Hawaii State Sales Tax – A Quick Guide for Businesses

State Spotlight Series HI

Hawaii state mountains

Hawaii state sales tax actually does not exist. Instead Hawaii has something they refer to as a GET, or a general excise tax. Sales taxes are all about collecting money and taxes from the consumer. Excise taxes are about taxing the actual business entity. However, businesses can pass on the GET to the customers, charging them just like most states have businesses charge sales tax.

Economic Nexus?

Hawaii’s economic nexus law applies if you sell more than 100,000 dollars worth of merchandise or if you have more than 200 separate transactions. Both the transaction and the amount limit have to happen in the previous calendar year. The bill is not retroactive and came into effect July 1, 2018. Like many states, Hawaii did not waste anytime after the Wayfair decision.

Hawaii State Sales Tax Due dates

hawaii sales tax due dates

Though the technical term used by Hawaii is a general excise tax, people should keep in mind a few things. One, the way the tax is collected is very similarly to sales tax and should be taken just as seriously. Two, GET has filing time lines separated into monthly, quarterly, and yearly just like its sales tax counterparts.

Hawaii, like many states, makes the due dates easy on us all at the very least. Everything, no matter how frequently you file, is due on a 20th.
Monthly taxes for January are due February 20th and so on.

Hawaii Tax Holiday?

No. As of now, Hawaii has no sales tax holidays. However, with some of the lowest excise/sales tax rates in the country, Hawaii consumers already save more than if they were in say California. California has a sales tax rate of 7.5%

Amazon Fulfillment Center?

Good news for remote sellers: no worries about triggering nexus through inventory storage.

As you can imagine, an amazon fulfillment center in Hawaii would be pretty hard to manage. It is in the bottom 5 of states when organized by size. However, if Amazon does ever build a fulfillment center we will let you know.

Weirdest Tax Laws

Hawaii state tax breaks

Do you have a tree in your yard that you love? Maybe it’s where the kid’s tree house is or maybe its just the perfect shady spot. Whatever the reason, you might say that you feel you have on your hands (or in this case, in your yard) exceptional tree. Well in Hawaii, that exceptional tree may just give you a tax break come income tax filing season.

Hawaii has an exceptional tree protection incentive. You can earn up to 3,000 dollars in tax credits(not claimable every year). The tree also has to be inspected and deemed exceptional by a professional arborist.

While it may sound odd, the origin of the law is understandable. When development in Hawaii rose, the state was loosing much of its natural beauty to parking lots and infrastructure. Hawaii created this program to help protect their natural wonders.

Helpful Links:

Index of excise tax forms

Information for new businesses and how to register

Hawaii Business Express- here you can find a variety of information on starting a business and registering with the state to make sure you are compliant and you start off on the right foot. If you’re having to cut a check to the state of Hawaii, you’d probably it rather be for a vacation over tax penalties!

We’re making our way though all fifty states. Check out our State Spotlight category to see all that we’ve done so far.

Please note: this blog is for informational purposes and should not to be considered, or used in place of, professional advice for your specific situation.

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