Excise & Property Tax Compliance

There are many excise and property tax matters that may impact University operations and functions. The general information on this webpage is provided as a courtesy to the campus community.

Excise Taxes

As a State/Political Subdivision of the State of California, the University is exempt from Communication Services, Heavy Highway Motor Vehicle, Retail, and Manufacturers Excise Taxes.  The Contracts & Procurement office partners with the University Tax Compliance Manager to coordinate the compliance and reporting of excise tax activities. In general, the specific conditions to be exempt are: (1) the article or service must be used exclusively by the University, and (2) the article or service-related article/goods must not be resold.

Excise taxes paid on University transactions require the completion and filing of IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return.

Common Excise Tax purchases by the University include:

  • Gasoline and Diesel Fuel (aka liquid fuel) purchases for University vehicles
  • Retail tax on heavy trucks, trailers and tractors
  • Heavy highway vehicle use taxes
  • Long distance telecommunications
  • Vehicles used by State or local governments for law enforcement specific purposes
  • International air travel which begins or ends: (1) outside the continental U.S., i.e., excluding Hawaii and Alaska, or (2) outside a 225-mile zone which extends into Mexico and Canada, or (3) the portion of a domestic flight which is part of uninterrupted international air transportation.

Under IRS Regulations, the University’s excise fuel tax exemptions and refunds are processed automatically by the contracted fuel vendors.

Requests for exemption certificates

It is not uncommon for the University will receive requests for Federal excise tax exemptions from vendors.  Like the IRS W-9 Form, if you receive any requests please forward all documents to the University Tax Compliance Manager to be completed and submitted in accordance to U.S. and State of California tax laws.

Additional general information regarding excise taxes can be found in IRS Publication 510 PDF File , Excise Taxes.

Property Taxes

California State University, Fullerton is exempt from property taxes including real property (i.e. land or buildings), leased property and personal property. The University is not exempt from county assessed sewer usage fees.

According to the California Revenue & Taxation Code, any property owned or leased by the University is exempt from property taxation.  The University is required annually to file a report with the County of Orange, Tax Assessor’s Office on all leased property used exclusively for higher education institution purposes.  Common leased equipment includes tangible property such as leased copiers, equipment, and computer systems.

If your department receives a property tax filing notice, possessory interest filing notice, or property tax assessment notice, please forward the mailed notice and correspondence to the University Tax Compliance Manager.


For further clarification, please contact the University Tax Compliance Manager, Greg Sweet, at gsweet@fullerton.edu.


This website and related web page content is expressly intended as general guidance. Its purpose is to inform the Cal State University, Fullerton campus community of the many tax risk exposures related to federal, state, local and international agencies.

While Cal State Fullerton's Financial Services has made every effort to use the most current and accurate data, tax laws change frequently, and it is possible that some of the information may no longer be accurate. The University disclaims all liability form the mistreatment of information and materials contained in the tax web page.  Its function is for administrative purposes only for Cal State University Fullerton.Information regarding employment and tax filing substantial authority are the responsibility of each individual. Please keep in mind that no one in their official role at the university, can act as a tax consultant, give personal, legal, or tax advice, or represent an individual dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Thus, any assistance the following information may provide is given as a courtesy to you, and as such, should not be construed in any way as the rendering of legal or tax advice per IRS Circular 230.

The Tax Compliance Manager can only provide information from the IRS, California Franchise Tax Board, Board of Equalization, and other taxing agencies.  Information regarding immigration and naturalization, employment, and tax filing regulations are the responsibility of each individual or entity who receives payment from Cal State University, Fullerton or its auxiliaries.