February 17, 2016

Sales Tax Remains Steady for U.S. Consumers and Businesses in Q4 2015

Thomson Reuters report shows a decrease in local tax code amendments for the fourth quarter

NEW YORK The U.S. average combined sales tax rate remained steady in the fourth quarter, with a decrease in the number of indirect tax changes, according to the latest ONESOURCE Indirect Tax report from Thomson Reuters.

According to the report, which summarizes quarterly changes in sales, use and value-added tax, state-imposed retail sales tax remained unchanged at 5.539 percent across the nation. State and local tax rate changes decreased from 219 in the third quarter to 169 in the fourth quarter.

“The fourth quarter was a return to relative stability after significantly increased activity in Q3,” said Carla Yrjanson, vice president of tax research and content at Thomson Reuters. “Although fourth quarter rate changes decreased from Q3, there were a total of 614 sales tax rate changes for the year in 2015, amounting to a great deal of potential impact to businesses. Tax professionals must stay abreast of these changes and corresponding filing requirements to meet compliance obligations accordingly.”

Puerto Rico once again held the top spot for the highest state or U.S.-territory sales tax, at 10.5 percent, followed by Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Tennessee, which once again tied for the second-highest state sales tax rate of 7 percent. Minnesota and Nevada also held steady and followed at 6.875 percent and 6.85 percent, respectively.

Jurisdictions with the highest combined sales tax rates also remained unchanged in the fourth quarter, as follows: Tuba City, AZ, (12.9%), Arab, AL, (12.5%), Piedmont, AL, (12.5%), Coconino County, AZ, (11.9%), McKinley County, NM, (11.75%), Pinal County, AZ, (11.7%), Mansfield, AR, (11.625%),Cibola County, NM,(11.5626%), San Juan County, NM, (11.5626%).

Kodiak, AK, shares the highest city sales tax rate with Winter Park, CO, at 7 percent; Hoonah, AK, and Selawik, AK, followed at 6.5 percent. Alaska continues to claim the highest-taxing counties, with Wrangell, AK, and Petersburg, AK, at 7 and 6 percent, respectively.

In India, the Finance Act, 2015, allowed for the creation of a new levy on taxable services known as Swachh Bharat Cess, of 0.5 percent on services, effective November 15, 2015. This was the third change in 2015 for services taxation in India and raises the indirect tax rate on services from 14 to 14.5 percent.

To download the full report, visit: https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/reports/indirect-tax-rates/2015_q4/.

For more information on ONESOURCE Indirect Tax, visit https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/products/brands/onesource/indirect-tax/.

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