners and US Citizens. The only difference is where they can claim a tax refund and when.

Below are the general requirements for Tax Refund for Tourists

  • Minimum Amount : Depending on the state, there is a minimum amount of tax you need to have per receipt or purchase from a brand store or outlet store. In Texas, you need to have a minimum of $12 tax per receipt or combined receipts from the same brand stores. Technically, in Texas with an 8.25%  sales tax, you need to purchase for at least $150 USD in a single store or brand outlet to be eligible for the refund.
  • Original Receipts : You need to submit original receipts at the Tax refund counter. They do not accept duplicate, photocopy, or reprint sales receipts. You need to submit the first original receipt that is printed. No digital or e-mail receipts are accepted unless it is an online purchase item from a brand store and if the receipt has the delivery address of the goods in that state. You need the packaging slip of delivery for online purchases.
  • Within 30 days: You need to have the purchase done within 30 days from the day of your international travel or departure date from the US.
  • International Travel : You get a refund only if you are traveling outside of the US, and the items you buy will stay outside of the US. Technically exporting it to another country. That’s why they ask for the original receipt and take it for a refund. It means that the sale is final in the US, and there are no returns for the same goods you bought here in the US.
  • Physical Inspection : You need to show your item purchased for physical inspection and it has to be in new and unused condition with all the tags.
  • Passport, I-94 / Entry Stamp : You need to show your Visa/ Passport and I-94 with an entry stamp on it if holding a foreign passport.
  • Departure Information / Flight Tickets : You need to show your international departure info or flight ticket itinerary. For US citizens, you need to show the boarding pass to get a tax refund.
  • Items should Depart US & State: The items purchased in the US must be taken with you and should depart the state you purchased in and America.
  • Food or Services: No refund for food or services purchased.
  • Participating Stores: You get Tax Refund only if you purchase goods from the participating stores. This depends on the state as well. In Texas, they claim the stores’ list is over 6,500+ stores…but watch out for the brands. I purchased from a few brands that were not eligible for a refund, such as Abercrombie & Fitch.
  • Instant Cash : If you want instant cash, it is a 50% processing fee for a tax refund.
  • Check / PayPal : If you want a check or can get a refund to PayPal, then it is 35% of the tax refund. Also you may also be charged $4 USD for every single store or brand purchase.
  • Refund Locations: Both US Citizens and non-US citizens can claim tax refunds at all major international airport terminals. They usually would have a Tax refund desk at these locations. Check the airport for the details on the terminal. Also, if you are a non-US citizen, then you can even claim tax refunds at certain mall locations in the state. Check the state website for the exact locations in a state. For example, for Texas, here are the refund locations .
  • Tax Refund Policies: Tax refund policies can vary by state, and there is no standard sales tax percentage set as well. You should check the Sales Tax and Tax Refund policies in that respective state before you shop to ensure you get a tax refund. For instance, if you shop in Delaware, there is no sales tax, so no refund. For policies in Texas, check out Requirements for Sales Tax Refund in Texas

Tips for Tax Refund as a Tourist or Resident in the US

Overall, a Tax refund is definitely a good thing, if you are doing a lot of shopping and taking it home. The only downside is that you have to give the original receipt of purchase. I did shopping for over $900 USD, but could not get a sizable tax refund as I did not know all of these facts and conditions. If you plan it ahead of time, you may be able to get a decent tax refund. Below are some tips

  • Duplicate Receipt / Re-prints : When you buy your item, request a duplicate receipt or re-print of the receipt. You can use this duplicate receipt for a warranty in your home country or international location.
  • Take a Photo of Original Receipt: Take a picture of the original receipt and if requested by the warranty location outside of the US, then you can use the photo and duplicate the receipt.
  • Buy maximum at One Brand Store: Make sure you pick a few brands and do shopping in those brands’ outlets so that you meet the minimum requirement of a Tax refund. If not, you will not be eligible for a tax refund, as you will miss out on the minimum. I did not get anything as I bought in multiple brands and they were less than $150 purchase per store, so I was not meeting the minimum amount of tax refund in Texas.
  • Register for Warranty: If you are buying an electronic item and if there is an option to register online, register for warranty, when you have the original receipt.

Common FAQs

We have addressed some of the commonly asked questions below.

The sales tax refunds are paid by the respective State Govt. or local Govt. where you made the purchases. It is a state sales tax refund and not a Federal govt refund. IRS does not give any sales tax refunds.

Yes, your visa status does not matter for tax refunds. All visa types are eligible, including H1B, L1, F1, etc.  Anyone traveling outside of the US is eligible for a tax refund. All the tax refund conditions described in the above article apply to everyone.

Yes, US Citizens are also eligible for a tax refund, provided they travel outside the US within 30 days after the purchase of the goods. You can only claim it at airports on the day of your departure. All the conditions and requirements are described in the above article

When you shop in America, you are not subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) or Goods and Services Tax (GST). The concept of VAT and GST exist in many countries, but in the US it is different, and you are only subject to Sales Tax when you do shopping.

This depends on the state and if they offer the tax refund. In certain states, if they charge sales tax and have a policy in place to refund sales tax, then you would likely get the tax refund. It is best to check with the online vendor and then the state policy for the same.

What are your experiences with tax refunds as tourists? Did you get any tax refund as a Resident? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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61 comments.

Hey, I’m Emin from Armenia, currently I’m in the USA as an exchange student, and I’m going to leave the US in 26 days, before going back I want to get a new phone for my brother(going to buy online). So can I get a refund when I leave the US for the phone?

p.s. I’m hosted in New Mexico( and the phone is going to be iPhone 14 pro)!

Thank you in advance.

Hi Emin, As mentioned, everything depends on the state. I believe, New Mexico does not give anything as such. I suggest, you can double check with them to ensure, if there is any options left.

How about Items purchased on Amazon in Texas? Are those eligible for tax refund?

Ganesh, Usually, online purchases also have to pay Sales Tax. If so, you can claim the same. You can check Texas Gov website on the online shopping sales tax policy. I have not done it personally, so cannot really say. Give it a try, you lose nothing. Also do update here on how it goes for community benefit.

I didn’t get the tax refund for a apple product purchased in Atlanta. Asked info counter guys and it seems no one knows and unfortunately without refund travel back. How i can apply online? Can i get in touch with Apple store.

Shoeb, Atlanta does not have this as far as I know. No, you cannot apply online.

Can tax refund available from Columbus airport (John Glenn Columbus) . I am flying back to my country as i bought some item for gift and my own personal use.

I didn’t know I had to do this at the airport before leaving NY and now I’m back home. Can’t I ask for a tax refund online for the online purchases?

Onna, No, you cannot do that. It is only done at airports.

Hi, i am interested About it because i asked at the Miami (Florida) AirPort And people had no clue what i am asking for. Could you advise me what to look for at the AirPort next time ? What office please? Thank you . Juliana

I would also like to know that, as i am traveliong to miami in the next few weeks .

Hi, i am interested About it because i asked at the Miami (Florida) AirPort And people had no clue what i am asking for. Could you advise me what to look for at the AirPort next time ? What office please? Thank you

thank you for the info and please do write that article .. I am sure it will be a lot of work but it will help all of us

Jasmina, Sure, will do.

