Happy New Year and welcome to a world where cannabis is officially legal in the state of California! We hope this year brings big things for your business. To help you stay on track, we’re helping you start off the year right with a checklist of all the forms your business will need come tax time. Whether you’re filing for the first time or a seasoned pro, take a look at this list to make sure your business is prepared. Questions? The experts at California Cannabis CPAs are here to help. Just let us know!
What you Need to File Your Taxes
Cultivators and retailers of cannabis products must pay a cultivation and excise tax to the distributor. Distributors are required to electronically file a tax return with the CDTFA on the last day of the month following the reporting period. This is where you file both the cannabis taxes and sales taxes.
To file your return, you need the following things:
Check out the graphic below for a breakdown of collected taxes from commercial cannabis businesses in California.
State vs. Federal Taxes for California Cannabis Companies
Starting in this month, California is introducing a 15% state excise tax on every purchase of a cannabis product. Retailers are required to charge that tax on customers at the point of sale -- and you will need to keep track and report that accounting when you file your own taxes. Likewise, it will be mission critical to keep track of the California licenses and permits you need before tax time. The cultivation and excise taxes will be collected by distributors from cultivators and retailers and paid to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
As for the federal tax system, your cannabis business should file an income tax return just like any other business. What you file will depend on your business entity -- the way you’re structured. For example, a corporation would file a Form 100, California Corporation Franchise Tax or Income Tax Return. The main difference in filing your taxes will be in the deductions, credits and records you’ll be asked to submit at the time of your filling. To convert your nonprofit cannabis company into a for-profit, check out this guide. Or, if you’re just getting started setting up your business structure, you may want to take these tax ramifications into account.
Not only will you have California state taxes, but there are also local taxes and fees to pay. Cities and counties may impose additional taxes to produce revenue for their community, and fluctuating tax rates depend on where your cannabis company operates and is located. To find your local tax regulations, contact your municipality.
Have questions about being prepared for tax time? Get in touch, we’re happy to help!