California pet sellers, beware. The state's Board of Equalization plans to send letters to pet associations and pet-and-feed stores to tell them that sales of dogs, cats and other animals are taxable.

The letters will remind pet sellers that they may be required to report and pay sales tax on their pet sales. "If you are in the business of selling dogs, cats or other animals that are considered non-food animals in California, you need to register with the BOE," said the board.

Non-food animals are animals commonly kept as pets or companions and are not sold for human consumption. The need for a permit and to report and pay sales tax applies to pet stores and individual breeders if they make more than two sales of pets or other non-food animals in a 12-month period. The number of sales is measured by each individual sale, not by the number of animals sold or by litters, said the board.

The California BOE estimates that approximately $14 million in sales tax is due but goes uncollected every year because some pet sellers are not properly reporting and paying sales tax on their pet sales. The letters are part of the BOE's outreach campaign to remind and encourage retailers who are not properly reporting and paying sales tax on their sales to register with the BOE and collect and return sales tax to the board. Pet sellers are the latest targets of the BOE's outreach efforts.

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