Hello Kumar! Thank you so much posting this. I am very impressed with how much information you know (thank you for making my job easier haha). Since the U.S. Government does not charge a national sales tax, it is up to each state to be in charge of that. And so with 50 states comes with 50 different tax policies. Unfortunately, out of all the 50 states, only TWO states offers tax refund on purchases. And that is Louisiana and Texas. There are states that don’t charge sales tax at all (Alaska, Oregon, Montana, Delaware, and New Hampshire) but there are restrictions in some of them so I would suggest doing more research. Since I am involved in the Texas Tax Refund industry, I will only be speaking on behalf of Texas. Pretty much the experience you went through can only happen in Texas. All the requirements, process, and fees are only applied in the state of Texas ONLY. Louisiana has different requirements so I would suggest do research on that as well. Besides that, that’s all pretty much I have to say. Every else you said was SPOT ON! Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. It will help people a lot! Feel free to reply back if there are any questions!

Texas Tax Refund Informer, Thanks for the kind words and sharing inputs. Would you mind sharing, how you were able to say only two states offer Tax refund ? Is there any official govt link or source, that can help clarify to users on this ? I will do research. many have asked how it works for other states and it is not fully clear and not credible online sources. As you are in that industry, would you mind giving any pointers on where to look or official sources ?

Yes definitely!

US: There is NO tax refund on the national level. Even U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it themselves. “The United States Government does not refund sales tax to foreign visitors. Sales tax charged in the U.S. is paid to individual states, not the Federal government – the same way that VAT is paid in many countries.” Link: https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-373?language=en_US

Louisiana: I am not familiar with how Louisiana operates, but I would recommend starting from Louisiana Tax Free Shopping (https://www.louisianataxfree.com/) and the Louisiana Department of Revenue (http://revenue.louisiana.gov/).

Texas: To my best knowledge, there are currently three companies that process tax refunds. They are TaxFree Shopping (http://www.taxfreetexas.com/), Texas Tax Back (https://txtaxback.com/), and 4N Service (https://www.4nservice.com/). TaxFree Shopping is the biggest and the most well-known company among the three. Interesting fact, the requirements needed to process tax refund in all three companies are exactly the same because the requirements are actually state laws governed by the Texas Tax Code (https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/?link=TX) and the Texas Administrative Code (https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=34&pt=1&ch=3&rl=360).

The other 48 states and to answer your question in general: When it comes to finding out each state’s tax refund policies, I would first look into two things: Import-Export Laws and Customs Broker. Let me explain: On the national level (U.S. Government), we have the “Import-Export Clause” of the U.S. Constitution and we have what is called a customs broker. Customs brokers are kind of like the customs officials you see at EU airports that need to check your merchandise before finishing the tax refund process. However, customs brokers are NOT customs officials, they are private individuals (or companies) who were trained and certified by the U.S. Government to perform certain export and import duties on their behalf. And so with that, the Texas Government (on the state level) took both of those things and added in more rules. Texas took the “Import-Export Clause” and put in more laws, creating the “Texas Import-Export Laws,” and it expanded the role of customs broker, creating their own “Texas Customs Broker.” And so with the creation of both of those, that’s how the Texas Tax Refund Industry was founded. Those are definitely the topics that I would recommend looking into when it comes to researching other states.

Texas Tax Refund Informer, Thank you so much for the details. Now, it is clear. I will try to write up an article highlighting your feedback. It is really important info that you shared and will help many. Appreciate you taking the time !

hello, i’m buying crashed cars from usa auction like copart or iaai, can i get tax refund? Thank you

tomaa, No, this is for consumers only who buy stuff from retail stores.

i am Indian and i have shopped in Chicago USA and i want tax back paid by me in shopping.

Yugesh, I am not sure, if you can claim tax refund from IL state…

Hello do you know if am eligible for tax refunds in San Francisco if I bought all my goods from Amazon

Simon, I am not aware of Tax refund for tourists in San Francisco. I don’t recall seeing anything in airport as well. You may call the airport to double check.

It is the first time I know about this tax refund.I wonder why they add sale tax to the amount of purchase then they refund sale tax to you.If I buy some Iphones in US, get tax refund at the airport then bring back to US after vacation outside US. That means I can buy iphone without sale tax?

It all varies by state, hard to say, there is no unified tax refund rules in US…In states like Texas, if you are tourist, you get the tax refund as explained above.

Thank for sharing!.

I was in Florida for 2 weeks, I purchased an Iphone 11 Max Pro, 2 Airpods, and many electronic products from Best Buy at millenia store orlando. and I asked the people there, a staff at apple store how can i claim the tax back. He mention that I can claim either at the airport, but on the days of my departure, I was hurry to airport for 6hours earlier my departure. I asked the airport central information desk, she looks at me like i am a criminal and said ” we don’t do any tax refund this country of United State” once you buy it, you have to pay for the tax. and I was like, whatt!!! OKEY I’M DONE. and i am not able to claim them sale tax i bought during my stay in FL in last fall 2019.

Tola, Every state is different, if the airport does not have an option, then very likely that state does not offer anything as such.

I buy goods from online stores like Amazon, ebay, Wayfair I ship to a post box in WA but live near the border in Canada. Then I go down and stay for a day or two and then I am allowed to take back $50. or $200. So since I ship to the US I am paying WA state tax am I allowed a refund of the sales tax on small item purchases? All items don’t come from WA but from other states but since shipped to WA. I pay the sales tax. I collected the on line receipts for one year but have no idea if I should bother trying to get the sales tax back? I do not have shipping labels but on the invoices there are tracking numbers and delivery dates clearly showing.

Judy, I am not sure, how it would work for WA. You would need to check with WA state, some of these are state centric. Check with the state and then see, if you can use the receipts.

Hello I was in Ohio for two weeks and asked at the Outlet if they refunded our taxes and they looked at me like I was a crazy person. And I flew via Boston Airport ad I has asked in the past if the had a tax office but again got the crazy look. Then to top it off I was stopped by our local customs at the airport and treated like a criminal for over an hour and paid 96 euros. This is crazy there should e an easy process to receive our taxes. We shouldn’t have to pay taxes twice like I did.

Rose, Sorry to hear about your situation. Taxes are paid only once. Duty free is not common in all US states and can vary..Now, what exactly happend at airport ? Why did you had to pay again, if you already paid taxes ? Please share the details for the community benefit.

Shocking!!! So many versions about Tax Refund but at the end of the day, they will try to discourage all tourists. I was in NYC two weeks ago and neither of the Airports has Tax refund offices. But in contrast, when they come to Europe, they expect to get all of it refunded, so is this FAIR????

Ana, Unfortunately, it is not very consistent in US across the states. Many countries do tax refund as you said…Well, wish everyone did it…

Im from London and just came back from New York City after doing some Christmas shopping. I was shocked to discover JFK airport does NOT have a tax refund office. I would have thought it was a major airport?

None of the major store workers knew anything about how to claim and no-one had forms available in store.

Mandy, It varies by state. If they are not aware of it, then that state does not offer it. Let me write up an article on this by state.

Does Austin Airport not have the Tax Refund Facility? My flight is today directly from Austin to Frankfurt

I am an Australian visiting US. I have placed an online order with Lenova for a laptop to be delivered in LA, which I will collect. I will be leaving to Australia from New York on the 30th of December. Can I get a tax refund for this from the NY airport and what is the process. Any info will help. Thanks

vas, You need to check with New York Airport. They had it in Houston Airport, not sure about NY. Write to them or search online. Do update here for community benefit after you research.

