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Tax rates in the United States

Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Sales Tax is levied by individual states at various rates. Forty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico collect statewide sales taxes, while only 38 states collect local sales taxes and in some cases may rival or even exceed state rates. Consult the Tax Foundation website for more information.
Tax Rate
Sales and use tax rates vary from state to state and generally range from 2.9% (Colorado) to 7.25% (California) at the state level. Most states also allow a "local option" that permits local jurisdictions, such as cities and counties, to impose an additional percentage on top of the state-level tax and to keep the related revenues. Such a system may induce consumers to make cross-border purchases (for example through e-commerce).

The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Louisiana (9.55%), Tennessee (9.548%), Arkansas (9.46%), Alabama (9.25%), and Oklahoma (8.98%). For the full list of applicable rates, click here.

Reduced Tax Rate
Varies by state and city (generally ranging from 2.9% to 7.25% at the state level). Click here for more information.
Other Consumption Taxes
Various consumption taxes may be levied at the local level. Click here for more information about other consumption taxes by states.

Excise duties are levied at federal and state levels on a wide range of goods and activities, including gasoline and diesel fuel used for transportation, air transportation, wagering, foreign insurance, certain sporting goods, firearms and ammunition, alcohol, tobacco, and selling certain goods at retail (e.g. heavy vehicles, trailers, bodies, and chassis).

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
Federal corporate income tax is applied with a flat rate of 21% to the effectively connected income (ECI). State and local governments may also impose income taxes (generally ranging between 1% and 12%), thus the effective tax rate in each state. Click here for more information about corporate tax rates.
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
With the tax reform legislation enacted on 22 December 2017 (P.L. 115-97), the U.S. adopted a system of taxation based on territoriality (from the previously used worldwide system). Foreign companies are generally subject to the same corporate tax as domestic companies. However, taxable income is calculated on Effectively Connected Income (ECI) only, which is considered as all U.S.-source income derived from trade or business in the U.S. or the sale of U.S. real property or inventory by a foreign entity. ECI tax exemption can also be applied through a tax treaty.
U.S. taxation of income earned by non-U.S. entities depends on whether the income has a nexus with the United States.

Foreign companies are however subject to a branch profits tax at 30% of ECI that is not invested in U.S. trade or business and a 30% withholding tax on non-ECI U.S.-source income (e.g. dividends, interests, rents and royalties). Other arrangements can be made through tax treaties. A 30% branch profits tax also will be imposed on interest payments by the U.S. branch to foreign lenders.

Capital Gains Taxation
Gains recognized by domestic corporations on capital assets (e.g., assets held for investment) are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Capital losses may be deducted against capital gains, but not against ordinary income. An excess of capital losses over capital gains in a tax year may be carried back three years and carried forward five years.

In general, foreign corporations are not subject to taxation on capital gains, except when the gains arise from selling U.S. real estate assets or are related to conducting business activities in the US.

Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Deductions are available for specific domestic production activities, qualifying business expenses and depreciation, amortisation and losses. Normally, start-up expenditures can be amortised over a 15-year period. The cost of goodwill generally is capitalised and amortised over 15 years. Bad debt resulting from a trade or business may be deducted in the year the debt becomes worthless. Certain charitable contributions may be deducted, up to a limit of 10% of taxable income, and may be carried over to the fifteen succeeding years. State and municipal taxes imposed on businesses are deductible expenses. Fines and penalties are not deductible unless they are paid for restitution or to come into compliance with the law. Special rules limit or deny deductions for interest, rent, or royalties paid on certain transactions.
For tax years beginning after 2017 and before 1 January 2026, the law provides a deduction equal to 37.5% of a domestic corporation's foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) plus 50% of the global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) included in the corporation's gross income under new Section 951A. From tax years after December 31, 2025, the deduction is reduced to 21.875% for FDII and 37.5% for GILTI. If, in any tax year, the domestic corporation's taxable income is lower than the combined amount of its FDII and GILTI, the 37.5% FDII deduction and the 50% GILTI deduction are proportionally reduced by the difference.
Generally, net operating losses generated in tax years ending before 1 January 2018 may be carried back two years and, if not fully used, carried forward 20 years. Net operating losses (NOLs) generated in tax years ending after December 31, 2017, typically cannot be carried back and must instead be carried forward indefinitely. Nonetheless, the deduction for these NOLs is restricted to 80% of taxable income, which is calculated without considering the deduction.
Incentives are granted in the form of tax credits for R&D, energy-efficient appliances and "clean" motor vehicles.
Visit the IRS site for detailed information about available deductions in the U.S.
Other Corporate Taxes
Social security taxes comprise old age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI), and "Medicare". Employers are liable for social security tax of 6.2% on the first USD 142,800 of wages paid to employees and for Medicare tax of 1.45% on all wages. For 2023, social security tax is imposed on the first USD 160,200 of wages paid to employees. The different States can impose further contributions. The federal unemployment insurance rate is 6% on the first USD 7,000 of each employee’s wages. State unemployment insurance, mandatory in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, varies according to the State.

