Guidance on tracking PPE purchases temporarily exempt from sales and use taxes

April 23, 2020
This message was sent to DFLs and CAOs. 
Divisional Finance Leaders and Chief Administrative Officers,
On April 7, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-46-20. The order states that sales to or purchases by the State of California of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical materials are temporarily exempt from sales and use taxes. PPE refers to masks, gloves, eye protection, gowns, and other critical materials that protect public health. This order applies to the UC system because the University of California is considered to be part of the State of California and is listed as a state agency.
Accounts Payable is actively monitoring all PPE purchases to ensure that campus is taking advantage of the temporary sales and use tax exemption. Moving forward, we would like for all campus departments to follow these guidelines with respect to PPE purchases. 
Tracking PPE purchases
The executive order applies to all invoices with a date of April 7 or later. 
  • For tracking of PPE purchases, please use general ledger account code 55022 (Medical Supplies) on all applicable orders henceforth. Review existing open purchase orders and change any account codes accordingly. 
  • Ensure at least one of the corresponding COVID-19 chartfield codes is recorded on the purchase order. If you’re not sure which code to use, email your question to or review the finance FAQs for examples. 
  • CF1: COVD19 
  • CF2: COV19
For those directly placing orders for PPE, please follow the guidance on this page of the Controller’s website. 
If you have any questions, please contact the Accounts Payable team
Thank you,
Elizabeth Chavez, Interim Controller
Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance