Sales Tax Burden Stays Flat for U.S. Consumers and Businesses in Q1 2014

by Carla Yrjanson
May 29, 2014

A new report summarizes changes in sales, use and value added taxes.

U.S. sales tax burden stayed flat, and indirect tax changes declined in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest ONESOURCE Indirect Tax rate report from Thomson Reuters.

The report summarizes changes in sales, use and value added taxes. In Q1 2014, state rates remained at an average 5.457% for the second straight quarter, while city and county rates experienced negligible rises, allowing the overall average burden to move slightly from 8.451% in Q4 2013 to 8.461% in Q1 2014. In addition, there were 211 U.S. tax code changes made, down from 231 changes in Q4 2013. This comes after back-to-back quarters of tax change spikes.

While no states changed their designated portion of the combined rates this quarter, the average city rate increased slightly from 1.751% to 1.756%, and the average county rate went from 1.243% to 1.248%. Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Tennessee once again had the highest state designated portion of the sales tax rate at 7.0%, while an Alaskan county (Wrangell) and city (Kodiak) topped their respective lists with a 7.0% designated portion of the rate as well.

Internationally, the start of the new calendar year brought many changes to countries around the globe. Serbia added a new 10% rate, and end-dated 8% rate and rule for computer products effective January 1, 2014, while Croatia increased its reduced rate from 10% to 13% effective Jan. 1, 2014. The Portuguese Autonomous Region of the Azores increased its VAT rates from 4%, 9% and 16% to 5%, 10% and 20%, respectively, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

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