Hi I am leaving San Diego airport and wondering if there is tax refund desk at San Diego airport? thanks

Hong, As per my knowledge California does not have the Tax refund scheme. So, San Diego may not have it.

Hi Guys, do you have any Update regarding New York Tax refund for tourists? im traveling soon and trying to find out more about this, but none of the airports (Laguardia or JFK) knew what I was talking about… Maybe in some malls or government offices?

Amoi, No, New York also does not seem to have the tax refund thing. You can double check, when you shop, but I highly doubt it.

Hi! I’m from Costa Rica, I’m planning a trip to Florida by the end of November, and I want to buy many goods to export them to my origin country.

Do I have to do something on every shop when buying? Show my passport? Is there a specific office in the airport for ask this refund? Thanks!

I’m form Mexico, I bought a laptop in bestbuy online to pick up at the physical store, I went to the store from Monterrey, Mexico to McAllen, US in car, in other words, I didn’t went to the airport so how would I recover the taxes of the laptop? I’m in Mexico already and I picked up the laptop 3 days ago.

Jorge, It is probably not possible now as you have already exited the country. They need to see the product and receipt before you exit the country.

I’m citizen of EU. I purchased some items on US internet pages while being in US. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any receipts or invoices with my delivered goods. Is there a way to get Tax Refund when I leave US?

Konstantin, You need receipts or some purchase proof to claim the same in airport. If you have no proof, then you cannot claim anything…

I’m a Mexican citizen and resident, who plans to by a Mac at San Antonio. Yet, I need to use it during my 4-day visit. Does it mean I won’t get a refund, even if I show the case, ticket and wrapping? Best regards!

Luis, In general, they look at the Receipt and the item that you are exporting out of the US. If you do it in a week and carry it, should be fine. You may use it, as it is computer, it does not matter…You just need to show the product that you bought at the airport, when they ask.

I’m a Canadian citizen travelling to Seattle by car. What if you’re not flying out from US but using a port of entry by a car? Are you still eligible for VAT refund at a Port of Entry?

Dave, It totally varies by state, most of the times, they are at Airports…you need to check, if they have something on your way back to Canada…

I am from Texas! I am thinking to take an iphone which i want to take to my home country. I checked with stores of tax refund. They were asking for my passport and making some copies of my receipts. Will that affect any of my status here.

It will NOT affect your status or anything. It is just for their documentation to give you refund.

Hey planning to take the new iPhone from Indiana state USA to India. Will i be able to get a tax refund and if yes where can i avail that. tried to find the locations but couldnt find any. Can you please help me out on this?

I’m a US resident, flying to Australia in 2 weeks. I want to buy a new, expensive camera to bring to my extended family in Australia. I checked and Chicago Ohare doesn’t list a tax desk and neither does LA. Is it possible to get the tax back at all?

angel, Everything varies by state. Some states like texas has it, I have not come across that for IL. You can try calling any of the outlets and inquiring, if there is such practice. The Outlet malls would tell, if there is any provision as such.

Thanks for sharing this information with us. This information is really interesting and good. Keep sharing this type of articles with us.

California does not provide Sales Tax Refund. See this Q-n-A on Quora https://www.quora.com/Can-overseas-visitors-get-a-refund-of-the-sales-tax-paid-in-California

BEST Dear Redbus2us Owner Excellent Details a lot of thanks

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NBC Bay Area

IRS to launch new free tax-filing platform in California. Here's how it works

The new filing tool is different from the irs existing free file program, which allows some taxpayers to file their taxes for free through participating brand name software, by gerardo pons • published january 23, 2024 • updated on january 23, 2024 at 12:16 pm.

The Internal Revenue Service is rolling out its free electronic tax-filing system in 12 states, including California, ahead of the 2023 tax-filing season.

According to the agency , the in-house filing system will first be available in 12 states as it undergoes final testing before expanding it nationwide at a later date.

“As our transformation efforts take hold, taxpayers will continue to see marked improvement in IRS operations in the upcoming filing season,” IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “IRS employees are working hard to make sure that new funding is used to help taxpayers by making the process of preparing and filing taxes easier.”

Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.

For now, Direct File will only accept federal tax returns, but the IRS will redirect taxpayers to submit their state's supported tool (if any) if they wish to file a state return.

The new filing tool is different from the IRS existing Free File program , which allows taxpayers whose income is less than $79,000 to file their taxes for free through participating brand name software. Direct File is open to everyone regardless of income.

Ahead of the launch of the 2023 tax season on Monday, Jan. 29, here's everything you need to know about Direct File.

tax free california tourist

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tax free california tourist

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What are the requirements for direct file.

If you report any of these items on your tax return, the IRS says you are able to use their free filing tool:

  • SSA-1099 Social Security and RRB -1099 railroad retirement income 
  • W-2 wage income
  • 1099-G Unemployment compensation
  • 1099- INT Interest income of $1,500 or less

Taxpayers who also claim credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit , Child Tax Credit or Credit for Other Dependents are also able to file and claim these benefits using the tool, the IRS said.

Deductions such as the Standard deduction , Student loan interest and Educator expenses are also able to be claimed via Direct File.

How does Direct File work?

The agency said Direct File will have a step-by-step checklist approach to filing that will allow taxpayers to go through their returns smoothly.

The tool will also have interactive icons on each screen to help answer common questions, but it will also offer live assistance directly from an IRS Direct File customer service representative if needed.

Once the filing is done, Direct File will show taxpayers a summary of their 2023 federal taxes before sending an email confirmation of the submission, and another email when the IRS accepts your return for processing.

The IRS will then ask users if they want to file state tax returns and redirect them to CalFile , California's free tax filing tool for state tax returns.

Direct File does not require any software installation or purchase. It's also mobile-friendly, so users will be able to file their tax returns on a phone or tablet as well as through a computer.

The tool is available in English and Spanish.

How does CalFile work?

Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of up to $237,035 ( for single or married but filing separately) qualify to use CalFile. The income limits increase to $305,016 for heads of household, and to $406,687 for married couples filing jointly or qualifying widow(er).

If you want to use CalFile, you must also be filing an original 2023 return, have lived in California the entire year, and are claiming no more than 10 dependents.

Educators are not able to use CalFile if they seek to claim more than $250 in educator expenses.

What do you need to use the tool?

For a complete list of qualifications and to register for the tool, visit CalFile's website here.

How can I use Direct File?

To use Direct File, eligible taxpayers will need to create an IRS account and verify their identity via the ID.me tool.

To verify your identity, the IRS will ask you to provide a driver's license, state ID, passport, or passport card as well as to take a photo of yourself using a smartphone or upload an image of your selected document.

Taxpayers may choose to verify their identity via live chat to bypass automated biometric collection.

When can you start filing tax returns?

The IRS  announced  it will officially begin accepting and processing 2023 tax returns on Monday, Jan. 29.

When is the tax filing deadline this year?

The federal deadline for filing 2023 tax returns is April 15 for most filers. However, deadlines vary for state tax returns.

The IRS expects more than 128.7 million people to file individual tax returns this year.

