Is the redemption value paid in stores taxable?
Yes and No. In 1986, the Board of Equalization determined the redemption value was not a deposit, but a part of the cost of the product being sold at the retail level. If the product purchased is subject to sales tax, then the redemption value applied to that product is subject to sales tax. If the product purchased is not subject to sales tax, then the redemption value applied to that product is not subject to sales tax.
Is the CRV a tax?
No. The Legislature has declared that the redemption payment is neither a deposit nor a tax, but a regulatory fee collected for the purpose of assuring the return for recycling of a greater percentage of the beverage containers sold in the state.
Why aren’t all beverages included in the recycling program?
The composition of beverages included in the program is determined by statute, Section 14504 of the Public Resources Code.
The following beverages sold in aluminum, glass, plastic, and bimetal containers are included in the program:
- Beer and other malt beverages
- Wine and distilled spirit coolers
- Vegetable juice 16 ounces or less in volume
- Carbonated and noncarbonated water, soda and mineral water, and similar soft drinks
- Carbonated and noncarbonated fruit drinks that contain any percentage of fruit juice
- Noncarbonated soft drinks and sport drinks
- Coffee and tea drinks
- Carbonated and noncarbonated fruit drinks
The following beverages are excluded from the program:
- Any product sold in a container that is not aluminum, glass, plastic, or bimetal
- Wine, or wine from which alcohol has been removed, in whole or in part, whether or not sparkling or carbonated
- Medical food
- Infant formula
- Vegetable juice in containers 16 ounces or greater in volume
- 100% fruit juice in containers 46 ounces or greater in volume
- Distilled spirits
- Any beverage container product type that is not specifically included by the Act.