Sales Tax in San Diego, California in 2024

California Sales Tax Rate
San Diego County Tax Rate
Combined San Diego Sales Tax Rate

If you sell remotely to customers in San Diego city or San Diego county, you might be wondering whether you need to collect San Diego sales tax and, if so, what the sales tax rate is. Wonder no more! This article will break down all the important things you need to know about sales tax in San Diego, CA.

We’ll explain things like the difference between the San Diego county sales tax rate and the sales tax rates in individual cities in the county, how to calculate sales tax in San Diego, and help you figure out if your business needs to charge sales tax. We’ll even walk you through easy ways to make sure you remain sales tax compliant in San Diego.

What is the Sales Tax in San Diego?

San Diego Sales Tax

San Diego city has a combined sales tax rate of 7.75%. In California, the sales tax rate can be made up of three different sales tax rates:

  1. The California state sales tax rate
  2. A San Diego county sales tax rate
  3. Any special sales tax rates – these are charged to fund district-wide initiatives

San Diego’s sales tax rate is relatively low. While there are cities like Calaveras County (7.25%) and Willows (7.25%) that have lower sales tax rates, San Diego’ sales tax rate is just 0.50% higher than the statewide sales tax of 7.25%.

San Diego Tax Rate Breakdown

San Diego’s sales tax rate breaks down in the following way:

What is San Diego County Sales Tax?

San Diego County’s sales tax rate is also 7.75%. However, often county sales tax rates are lower than the sales tax rate charged in cities within that county. That’s because some cities might charge additional rates or be subject to a special tax rate that only applies to certain cities in that county.

In San Diego County the amount charged from one city to another can vary considerably due to some cities that charge a higher rate. Sales tax rates in San Diego county vary up to 8.75% which is the amount charged in cities like Solana Beach, Del Mar, National City, and Imperial Beach. Meanwhile, cities like Escondito and San Diego don’t charge additional sales taxes and so their sales tax rate is 7.75%.

Tax Rates by City in San Diego County, California

Wondering how much sales tax rates vary in San Diego County? Here’s a list of all the cities in San Diego County and the sales tax rates they charge.

City Sales Tax Rate
Carlsbad 7.750 %
Chula Vista 8.750 %
Coronado 7.750 %
Del Mar 8.750 %
El Cajon 8.250 %
Encinitas 7.750 %
Escondido 7.750 %
Imperial Beach 8.750 %
La Mesa 8.500 %
Lemon Grove 7.750 %
National City 8.750 %
Oceanside 8.250 %
Poway 7.750 %
San Diego 7.750 %
San Marcos 7.750 %
Santee 7.750 %
Solana Beach 8.750 %
Vista 8.250 %

San Diego Sales Tax vs. Other Cities

So, how does San Diego sales tax rates compare to the rates charged elsewhere in California? Here are some examples:

  • Los Angeles sales tax: 9.5%
  • San Francisco sales tax: 8.625%
  • Concord sales tax: 9.75%
  • Williams sales tax:  8.25%
  • Clayton sales tax: 8.75%
  • Berkeley sales tax: 10.25%
  • Emeryville sales tax: 10.5%
  • Newark sales tax: 10.75%
  • San Joaquin sales tax: 7.975%

Want to look up a city? Here’s all the California sales tax rates.

Who Needs to Collect Sales Tax in San Diego?

A business only needs to collect sales tax in San Diego if they have either achieve physical nexus or economic sales tax nexus in California.

How do you do that? By making sales to residents of San Diego County or another city in California either by having a physical presence in California or doing a certain amount in sales to residents of California in a year.

What is Physical Nexus in California?

Physical nexus in California essentially just means that your business has a physical presence of some kind in the state. This isn’t just something you qualify for if your headquarters are in the state – there are a lot of ways that out-of-state sellers can have a physical presence in California despite being based elsewhere.

How you qualify for physical nexus in California (full details):

  • A physical location in California is the easiest way to qualify for physical nexus. That could include having your headquarters, a satellite office, a warehouse, a distribution center, a show room, or some other form of physical location.
  • If you have affiliates who represent your business in certain kinds of operations in the state of California, this could also mean you qualify for physical nexus.
  • Have employees in the state? That could qualify you for physical nexus in California.
  • If you have physical property that you rent or lease to someone in California, your business might also have physical nexus there.

What is Economic Nexus in California?

So, what if you don’t have any physical ties to the state? In California, you can have economic nexus in the state simply by making $500,000 worth of sales in the state in a year.

How you qualify for economic nexus in California (full details):

  • You need to count all sales made by your business into California, including wholesale sales, towards your $500,000 economic nexus threshold.
  • The only exception is that you don’t have to count sales you made through a qualifying marketplace where the marketplace facilitator is collecting taxes on your behalf.
  • When you meet the threshold for economic nexus, you need to register for sales tax in California immediately and begin collecting and remitting sales taxes in California.

How to Get a Sales Tax Permit in San Diego?

If you’re reach either physical or economic nexus, you’ll need to get a sales tax permit in California for all your sales across the state, including in San Diego. Getting your sales tax permit is easy and free.

Here are the steps:

  • Go to the California Department of Tax and Fees website.
  • Answer a few questions about your business.
  • Allow the wizard to identify what permits you need and register you for them.
  • That’s it!

See the State of California’s Sales Tax website for more info.

How Do You Charge the Right Amount for Sales Tax in San Diego?

Want to make sure you charge the right amount in sales tax in San Diego? Since there are cities in San Diego that charge different rates, it can be complicated to ensure you always charge the right amount – especially on remote sales.

Here’s how to stay sales tax compliant:

  • Manually check and input rates: Managing your sales taxes yourself is possible since the state’s website will keep you updated on sales tax rates in cities across the state. However, there are a lot of cities in San Diego County, let alone across the whole state. Sales tax rates also could change at various times in the year and charging the wrong amount could be a costly mistake. Checking monthly and updating your local, district and tax rates in your ecommerce platform is necessary to make sure you’re always charging the right amount in sales tax.
  • Use a sales tax compliant software solution: Doing things manually isn’t just time consuming but it’s also no longer necessary. There is affordable sales tax compliance software like TaxCloud that automates everything for you. Why track and update sales tax rates in every tax jurisdiction you are required to collect taxes in when you can outsource that work?

How Do You File and Remit Sales Tax in San Diego?

Wondering if you need to file sales tax returns in the city or county of San Diego? Thankfully, the answer is no. If you have sales tax nexus in California, you can collect sales taxes from across the state and file just one state-wide return. When you remit the sales tax you collected to the State of California, they’ll then remit those funds to whatever city, district, or county where those taxes were collected.

Wish you didn’t have to spend so much time filing your California sales taxes?

TaxCloud can help. We can automate your end-to-end sales tax management process from tracking your progress towards nexus in every state and registering for sales tax to filing your sales taxes. TaxCloud takes filing sales taxes off your plate so that you can focus on growing your business.

Find out how TaxCloud can help your business make sales taxes simple.