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The IRS is launching a direct file pilot program for the 2024 tax season — here is how it will work

FILE - A sign outside the Internal Revenue Service building is seen, May 4, 2021, in Washington. As tax filing season officially starts Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, a limited number of taxpayers in 12 states will soon be eligible for a program that will allow them to calculate and submit their returns directly to the IRS without having to pay for commercial tax preparation software. The Direct File pilot program is set to be rolled out in phases. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

FILE - A sign outside the Internal Revenue Service building is seen, May 4, 2021, in Washington. As tax filing season officially starts Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, a limited number of taxpayers in 12 states will soon be eligible for a program that will allow them to calculate and submit their returns directly to the IRS without having to pay for commercial tax preparation software. The Direct File pilot program is set to be rolled out in phases. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Staff headshot of Fatima Hussein at the Associated Press bureau in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — As income tax filing season officially starts on Monday, a limited number of taxpayers in 12 states will soon be eligible to join an IRS pilot program that will allow them to calculate and submit their returns to the government directly without using commercial tax preparation software.

The Direct File pilot program is rolling out in stages. To start, certain government employees are being invited to participate in the first weeks. The program will expand in February and March to include additional taxpayers in certain states.

Direct File is not to be mistaken with the agency’s existing Free File program , which offers commercial software for free to low- and middle-income earners and fillable forms to all, though the forms are complicated and taxpayers still have to calculate their tax liability.

The small-scale rollout of the Direct File pilot is part of the agency’s effort to build out a new government service that could replace some taxpayers’ use of commercial tax preparation software such as TurboTax. It’s meant to be simple and provides a step-by-step walkthrough of easy-to-answer questions.

Democratic state Rep. Derrick Lente of Sandia Pueblo speaks in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, about tax relief and budget proposals in advance of a 30-day legislative session. The Democratic-led legislature convenes Jan. 16 amid a multibillion-dollar budget surplus to address concerns about education, gun violence, affordable housing and childhood wellbeing in an election years for House and Senate lawmakers. Lente is chairman of the House taxation committee (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

IRS officials say low- and middle-income earners who typically claim a standard deduction are the target users. The agency estimates that several hundred thousand taxpayers are eligible for the initial rollout in the 2024 tax season. The program will be available in both English and Spanish.

Certain taxpayers in Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming are eligible to participate. None of those states have a state income tax.

Four other states that have a state income tax also are part of the pilot program — Arizona, Massachusetts, California and New York. In those four, state tax agencies will help people directly file their state taxes as well.

The IRS has said it hopes to use the limited pilot to gather information to help steer the direction of the program.

“We’re starting small as the filing season begins,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “The pilot is undergoing continuous testing with taxpayers so we can identify and resolve issues as we move beyond the start of filing season and into February and March timeframes.”

People can check the IRS website to determine whether they qualify. People can sign up to be notified when the program is live for them.

All eyes are on the agency to get it right — and avoid a rollout reminiscent of the disastrous healthcare.gov website debut a decade ago, when many users had trouble accessing and using the website.

Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights, said the IRS was taking the correct approach” by rolling out the program on a small scale to start.

“Direct File is one step toward getting the IRS in line with 21st century tax administration,” Olson said. She added that “every mature and most developing tax agency around the world has adopted” such programs.

Many nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, including Germany and Japan, have similar systems with pre-populated tax forms.

Werfel said continued, uninterrupted funding to the IRS will be needed for the program to succeed.

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in August 2022, the agency was given nine months and $15 million to develop a feasibility study on whether a direct file program would be beneficial. The study, released last May, recommended moving ahead, given public sentiment in favor of a program.

However, the agency’s overall funding is under constant threat of cuts. Last year’s debt ceiling and budget cuts deal between Republicans and the White House resulted in $1.4 billion rescinded from the agency’s original $80 billion allocation through the Inflation Reduction Act. Congress also passed a separate agreement to take $20 billion from the IRS over the next two years and divert those funds to other nondefense programs.

The direct file idea is not viewed favorably by the commercial tax prep software firms that have made billions of dollars from charging people to use their software.

Tania Mercado, a spokesperson for Intuit, said the program could end up wasting billions of taxpayer dollars when there are already free tax preparation options available.

She called it “a thinly veiled scheme where billions of taxpayer dollars will be unnecessarily used to pay for something already completely free of charge today.”

Robert Nassau, director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Syracuse University College of Law, said the program represented “one more option for free tax preparation, and hopefully people will take advantage of it.”

“I really hate to see lower-income people giving money to paid preparers,” he said. “I get angry about it.”

FATIMA HUSSEIN

Prepare for the 2024 tax season: IRS unveils free e-filing service for taxpayers

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Jan. 30. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

  • The IRS is (finally) offering it’s own free filing software
  • Residents of historically Black Leimert Park are tired of being asked to sell their homes.
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We’re talking tax filing. Bear with us.

Unfortunately, tax season is upon us once again, and every American with a job will file a return to the Internal Revenue Service, just like every year.

Some of you are patiently waiting for the moment employers send out W-2 forms. But I know others are content to file for an extension and finish this business as late as possible. Maybe even mid-November. But just a heads-up, tax returns are once again due on April 15 .

But one thing is changing this year.

The Internal Revenue Service is finally entering the electronic tax filing game, offering taxpayers a new, free and somewhat easier way to file taxes. The L.A. Times’ Jon Healey further explains what this program means for California taxpayers .

Filing taxes for free hasn’t always been easy

Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $79,000 or less in 2023 are legally eligible to file for free. Nearly 70% of Californians fall under that limit, and online help is available for preparing and filing their federal returns.

But only a small percentage take advantage of these services, Healey reported.

State and local officials attribute the lack of participation to tax-preparation companies Intuit (maker of TurboTax) and H&R Block and have sued both for tricking taxpayers who are eligible to file for free into paying. These companies also lobbied for decades to prevent the IRS from creating its own online tax filing software, which would threaten the industry’s profits.

The IRS’ new Direct File tool cuts out a middleman

The IRS’ new tool, Direct File, provides many low- and moderate-income households a free online service for preparing and filing their taxes directly with the agency.

This software is the first from the agency that will guide users through the tax filing process step by step. A real-time chat feature will also be available, in which an IRS customer service representative provides answers to basic questions.

There are still a few setbacks:

  • For now, it will be available only in California, Arizona, Nevada and nine other states.
  • Availability for the program begins mid-March , less than a month before tax returns are due.
  • Eligibility for using the program is limited, based on how individuals earn income. For example, those who earn income from a business they own, subcontracting work or gig-economy jobs cannot file.
  • Taxpayers using Direct File can claim only a limited list of credits and deductions, including the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers, the credits for children and other dependents , and the standard deduction .

Even with the government “simplifying” the submission of tax returns, it can still be a headache.

Californians cannot use Direct File for state taxes, but California has its own site

California is not one of the handful of states that allows information entered through Direct File to apply to your state tax forms automatically. Instead, the state Franchise Tax Board provides CalFile , offering qualified taxpayers a free online service to file their state tax returns.

CalFile has restrictions similar to Direct File, so if you qualify for Direct File, it’s highly likely that you’ll also have access to CalFile.

Taxpayers eager to use the Direct File program can sign up on the IRS website to receive an alert when the program becomes available.

Read more: Did you pay H&R Block for tax help? You may be getting a refund.

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Gentrification and housing

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Extreme rainfall

  • A storm expected to hit California this week will bring significant rainfall , which could cause flooding on the state’s northernmost and southernmost coasts.
  • SoCal sees two ‘thousand-year’ storms within weeks. More could be coming .

Bodies found in the desert

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  • Mystery shrouds the case. Could it have been gang-motivated ?

