Sales Tax Unaffected for U.S. Consumers and Businesses in Q4 2014

Thomson Reuters Report Shows a spike in Local Tax Code Amendments

January 26, 2015
Lisa Travnik

NEW YORK, January 26, 2015 – The U.S. sales tax rate was unaffected in the fourth quarter, while the number of indirect tax changes increased from the previous quarter, according to the latest ONESOURCE Indirect Tax report from Thomson Reuters.

The report, which summarizes changes in sales, use and value-added tax, shows that statewide retail sales tax remained unchanged across the nation, allowing the average rate to remain steady at 5.457 percent. Tax code amendments rose 14 percent to 201, making the fourth quarter the second busiest of the year.

“We are seeing a lot of activities around the jurisdictional levels,” said Carla Yrjanson, vice president of tax research and content at Thomson Reuters. “Changes around the non-standard rates also experienced growth which puts a greater burden on tax professionals to increase their vigilance in ensuring compliance this tax season.”

The average county taxes changed marginally by 0.08 percent to 1.252 percent while the average city rates changed 0.011 percent to 1.764 percent, up from 1.762 percent in the third quarter.

Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Tennessee once again tied for the highest rates at 7 percent. Colorado had the lowest rate at 2.9 percent among the non-zero states. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon remained the shoppers’ dreamland with zero percent rates, where all, except Alaska, prohibit local sales taxes.

Though Alaska doesn’t collect a statewide sales tax, five of its local jurisdictions have the highest rates in the country, with Wrangell County leading at 7 percent. Similarly, seven percent of its cities had the highest nationwide rates, with Kodak City leading again at 7 percent.

Nevertheless, Tuba City, Arizona, retained the overall lead with a combined total burden of 12.6 percent, even after a 0.125 percent drop from the third quarter.

Internationally, the Bahamas introduced a value-added tax (VAT) with a 7.5 percent standard rate as Sri Lanka lowered the same from 12 to 11 percent. Argentina and the Czech Republic added reduced rates to their existing tax bases and several states in India expanded VAT rates to include gasoline, diesel and jet fuel among a list of declared goods and services.

To download the full report, visit

For more information on ONESOURCE Indirect Tax, visit

About Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world’s most trusted news organization. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. For more information, go to


Lisa Travnik
Public Relations

Back to Press Releases

In The News

Friday, March 4 Would you take tax advice from a robot?

Though you might not immediately think of it like this, consider tax software widely used in the market today. That software is technically a machine…

Thursday, March 3 Why Some Charities May Want to Re-Think Taking Government Grants

It seems everyone starts to feel a little more charitable around tax season. But as individuals trek into their accountant’s offices, donation receipts in hand,…

Friday, February 26 5 Reasons Why Cloud Technology Builds Stronger Client Relationships

If you’ve worked in the tax and accounting profession long enough, you know that strong client relationships are the foundation of a successful practice. As…