California has extended its consumer designation for qualified all-volunteer fire departments through January 1, 2026. Qualified all-volunteer fire departments are not required to obtain seller's permits or file sales and use tax returns to report sales of merchandise when the profits are used solely and exclusively to further the departments' purposes. This includes sales of clothing and hot prepared food products. As consumers, fire departments pay tax when they purchase the items to sell.
To qualify for the consumer designation, an all-volunteer fire department must meet the following requirements: (1) members may be unpaid, paid hourly, or per incident, but cannot be paid a regular salary; (2) the department's purpose is to protect the lives, property, and environment within a designated geographical area from fires, disasters, and emergency incidents through education, prevention, training, and emergency response; (3) the department is regularly organized for volunteer fire department purposes; (4) the department qualifies as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization; and (5) the department's gross receipts from the sale of tangible personal property in each of the two preceding calendar years is less than $100,000.