Kids and schools

  • To protect kids, California might require chronological feeds on social media .
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Rebecca Grossman trial

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  • New Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh ‘was a little starstruck’ upon meeting Justin Herbert .
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  • Vice president Kamala Harris brings abortion rights tour to California as Democrats fight for House control.

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  • Jackie Calmes : Biden’s got a good-news deficit . What will turn it around?
  • Jonah Goldberg : Trump’s rants about NATO are making the U.S. weaker .
  • Editorial Board : Yes on Proposition 1, a modest step forward on mental health care .

Today’s great reads

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‘Native women are unstoppable’: Lily Gladstone’s plan to expand Indigenous inclusion . Lily Gladstone is the first Native American to earn an Oscar nomination for lead actress. Now that she has kicked the door down, she plans on holding it open.

Other great reads

  • Lionel Richie, Prince and a grumpy Bob Dylan: The untold story behind ‘We Are the World.’
  • How American soccer players found a path to Europe, via Orange County SC .
  • Howdy Glenn, one of L.A.’s unsung Black country singers, finally gets his due from the Grammys .
  • A Deep-sea exploration company thinks it has found Amelia Earhart’s plane .

How can we make this newsletter more useful? Send comments to [email protected] .

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Anthony De Leon is a 2023-24 reporting fellow at the Los Angeles Times. Born in Fresno to a Chicano family, he pursued his higher education in his hometown, earning an associate‘s degree in journalism from Fresno City College and then completing a bachelor’s in media, communications and journalism at Fresno State. He went on to complete his master’s in media innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Boyle Heights, CA - February 08: Mariachi musician Ramiro Arana-Beserra, 56, practices his violin in his 1990 Chevy Fleetwood Southwind RV parked on the street outside Mariachi Plaza de Los Angeles, where he has lived for 3 years in Boyle Heights. Arana-Beserra, who has played violin at Mariachi Plaza for 38 years, had just returned from checking out one of tiny homes he will move into Thursday in the Boyle Heights Tiny Home Village, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony by LA Councilman Kevin de Leon. The project sits on a city-owned lot and marks the third Tiny Home Village in Council District 14. A number of mariachis who became homeless because of the pandemic will be among those living at the village. Photo taken in Boyle Heights Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Bianca Lopez, 25, an outreach worker with We Are Los Angeles, a project of the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, drops of flyers at an apartment complex on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. The Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, a nonprofit closely associated with City Hall, shifted its focus last year to preventing homelessness through preventing evictions. Outreach workers who visit neighborhoods across Los Angeles where tenants are at risk of eviction and seek to connect those tenants with information and resources to help them keep their homes. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

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Can I get tax refund in California for tourist?

travel-faq

Traveling to California as a tourist can be an exciting adventure, and many visitors wonder if they can get a tax refund for their purchases. The short answer to this question is no, California does not offer a tax refund program for tourists. Unlike some other countries or states, where tourists can receive a refund on the sales tax they pay for certain items, California does not have a similar program in place. Therefore, any sales tax paid on purchases while visiting California is non-refundable.

FAQs about Tax Refunds for Tourists in California

1. are there any exceptions to the no-tax-refund policy for tourists in california, 2. can i get a tax refund if i purchase items online while in california, 3. what about duty-free shops in california, 4. i am a non-resident of the united states. can i get a tax refund for my purchases in california, 5. are there any plans to implement a tax refund program for tourists in the future.

Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this policy. Regardless of the amount of the purchase or the nature of the item, tourists are not eligible for a tax refund in California.

No, the tax refund policy applies to all purchases made within the state, whether they are made in person at a physical location or online.

Duty-free shops can be found at airports and other locations in California, but they do not offer a tax refund for purchases made there. The items sold at duty-free shops are typically already exempt from certain taxes, so there is no additional tax refund available to tourists.

As a non-resident, you are still subject to the same tax refund policy as any other tourist visiting California. The lack of a tax refund program applies to all non-residents, regardless of their country of origin.

Currently, there are no publicized plans to create a tax refund program for tourists in California. The state’s tax laws and policies are subject to change, but as of now, there are no indications that such a program will be established.

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Tax refund for visitors to Los Angeles? - California Forum

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Tax refund for visitors to Los Angeles?

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' class=

I am from New Zealand and will be visiting LA in a few weeks.

I know that in Australia. all overseas customers can get GST (Goods & Services Tax) - 10% - refunded on any purchases at airport departure. In the U.K. You get the same thing with VAT (Value Added Tax) which is 17.5% .

' class=

Oh I learnt something new today about the other LA.

Dear OP we don't have a GST system but just local sales tax which is non refundable

I would look for sales and coupons instead of asking for refunds

tax free california tourist

Another possibility is the discount for foreign visitors that Macy's stores offer. You can read about it here: http://www.visitmacysusa.com/visitor-savings-pass

I didn't know about Louisiana either. You don't get refunds of anything anywhere else in the USA. We don't have a VAT.

Texas has a similar program.

Nope, no VAT or anything like it - our tax is about 10% (each city is different).

Because everyone, visitor and local alike, uses plumbing, water, streets, sidewalks, parks, beaches, hiking trails, hospitals, police/fire services, etc. - that are being paid for out of sales taxes, we all pay it.

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.

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tax free california tourist

Tax-Free in the USA for Foreigners and Tourists from Other Countries

Andy

  • April 7, 2023

Is There a Tax-Free Program in the USA?

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection department, the United States Government doesn’t refund sales tax to tourists and foreign visitors .

Even though the USA does not have a tax-free program like Europe, foreigners and tourists can return taxes or buy without taxes by:

  • Making a purchase in a state where there is no sales tax
  • Making a purchase in a state that has a sales tax refund (or VAT refund)

tax free california tourist

Tax-Free Shopping in the USA – List of States

By 2023, only five states do not charge VAT on the purchase of goods:

  • New Hampshire

Although these states charge other forms of tax instead of VAT, the absence of a sales tax can make shopping more rewarding, especially for out-of-state visitors or tourists.

Everyone (both locals and foreigners) can buy goods without VAT in tax-free states. However, there are two more states, where just foreign tourists, such as people from Mexico, can return sales tax in the USA:

In those states, the program is similar to the European one: buy product and then return sales taxes. With that said, the approach varies per state:

  • Louisiana – Shop at a tax-refundable store and show your passport to the cashier. To find out stores where you can shop without taxes, search for the white-red-blue stickers that indicate “Louisiana Tax-Free Shopping”. The seller will provide a tax return voucher that you can exchange for money at the New Orleans airport or downtown Lafayette. You can find out more about Tax-Free in the USA on the official website of the tax refund program .
  • Texas – It works similarly, but in addition, a flight ticket or other travel document is also required. In Texas, you can also make a tax refund at the airport or at 14 other locations across the state.

Tax-Free in the USA allows you to save money while shopping in the US by buying goods without taxes or receiving return taxes for purchases that you have already made.

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House passes the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting   

February 1, 2024 · 5 minute read

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024, passed by the House of Representatives on January 31st, 2024, aims to provide tax relief and support to American families and workers.

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 , passed by the House of Representatives on January 31st, 2024, aims to provide tax relief and support to American families and workers.

This comprehensive legislation includes various provisions that address key areas such as the Child Tax Credit, business breaks, disaster tax relief, and affordable housing. Let’s delve into the details of this important act.

