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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Sales Tax is levied by individual states at various rates. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia 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% to 7.25% 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 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 Tennessee (9.53%), Louisiana (9.52%), Arkansas (9.51%), Washington (9.23%), and Alabama (9.22%). 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 level 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, and tobacco.

 
Find out more about Taxes and Accounting in the United States on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.
 

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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 US 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 sale of U.S. real property or inventory by a foreign entity. ECI tax exemption can also be applied through a tax treaty.
US taxation of income earned by non-US 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.

Capital Gains Taxation
A corporation’s capital gains are taxed at the same rates as ordinary income if shares are held for short-term (less than a year). Otherwise (shares held longer than a year), capital gains are taxed at a rate of 15% (20% for the highest tax bracket).

Capital losses can only be used to offset capital gains. An excess of capital losses over capital gains in a tax year may be carried back three years and carried forward five years.

Foreign companies are generally exempt from capital gains tax unless the gain is U.S.-sourced (from U.S. real property or through U.S. trade or business).

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, rents, or royalties paid on certain transactions.
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. Under the COVID-related CARES Act, losses arising in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2021 may be carried back to each of the five tax years preceding the tax year of such loss.
Incentives are granted in the form of tax credits for R&D, energy-efficient appliances and electric motor vehicles.
Visit the IRS site for detailed information about available deductions in the U.S.
Other Corporate Taxes
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. The different States can impose further contributions.
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.

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)
Doing Business: U.S., to obtain a summary of taxes and mandatory contributions

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. 2021 Federal Income Tax Rates: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 37%
Single payers (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 9,950 10%
9,951 to 40,525 12%
40,526 to 86,375 22%
86,376 to 164,925 24%
164,926 to 209,425 32%
209,406 to 523,600 35%
523,601 or more 37%
Married Filing Jointly (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 19,900 10%
19,901 to 81,050 12%
81,051 to 172,750 22%
172,751 to 329,850 24%
329,850 to 418,850 32%
418,851 to 628,300 35%
Above 628,301 37%
Married filling separately (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 9,950 10%
9,951 to 40,525 12%
40,526 to 86,375 22%
86,376 to 164,925 24%
164,926 to 209,425 32%
209,426 to 314,150 35%
314,151 or more 37%
Head of Household (USD) Tax Rate
0 to 14,200 10%
14,201 to 54,200 12%
54,201 to 86,350 22%
86,351 to 164,900 24%
164,901 to 209,400 32%
209,401 to 523,600 35%
523,601 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 199,900
28% on the amount in excess

The AMT exemption amount for 2021 is USD 73,600 for singles and USD 114,600 for married couples 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 2021 is USD 12,550 for individuals, USD 25,100 for married couples filing a joint return, and USD 18,800 for heads of household.

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 US trade or business.
According to US 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 US 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: 30% (paid to a non-resident), Interest: 30% (paid to a non-resident), Royalties: 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
Spain and the United States signed a Double Taxation Treaty.

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Find out more about Taxes and Accounting in the United States on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Actualitzacions: May 2022

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