Building for Uncle Sam

How Sales & Use Tax Applies to Construction Contracts with the United States Government

Generally speaking, the United States Government is immune from state taxation under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.  Courts have ruled that states are precluded from taxing activities where the incidence of tax falls directly upon the federal government, its agencies, and instrumentalities.  But what about construction contracts with the federal government where the contractor is the party that is providing and installing items on behalf of the federal government? 

This article uses California as an example to briefly explain how tax […]

Tricks of the Trade

Understanding How Sales and Use Tax Applies to Cabinet Contractors in California Can Save You a Bundle of Tax

Sales and use tax rules for the construction industry are complex.  Generally speaking, California construction contractors are considered consumers of materials and retailers of fixtures.  Consumers must pay sales or use tax on the costs of the items they “use,” and retailers owe tax on the sale price of the items they sell.  Like many areas of taxation, however, the devil is in details.  The application of tax may vary depending on the item being installed, the form […]