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General Excise Tax Surcharge

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Updated December 2019

The following table contains the county surcharge rates, effective dates & Maximum General Excise Tax Pass-On Rates:

County Surcharge on Hawaiʻi General Excise Tax

County Surcharge & Maximum General Excise (GE) Tax Pass-On Rates
County Surcharge Rate Effective Date max pass-on rate
Honolulu 0.50% January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2030 4.7120%
Kauaʻi 0.50% January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2030 4.7120%
Hawaiʻi 0.25% January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 4.4386%
0.50% January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2030 4.7120%
Maui 0.00% No county surcharge  4.1666%

The Legislature authorized county governments to adopt county surcharges on state general excise (GE) tax and use tax. To establish the surcharge, the county must adopt a surcharge by ordinance. The City and County of Honolulu has levied a surcharge at a rate of 0.5% rate since 2007 with a current expiration date of December 31, 2030. The County of Kauaʻi began levying a surcharge on January 1, 2019 at the rate of 0.5% with an expiration date of December 31, 2030. The County of Hawaiʻi will levy a surcharge at the rate of 0.25% from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 and a surcharge at the rate of 0.5% beginning January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2030. The County of Maui has not adopted a surcharge.

The county surcharge only applies to transactions subject to the 4.0% GE and use tax rate. The county surcharge does not apply to activities taxed at the 0.5% rate (e.g., wholesaling) or the 0.15% rate (i.e., insurance commissions). Taxpayers are required to allocate their gross proceeds and gross income to the designated taxation districts.

A seller may choose to visibly pass on the GE tax and any applicable county surcharge to its customers but is not required to do so.

For more information on county surcharges, please visit the State Department of Taxation website or contact them at (808) 974-6321.