Enhanced Child Tax Credit

The bill includes provisions to enhance the Child Tax Credit , providing support to low-income families dealing with inflation.

While Democrats had hoped for a more robust version, this package promises to provide greater relief to families in need.

The Child Tax Credit will be indexed to inflation, and the refundable portion of the tax credit will be incrementally increased for the years 2023, 2024, and 2025. Taxpayers will have flexibility in using either current or prior-year income to calculate the credit during 2024 and 2025.

Business Breaks

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act also includes several business breaks aimed at stimulating economic growth and job creation.

Businesses of all sizes will be able to immediately deduct the cost of their U.S.-based research and development (R&D) investments , instead of spreading it over five years. Full and immediate expensing for investments in machinery, equipment, and vehicles will be restored, and the amount of investment that small businesses can immediately write off will be increased to $1.29 million.

The bill also addresses the treatment of business interest expense, bonus depreciation, and research and experimental costs.

Disaster Tax Relief

Recognizing the impact of natural and man-made disasters, the legislation provides tax relief for recent hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and the Ohio rail disaster.

These measures aim to alleviate the financial burden faced by individuals and businesses affected by such events.

Affordable Housing

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act includes provisions to address the shortage of affordable housing . It restores a 12.5% allocation increase to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) that expired in 2021 and reduces the private activity bond financing requirement to access the 4% LIHTC from 50% to 30%. These measures will help finance over 200,000 affordable homes, providing much-needed relief to individuals and families.

Having passed the House of Representatives, the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

While the House vote was bipartisan , the outcome in the Senate remains uncertain due to the narrow division. However, the strong support in the House and the potential benefits for American families and businesses may influence the Senate’s decision.

A promising step forward for American families and workers

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 represents a significant effort to provide tax relief and support to American families and workers. With provisions addressing the Child Tax Credit , business breaks, disaster tax relief, and affordable housing, this legislation aims to alleviate financial burdens, stimulate economic growth, and promote the well-being of individuals and communities.

As the bill progresses through the Senate, its potential impact on American taxpayers and the economy remains to be seen.

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What Is California Tourism Fee?

By Robert Palmer

Are you planning a trip to California? If so, you might have come across the term ‘California tourism fee’. In this article, we will discuss what exactly is California tourism fee and how it affects your travel plans.

What is California Tourism Fee?

California Tourism Fee or California Tourism Assessment is a fee imposed on visitors who stay in hotels, motels, and other lodging establishments in California. This fee is collected by the lodging establishments and then remitted to the state government.

Why is it imposed?

The primary purpose of imposing this fee is to promote tourism in California. The revenue generated from this fee is used by the state government to fund various tourism-related programs and activities. These programs include marketing campaigns to attract more visitors to the state, developing tourist destinations and infrastructure, maintaining historical sites, and supporting local businesses that rely on tourism.

How much is the fee?

The current rate of the California Tourism Fee is 0.5% of the total room rate charged by the lodging establishment. For example, if you stay at a hotel that charges $100 per night for a room, you will have to pay an additional $0.50 as a tourism fee.

Who has to pay this fee?

Anyone who stays at a lodging establishment in California for 30 days or fewer has to pay this fee. This includes both domestic and international visitors.

Is it mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory for all visitors who stay in lodging establishments in California for 30 days or fewer. The only exception is for those who are exempted under specific regulations such as government employees on official business or certain non-profit organizations.

7 Related Question Answers Found

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Overcrowded Venice

These are all the destinations you’ll need to pay extra to visit this year

More and more popular travel destinations are introducing tourist taxes to tackle problems caused by overtourism – here’s what you’ll have to pay

Liv Kelly

This year, international travel is forecast to bounce back to the highest levels since 2019 – and while that’s great news for the tourism industry in general, many cities, attractions and entire regions are suffering under the weight of overtourism .

The potential for damage to historic sites, unhinged tourist behaviour  and the simple issue of overcrowding are all common consequences of overtourism. That’s why a growing list of popular travel destinations have introduced a tourist tax, with the hopes of controlling visitor numbers and improving local infrastructure to better cater to higher visitor capacity. 

Many countries and cities introduced a tourist tax in 2023, and many more are due to launch theirs in 2024. Tourist taxes aren’t a new thing – you’ve probably paid one before, tied in with the cost of a plane ticket or the taxes you pay at a hotel. 

However, more destinations than ever before are creating this fee for tourists, and many places have increased the cost of existing ones. Here’s a full list of all the destinations charging a tourist tax in 2024, including all the recently introduced and upcoming tourist taxes you need to know about. 

Austria charges visitors a nightly accommodation tax which differs depending on province. In Vienna or Salzburg , you could pay 3.02 percent per person on top of the hotel bill. 

Belgium , like Austria, has a nightly fee. Some hotels include it in the rate of the room and add it separately to your bill, so read it carefully.

The rate in Brussels is charged per room, and varies depending on the size and rating of your hotel, but is usually around €7.50. Antwerp also charges per room. 

Bhutan has always been known for its steep tourist taxes and charges. In 2022, the Himalayan kingdom  tripled the amount it charged visitors in tax  to a minimum of  $200 per day , but that amount has since been lowered. In 2024, the daily fee for the majority of visitors is  $ 100,  and that is due to continue until August 31, 2027. 

Bulgaria applies a fee to overnight stays, but it reaches a maximum of only €1.50. 

Caribbean Islands

The following Caribbean Islands charge a tourist tax, ranging from between €13 to €45: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, the Dominican Republic , Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands. 

The tax tends to be tied into the cost of a hotel or a departure fee. 

Croatia only charges its visitors a fee of 10 kuna (€1.33) per night during peak season. 

Czechia (also known as Czech Republic)

Czechia only applies a fee to those travelling to Prague . It doesn’t apply to those under the age of 18, and is less than €1 per person, per night. 

France ’s ‘taxe de séjour’ varies depending on city, and tends to be added to your hotel bill. It varies from €0.20 to €4 per person, per night. 

Earlier this month, Paris announced it would be increasing its fee by up to 200 percent for those staying in hotels, Airbnbs, and campsites, but that it plans to put the funds towards improving the city’s services and infrastructure. 

READ MORE: The cost of visiting Paris will soar this summer – here’s why

Germany charges visitors a ‘culture tax’ (kulturförderabgabe) and a ‘bed tax’ (bettensteuer) in certain cities, including Frankfurt , Hamburg and Berlin , which tends to be around five percent of your hotel bill. 

Greece ’s tourist tax is based on numbers. Specifically, how many stars a hotel has, and the number of rooms you’re renting. The fee was introduced by the Greek Ministry of tourism to help pay off the country’s debt, and can be anything from €4 per room.

Hungary charges visitors four percent of the price of their room, but only in Budapest . 

Iceland is introducing a tourist tax to protect its ‘unspoilt nature’ this year, which will cost between  €4 to €7 per night. It comes after annual tourist numbers reached an estimated 2.3 million per year. 

In Indonesia , the only destination which charges a tourist tax is Bali , and the fee is set to increase this February  to $10 (£7.70, €8.90, IDR 150,000) – but is a one-time entry fee, not a nightly tax. It apparently goes towards protecting the island’s ‘environment and culture.’

Much like in France, Italy ’s tourist tax varies depending on your location. Rome ’s fee is usually between €3 to €7 per night, but some smaller Italian towns charge more. 

