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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 (9.56%), Tennessee (9.55%), Arkansas (9.45%), Washington (9.38%), and Alabama (9.29%). 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).

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

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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 may vary. 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
Corporate capital gains are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Gains or losses on the sale of capital assets held over 12 months are long-term; those held 12 months or less are short-term. Net long-term gains minus short-term losses are net capital gains. Capital losses can only offset capital gains. Corporations can carry back excess capital losses three years and forward five years to offset gains.
An exception applies for business asset losses recognized in prior years: net losses from sales are treated as ordinary losses, and future gains are ordinary income to the extent of recharacterized losses from the past five years.
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. Similarly, the cost of goodwill is generally 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. Entertainment expenses are entirely disallowed unless an exception applies. Meal expenses, including those associated with entertainment if separately invoiced, are 50% deductible unless an exception applies.
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 168,400 of wages paid to employees and for Medicare tax of 1.45% on all wages. 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 (ODC), or imported products manufactured using such chemicals, are subject to environmental taxes calculated per weight of the ODC.

Individuals, estates, and certain trusts must pay a 3.8% tax on net investment income exceeding a threshold (USD 14,450 for estates and certain trusts in 2024).
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. 2024 Federal Income Tax Rates: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%
Single payers (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 11,600 10%
11,601 to 47,150 12%
47,151 to 100,525 22%
100,526 to 191,950 24%
191,951 to  243,725 32%
243,726 to 609,350 35%
609,351 or more 37%
Married Filing Jointly (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 23,200 10%
23,201 to 94,300 12%
94,301 to 201,050 22%
201,051 to 383,900 24%
383,901 to 487,450 32%
487,451 to 731,200 35%
731,201 or more 37%
Head of Household (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 16,550 10%
16,551 to 63,100 12%
63,101 to 100,500 22%
100,501 to 191,950 24%
191,951 to 243,700 32%
243,701 to 609,350 35%
609,351 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 232,600 (in 2024)
28% on the amount in excess

The AMT exemption amount for 2024 is USD 85,700 for singles and USD 133,300 for married couples filing jointly. AMT exemptions phase out at 25 cents per dollar earned once AMT income reaches USD 609,350 for single filers and USD 1,218,700 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. The medical expense deduction floor is 7.5% of adjusted gross income.

Citizens and resident aliens may also claim a standard deduction (instead of itemising deductions). The basic standard deduction for 2024 is USD 14,600 for individuals, USD 29,200 for married couples filing a joint return, and USD 210,900 for heads of households. Individuals, including resident aliens, who are blind or age 65 or over are entitled to an extra standard deduction of up tp USD 3,900.

An individual's capital loss deduction is generally limited to their capital gains plus USD 3,000. Losses from activities not engaged in for profit (hobby losses) are only deductible up to the income produced by the activity. However, since P.L. 115-97 disallows miscellaneous itemized deductions for tax years 2018-2025, hobby losses are effectively non-deductible under current law.

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 treaties 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.
Bilateral Agreement
The United Kingdom and the United States are bound by a double taxation treaty.

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Other Domestic Resources
U.S. Tax Court

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Latest Update: June 2024

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