Certain companies are subject to an accumulated earnings tax equal to 20% of "accumulated taxable income" if they are deemed to be accumulating earnings and profits for the purpose of avoiding shareholder personal income tax.
U.S. corporations and foreign corporations meeting specific criteria of receiving significant "passive income" and being "closely held" may be liable for the personal holding company tax, levied at 20% of undistributed personal holding company income, which is imposed in addition to the regular tax.

Importers, manufacturers, and sellers of ozone-depleting chemicals, or imported products manufactured using such chemicals, are subject to environmental taxes calculated per weight of the ODC.

In addition to federal taxes, state and municipal taxes vary from one state or community to another, including property taxes on real property, stamp duties, franchise taxes and taxes on the capital of a corporation. For more details, consult the Tax Foundation website.

Other Domestic Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  United States OECD Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 10.6 10.1 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 175.0 163.6 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 36.6 41.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business, Latest available data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Different scales depending on the family status (married couples under a joint system, married couples under a separate assets system, single and head of the family), limited to seven rates. 2023 Federal Income Tax Rates: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%
Single payers (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 11,000 10%
11,001 to 44,725 12%
44,726 to 95,375 22%
95,3776 to 182,100 24%
182,101 to  231,250 32%
231,251 to 578,125 35%
578,125 or more 37%
Married Filing Jointly (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 22,000 10%
22,001 to 89,450 12%
89,451 to 190,750 22%
190,751 to 364,200 24%
364,201 to 462,500 32%
462,501 to 693,750 35%
693,750 or more 37%
Head of Household (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 15,700 10%
15,701 to 59,850 12%
59,851 to 95,350 22%
95,351 to 182,100 24%
182,101 to 231,250 32%
231,251 to 578,100 35%
578,100 or more 37%
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
(applies if an individual’s tentative AMT liability exceeds that individual’s regular income tax liability.)
26% up to a taxable income of USD 220,700
28% on the amount in excess

The AMT exemption amount for 2023 is USD 81,300 for singles and USD 126,500 for married couples filing jointly. AMT exemptions phase out at 25 cents per dollar earned once AMT income reaches USD 578,150 for single filers and USD 1,156,300 for married taxpayers filing jointly

State and local income taxes Most states, and a number of municipal authorities, impose income taxes on individuals working or residing within their jurisdictions. For more information, visit the IRS website.
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Allowable deductions depend on the state of residence. They may include credits for families and dependencies (e.g. child tax credit, elderly and disabled tax credit, adoption credit), healthcare, education, homeowners (e.g. mortgage interest credit, low-income housing credit), income and savings (e.g. foreign tax credit) and electrical vehicle credit, as well as deductions for work-related consumption (e.g. deductible business expenses, bad debt), healthcare, itemised deduction (e.g. real estate tax, gambling loss, charitable contributions), investments, education and others such as alimony and losses.

Citizens and resident aliens may also claim a standard deduction (instead of itemising deductions). The basic standard deduction for 2023 is USD 13,850 for individuals, USD 27,700 for married couples filing a joint return, and USD 20,800 for heads of households. Individuals, including resident aliens, who are blind or age 65 or over are entitled to an extra standard deduction of USD 1,850.

Visit the IRS site for more detailed information.

Special Expatriate Tax Regime
The United States levies tax on its citizens and residents on their worldwide income. Non-resident aliens are taxed on their US-ECI-source income and income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.
According to U.S. laws, a resident alien is an individual that is not a citizen or national of the United States and who meets either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year. The resident alien status often results in lower U.S. tax than non-resident alien status, as it provides more allowable deductions and lower tax rates for certain married taxpayers.
If there is a tax treaty in effect between the United States and an individual's country of residence, the provisions of the treaty may override the US resident alien rules.
Expatriation tax applies differently depending on the date of expatriation. Individuals face a penalty of USD 10,000 if they fail to file the expatriation Form 8854. Visit the IRS website for more details.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
Double taxation treaty signed by the U.S.
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 0% (paid to a resident)/30% (paid to a non-resident), Interest: 0% (paid to a resident)30% (paid to a non-resident), Royalties: 0% (paid to a resident)/30% (paid to a non-resident)
Different rates apply based on the treaties signed by the U.S. with other countries to avoid double taxation.

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Overview of the USA's tax measures in response to Covid-19
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Other Domestic Resources
U.S. Tax Court

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Latest Update: April 2024