Venice finally announced in September that its tourist tax, a €5 (£4.30, $5.40) fee which will be applicable on various days during high season, will launch in 2024. It only applies to day-trippers rather than those staying overnight, though.

Japan has a departure tax of around 1,000 yen (€8). 

Malaysia has a flat-rate tax which it applies to each night you stay, of around €4 a night. 

New Zealand

New Zealand ’s tax comes in the from of an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy of around €21 which much be paid upon arrival, but that does not apply to people from Australia. 

Netherlands

The Netherlands has both a land and water tax. Amsterdam is set to increase its fee  by 12.5 percent in 2024, making it the highest tourist tax in the European Union. 

Portugal has a low tourist tax of €2, which applies to all those over the age of 13. It’s only applicable on the first seven nights of your visit and applies in 13 Portuguese municipalities, including Faro, Lisbon and Porto.   

Olhão became the latest area to start charging the fee between April and October. Outside of this period, it gets reduced to €1 and is capped at five nights all year round. The money goes towards minimising the impact of tourism in the Algarve town. 

Slovenia also bases its tax on location and hotel rating. In larger cities and resorts, such as Ljubljana and Bled, the fee is higher, but still only around €3 per night. 

Spain 

Spain applies its Sustainable Tourism Tax to holiday accommodation in the Balearic Islands to each visitor over the age of sixteen. Tourists can be charged up to €4 per night during high season. 

Barcelona ’s city authorities announced they plan to increase the city’s tourist tax over the next two years – the fee is set to rise to €3.25 on April 1, 2024. The council said the money would go towards improving infrastructure and services. This is in addition to regional Catalan tax. 

Valencia has also announced it will be introducing a tourist tax for all visitors staying in accommodation in the region, which will be from €0.50 to €2 per night. It will likely come into effect in early 2024. 

Switzerland

Switzerland ’s tax varies depending on location, but the per person, per night cost is around €2.20. It tends to be specified as a separate amount on your accommodation bill. 

Thailand 

Thailand introduced a tourist tax to the price of flights in April 2022, in a similar effort to the Balinese aim of moving away from its rep as a ‘cheap’ holiday destination. The fee for all international visitors is 300 baht (£6.60, $9). 

The US has an ‘occupancy tax’ which applies across most of the country to travellers renting accommodation such as hotels, motels and inns. Houston is estimated to be the highest, where they charge you an extra 17 percent of your hotel bill. 

Hawaii  could be imposing a ‘green fee’ – initially set at $50 but since lowered to $25 – which would apply to every tourist over the age of 15. It still needs to be passed by lawmakers, but if approved, it wouldn’t be instated until 2025.

The European Union

Finally, the European Union is planning on introducing a tourist visa , due to start in 2024. The €7 application will have to be filled out by all non-Schengen visitors between the ages of 18 and 70, including Brits and Americans. 

READ MORE: Why sustainable tourism isn’t enough anymore

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Credits and deductions for individuals

In this series:.

How to file your taxes: step by step Check if you need to file Gather your documents Get credits and deductions File your return Get your refund Pay taxes on time Be ready to file taxes next year

How they work

You can claim credits and deductions when you file your tax return to lower your tax. Make sure you get all the credits and deductions you qualify for.

Claim credits 

A credit is an amount you subtract from the tax you owe. This can lower your tax payment or increase your refund. Some credits are refundable  — they can give you money back even if you don't owe any tax. 

To claim credits, answer questions in your tax filing software. If you file a paper return, you’ll need to complete a form and attach it. 

Here are credits you can claim: 

If you earn under a certain income level .

See if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit . This is a refundable credit, so you can get back more than you pay in taxes. If you qualify, you can claim it even if you don’t normally file taxes or aren’t required to file. 

If you’re a parent or caretaker

Find credits if you: 

Have children or other dependents  

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See if you qualify for an education credit

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See if you qualify for the saver’s credit  

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See if you qualify for the Premium Tax Credit

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Take deductions 

A deduction is an amount you subtract from your income when you file so you don’t pay tax on it. By lowering your income, deductions lower your tax. 

You need documents to show expenses or losses you want to deduct. Your tax software will calculate deductions for you and enter them in the right forms. If you file a paper return, your deductions go on Form 1040 and may require extra forms. 

Standard vs. itemized deductions 

Most people take the standard deduction, which lets you subtract a set amount from your income based on your filing status . 

If your deductible expenses and losses are more than the standard deduction, you can save money by deducting them one-by-one from your income (itemizing). Tax software can walk you through your expenses and losses to show the option that gives you the lowest tax. 

Some people, including nonresidents and partial-year filers, can’t take the standard deduction . 

Standard deduction amounts 

The standard deduction for 2023 is: 

$13,850 for single or married filing separately 

$27,700 for married couples filing jointly or qualifying surviving spouse 

$20,800 for head of household 

Find the standard deduction if you’re: 

  • Over 65 or blind
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If you’re married filing separately, you can’t take the standard deduction if your spouse itemizes. You must both choose the same method.  

Deductible expenses 

You can deduct these expenses whether you take the standard deduction or itemize:

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Get answers to questions on itemized deductions and the standard deduction

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Economic Impact of Travel in California 2013-2022

Authored by Dean Runyan Associates, Inc.

  • Economic Impact by State, Region & Country Print
  • Economic Impact by State, Region & Country Add to My Profile
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California travel impacts in total, and by region and county from 2013 to 2022. These economic impacts are based on "statewide visitor trips," which are defined as trips taken by individuals who stay overnight away from home or travel more than 50 miles one way on a non-routine trip. This definition of a visitor is derived from the California Tourism Marketing Act. Some destinations in California calculate visitation and economic impacts using different definitions of visitors and different data-gathering methods, so figures may not match.

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

  • In 2022, travel spending grew to $134.4 billion, a 31.7% increase from the prior year. Since the peak of 2019, travel spending has declined by 7.2%.
  • The travel industry supported approximately 1.09 million jobs in 2022, a 16.8% increase from the prior year. Compared to 2019, travel industry employment has declined by 7.3%.
  • Travel-generated state and local tax revenue increased to $11.9 billion in 2022, an increase of 21.6% from the prior year. Compared to 2019, travel-generated tax revenue has fallen by 3%.
  • Visitor air travel on domestic flights to California destinations increased by 66% in 2022, from 21.4 million to 35.5 million arrivals.
  • Visitors who stayed in a hotel, motel, or short-term vacation rental (STVR) spent a combined $67.6 billion in 2022, an increase of 25.7% compared to 2021.

California’s travel and tourism industry is represented by accommodations, transportation and rental cars, restaurants, retail stores, attractions, gasoline service stations, and other businesses that serve travelers. Traveler spending benefits tourism providers across all industry segments and across all of California's regions.

Travel-related spending in 2022 supported 1.09 million jobs statewide. Direct impacts represent earnings attributable to travel expenditures made directly by travelers at businesses across the state, while indirect impacts are from earnings associated with industries that supply goods and services to tourism businesses.

  • Economic Impact

Related Research & Reports

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California Airport Passenger Traffic - October 2023

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California Lodging Report

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Assessment Forms

Copies of the Tourism Assessment Form and instructions are available to download. When submitting the form, please be sure to include your business’s Tourism Identification Number noted on correspondence or notices sent by the California Office of Tourism.

