Utah’s sales tax rate is 4.85 percent of retail goods and some services sold. Local jurisdictions also have a sales and use tax rate. Additionally, the state has excise and special taxes for certain industries. Consumers pay either the sales tax or the use tax. If a consumer does not pay sales tax on taxable tangible personal property, the consumer must pay the use tax.
This guide does not fully describe all of Utah’s laws and regulations regarding taxes. Businesses should contact a business attorney or visit the Utah State Tax Commission’s website to learn more about the rules, regulations, tax laws, and tax information associated with their industries and the types of taxes due.
Types of taxes
In addition to Utah’s 4.85-percent sales tax rate, businesses must collect certain excise taxes and local taxes.
Sales and use tax
Businesses must charge the state tax rate on sales of tangible personal property and some services. If a local municipality has an additional tax rate, the business adds the local rate to the state’s rate. Certain industries also have taxes – some may be in lieu of the state sales tax, and some may be in addition to the state and local tax rates.
Alcoholic beverage taxes
Utah does not have a wine and liquor tax. However, retailers must collect sales tax on the sale of liquor, wine, and beer.
Motor vehicle rental surcharge tax
All short-term motor vehicle leases of 30 or fewer days are subject to the motor vehicle rental tax of 2.5 percent. The tax is addition to state and local sales tax, municipal fees, and other taxes. For example, on a rental bill of $100, the business would charge the 4.85-percent sales tax, the local tax, and the 2.5-percent motor vehicle rental tax. If the local tax is 1 percent, the total tax is 8.35 percent.
Utah tourism tax
Temporary lodging is subject to the state sales tax and a transient room tax. If a person rents a room for fewer than 30 consecutive days, that business must collect the tax. Temporary lodging includes:
- Hotels and motels
- Tourist homes
- Trailer courts
- Bed and breakfast establishments
- Similar establishments
The transient room tax is based on the business location in the state and could include:
- The statewide tax of 0.32 percent.
- County tax of up to 4.25 percent.
- City or town tax of up to 1 percent.
- City or town tax of up to 0.5 percent for cities and towns that meet certain requirements.
- Salt Lake County tax of 0.5 percent.
Utah levies the state sales tax on admissions for entertainment, amusement, exhibition events, recreation, athletic activities, and cultural activities. Common taxable activities include admissions to:
- Amusement parks and rides
- Sporting events
- Boxing and wrestling matches
- Billiard and pool parlors
- Closed-circuit television broadcasts
- Bowling lanes
- Miniature golf, golf, and driving ranges
- Skating rinks
- Batting cages
- Ski runs, lifts and trails
- Tennis courts
- Snowmobile trails
- Swimming pools
- River runs
- Water slides
- Boat tours
- Jeep tours
- Horseback rides
- Scenic cruises
Motor fuel taxes
Utah has several motor fuel taxes, including:
- Aviation fuel – non-federally certified air carriers: $0.090 per gallon.
- Aviation fuel – federally certificated air carriers: $0.040 per gallon.
- Aviation fuel – federally certificated air carriers at SLC Airport: $0.025 per gallon.
- Motor and special fuels: $0.319 per gallon.
- Electricity and propane: EXEMPT.
- Compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, and hydrogen: $0.175 per gasoline gallon equivalent or diesel gallon equivalent.
Additionally, the state levies an environmental assurance fee of $0.0065 per gallon.
Food and grocery tax
Prepared food is subject to Utah’s state sales tax rate plus local jurisdiction sales tax. Groceries are taxed at the lower rate of 3 percent, regardless of location.
In addition to the regular sales tax, restaurants must collect a 1-percent tax on all sales of food and beverages. Bars and taverns are also subject to the state sales tax and the 1-percent extra tax.
Local jurisdiction sales taxes
Many of Utah’s localities have additional sales and use taxes, including:
- Local sales and use tax.
- County option sales tax.
- Mass transit tax.
- Additional mass transit tax.
- Mass transit fixed guideway.
- County option transportation.
- Highways tax.
- County airport, highway, and public transit.
- Transportation infrastructure.
- Count public transit.
- Supplemental state and use tax.
- Botanical, zoo, and cultural.
- Town option tax.
- City or town option tax.
- Resort community tax.
- Correctional facility.
Those who live in certain impacted communities are exempt from paying the resort communities tax and the state correctional facility tax. However, they must still pay sales tax. Items that are affected include:
- Motor vehicles
- Modular homes
- Manufactured homes
- Mobile homes.
The impacted communities are:
- Brian Head.
- Bryce Canyon.
- Dutch John.
- Green River.
- Garden City.
- Military Recreation – Park City.
- Park City.
- Park City East.
- Salt Lake City.
Utah sales tax holiday
Utah does not have a sales tax holiday.
Remote and marketplace sellers
Remote sellers and marketplace facilitators must pay Utah sales tax for any retail sales into Utah if they:
- Have $100,000 or more in gross receipts from the previous year, or
- Made 200 or more individual transactions into Utah.
In most cases, businesses that do not meet these criteria register for a Utah sales tax account and collect and remit taxes as a convenience to their customers. Consumers who purchase taxable tangible personal property from businesses that do not collect taxes because they do not meet the financial nexus must pay Utah’s use tax and file a use tax return.
Filing and registering for Utah sales tax
Register for a tax account online to file tax returns and remit payments.
Sales and use tax due dates
Utah’s sales and use tax returns are due based on how much tax you collect:
- Business taxpayers owing $1,000 or less per year can file annually. The tax due date is January 31 of the following year. For example, taxes collect in 2022 are due on or before January 31, 2023.
- Business filers with a tax liability of $1,001 to $50,000 can file quarterly. Tax payments are due on the month following the end of the quarter. For example, taxes collected from April through June are due on or before July 31.
- A business that collects $50,001 to $96,000 in taxes must file monthly. The tax payments are due on or before the last day of the month following the collection month. For example, taxes collected in April are due on or before May 31.
- If a business collects over $96,001 or more in a year, it must file monthly with mandatory EFT payments on or before the last day of the month following the month it collected taxes.
A new business estimates the amount of tax liability when it applies for a license. The Utah State Tax Commission will assign the taxpayer business a filing status. The Commission reviews all accounts yearly and notifies a business if its filing status changes.
Utah’s state sales and use tax is 4.85 percent. Local municipalities also have various taxes that businesses must add to the state sales tax. Additionally, certain industries must also pay various taxes.
Apply at tap.utah.gov or use the OneStop Business Registration page at osbr.utah.gov.
Yes. You must file a zero return if you did not have any sales, or you will receive a billing notice. If the business closed, file form TC-69C, Notice of Change for Tax Account.
Yes. Utah does not allow tax licenses to transfer. The seller needs to provide you with a Letter of Good standing from the Utah State Tax Commission showing that the business does not owe special fuel taxes or sales tax. If the seller owes taxes, withhold the amount of unpaid tax from the purchase price, then pay that amount to the Utah State Tax Commission.
- File the last tax return within 30 days of the sale of the business. A business has 15 days to file the final special fuel tax return.
- Close any open tax accounts.
- Forward the purchaser (if any) with a Letter of Good Standing from the Utah State Tax Commission. The letter shows whether you have outstanding taxes.