In the “Are you kidding me?” department, yesterday I wrote about the Use Tax reporting requirements we are supposed to comply with. Recently the BOE has provided more guidance on sales taxes collected by different districts within California and how to handle it.

Because of voted indebtedness, different areas within California have different sales tax rates. Example: South Gate’s combined rate is 10.75%, while Huntington Beach has a rate of only 8.75%. Question: What happens if someone who lives in South Gate goes shopping in Huntington Beach? Do they pocket the savings?

Not according to Sacramento. If you buy goods subject to sales tax and do not pay at least the amount that would have been assessed in the district of your residence, you are supposed to remit the difference with a letter, or form BOE-401-DS, to the BOE. (Refunds are not allowed.)

Heaven forbid that South Gate miss out on that extra $4 for the $200 TV set you bought last year.

I’d like to see a survey showing how many of our State legislators have ever paid this tax. I’d be willing to bet that the result would be zero! Unfortunately neither immateriality nor inability of enforcement will stop a state agency from promulgating rules for the rest of us to follow.