Tourism Assessment Forms

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  1. How to get Tax Refund in USA as Tourist for Shopping? [2023]

    1. Do you get a Tax Refund for Shopping in the US at Malls or Online Stores? 2. Tax Refund: State Sales Tax vs. Federal Sales Tax? 3. The US Government does not refund Sales Tax to Visitors 4. Requirements to get Tax Refund in USA as Tourist or Resident 5. Tips for Tax Refund as a Tourist or Resident in the US 6. Common FAQs

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    Sacramento - The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) kicked off the 2024 tax filing season by providing taxpayers with important information on cash-back tax credits, disaster loss relief, and the advantages of filing electronically. Taxpayers must pay any taxes owed by April 15 to avoid penalties.

  3. How to file your taxes and get your refund for free in 2023

    Many software options will let you file your taxes and get your tax refund for free. And for most Californians, the tax deadline has been moved to Oct. 16, 2023, to file federal and state.

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  5. IRS to launch new free tax-filing platform in California. Here's how it

    The Internal Revenue Service is rolling out its free electronic tax-filing system in 12 states, including California, ahead of the 2023 tax-filing season. According to the agency, the in-house ...

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    Here are eight things that can make the experience of preparing and filing your taxes as easy, efficient and inexpensive as possible. 1. Know your deadlines: Unless you file for an automatic six ...

  7. FreeTaxUSA

    The IRS Free File program delivered by FreeTaxUSA® offers free federal and free state online tax preparation and e-filing for taxpayers with a federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of $45,000 or less -OR- for active-duty military members who served in 2023 with an AGI of $79,000 or less. Cost

  8. File online

    File directly with us - for free. Visit CalFile . Cash App Taxes; FreeTaxUSA Free File; OLT.com; IRS Federal Free File; Other options (may charge a fee) 1040now.net; express1040.com; eztaxreturn.com; fileyourtaxes.com; ... California Franchise Tax Board Certification date July 1, 2023 Contact

  9. How the IRS' new direct file pilot program works

    FILE - A sign outside the Internal Revenue Service building is seen, May 4, 2021, in Washington. As tax filing season officially starts Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, a limited number of taxpayers in 12 states will soon be eligible for a program that will allow them to calculate and submit their returns directly to the IRS without having to pay for commercial tax preparation software.

  10. New IRS tool can file tax returns for free without TurboTax

    Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $79,000 or less in 2023 are legally eligible to file for free. Nearly 70% of Californians fall under that limit, and online help is available for ...

  11. Request Free California Official Visitor's Guide

    The California Official State Visitor's Guide and Travel Planner is the most comprehensive resource for exploring the Golden State, featuring detailed guides, insider tips, trip itineraries and more for every region of California. Launch Service Contact Us. General Information: 916-322-1266. Set location to show nearby results.

  12. Calculate Assessment

    For Attractions & Recreation, $975 per $1 million of travel and tourism revenue or 0.000975. For Transportation & Travel Services, $975 per $1 million of travel and tourism revenue or 0.000975. For Passenger Car Rental, 3.5% of monthly revenue. These assessment rates apply to assessments that are delinquent as of July 1, 2015. Percentage Of Tourism

  13. Can I get tax refund in California for tourist?

    The items sold at duty-free shops are typically already exempt from certain taxes, so there is no additional tax refund available to tourists. 4. I am a non-resident of the United States. Can I get a tax refund for my purchases in California? As a non-resident, you are still subject to the same tax refund policy as any other tourist visiting ...

  14. Tax refund for visitors to Los Angeles?

    Tax refund for visitors to Los Angeles? 6 years ago Save I am from New Zealand and will be visiting LA in a few weeks. I know that in Australia. all overseas customers can get GST (Goods & Services Tax) - 10% - refunded on any purchases at airport departure. In the U.K. You get the same thing with VAT (Value Added Tax) which is 17.5% .

  15. IRS to roll out free tax filing program in 12 states: How it works

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  16. Occupancy Tax 14% California Tourism Fee .3% Los Angeles Tourism Fee 2%

    What are the current Tax Rates? Occupancy Tax 14% California Tourism Fee .3% Los Angeles Tourism Fee 2% Occupancy Tax 14% California Tourism Fee .3% Los Angeles Tourism Fee 2%

  17. Get free tax help

    Overview You may be able to get help with your taxes for free. This includes: Help with filling out forms What to do if you owe money If you qualify for the EITC tax credit If you live in California you can get free tax help from these programs: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), if you: Make $60,000 or less, generally Have disabilities, or

  18. Tax-Free In The USA For Foreigners And Tourists From ...

    April 7, 2023 Tips Is There a Tax-Free Program in the USA? According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection department, the United States Government doesn't refund sales tax to tourists and foreign visitors. Even though the USA does not have a tax-free program like Europe, foreigners and tourists can return taxes or buy without taxes by:

  19. What Is California Tourism Tax?

    The California tourism tax is also known as the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). It is a tax that is collected by cities and counties throughout the state on short-term lodging rentals. This includes hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and other types of accommodation where guests stay for less than 30 consecutive days.

  20. House passes the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

    The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act includes provisions to address the shortage of affordable housing. It restores a 12.5% allocation increase to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) that expired in 2021 and reduces the private activity bond financing requirement to access the 4% LIHTC from 50% to 30%. These measures will ...

  21. What Is California Tourism Fee?

    The current rate of the California Tourism Fee is 0.5% of the total room rate charged by the lodging establishment. For example, if you stay at a hotel that charges $100 per night for a room, you will have to pay an additional $0.50 as a tourism fee.

  22. Login

    Welcome. The California Office of Tourism is a department within the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development that supports the promotion of California as a global tourism destination and provides information services to visitors. The Office of Tourism works in close coordination with the California Travel and Tourism Commission, doing business as Visit California, to ...

  23. Tourist Taxes: Full List of Destinations Charging a Tourist Tax in 2024

    In Indonesia, the only destination which charges a tourist tax is Bali, and the fee is set to increase this February to $10 (£7.70, €8.90, IDR 150,000) - but is a one-time entry fee, not a ...

  24. Credits and deductions for individuals

    The standard deduction for 2023 is: $13,850 for single or married filing separately. $27,700 for married couples filing jointly or qualifying surviving spouse. $20,800 for head of household. Find the standard deduction if you're: Over 65 or blind. A dependent on someone else's tax return.

  25. 2022 Economic Impact of Travel in California

    Download a free upgrade of Internet Explorer. ... California travel impacts in total, and by region and county from 2013 to 2022. ... Travel-generated state and local tax revenue increased to $11.9 billion in 2022, an increase of 21.6% from the prior year. Compared to 2019, travel-generated tax revenue has fallen by 3%.

  26. Tourism Assessment Forms

    Copies of the Tourism Assessment Form and instructions are available to download. When submitting the form, please be sure to include your business's Tourism Identification Number noted on correspondence or notices sent by the California Office of Tourism. Tourism Assessment Forms. Assessment Filing Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions

  27. Franchise Tax Board Homepage

    California Franchise Tax Board. File a return, make a payment, or check your refund. Log in to your MyFTB account. Follow the links to popular topics, online services ...

  28. CalFile

    online calfile CalFile File online CalFile Qualifications Help with CalFile File directly with us — for free Use CalFile to e-file your state tax return directly to the Franchise Tax Board. Get real-time confirmation and the fastest refund possible. And best of all, it's free. Benefits Quick - Takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete.