Attention, holiday shoppers: The State Board of Equalization is reminding Californians this Black Friday weekend that they may owe "use tax" on their online or out-of-state purchases.
Generally, use tax is owed when you buy something from a business a mail order catalog, an online retailer, a TV shopping network that's located outside California but doesn't charge you tax.
The average California family owes about $61 in use tax each year, according to the BOE. Those who don't save their receipts can calculate what they owe based on last year's tax return.
For more information: www.boe.ca.gov.
The state has required payment of use taxes since 1935, an effort to prevent out-of-state retailers from having a competitive advantage over California-based vendors.
According to BOE estimates, the unreported and unpaid use tax costs the state more than $1.1 billion a year.