Gross receipts tax

Gross receipts tax

A gross receipts tax, sometimes referred to as a gross excise tax, is a tax on the total gross revenues of a company, regardless of their source. A gross receipts tax is similar to a sales tax, but it is levied on the seller of goods or services rather than the consumer. This is compared to other taxes which are listed as separate line items on billings, are not directly included in the listed price of the item, and are not a factor in markup or profit on company sales. A gross receipts tax has a pyramid effect which increases the actual taxable percentage as it passes through the product or service life-cycle.cite web|url=|title=Gross Receipts Tax|publisher=AIA Kansas|date=1995-11-17|accessdate=2007-02-04]


John Mikesell, Professor of Public Finance and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, states that "gross receipts taxes are just simply terrible in terms of competitiveness, in terms of economic development, in terms of encouraging investment, and all those sorts of things." He suggests that they don’t make sense from a policy standpoint, and perhaps politics drive such taxes due to their lack of transparency.cite web|url=|title=Tax Foundation Podcast Episode 19|publisher=Tax Foundation|last=Hodge|first=Scott|coauthors=Mikesell, John|date=2007-01-17|accessdate=2007-02-04] Other economists have criticized gross receipts taxes for encouraging vertical integration among companies, and for imposing different effective tax rates across different industries.cite web|url=|title=Tax Pyramiding: The Economic Consequences of Gross Receipts Taxes|publisher=Tax Foundation|last=Chamberlain|first=Andrew|coauthors=Fleenor, Patrick|date=2006-12-01|accessdate=2007-02-21]

United States

Several states in the United States have imposed gross receipts taxes.

*Arizona - Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT)
*Delaware - Business and occupational gross receipts tax rates range from 0.096% to 1.92%, depending on the business activity.cite web|url=|title=Gross Receipts Taxes|publisher=State of Delaware|date=2006-06-14|accessdate=2007-02-04]
*Hawaii - The Hawaii General Excise Tax (commonly abbreviated as GET) is charged on the gross income of any business entity generating income within the State of Hawaii. The GET rate is 4% charged on all business income except for two exceptions: insurance agents commissions are charged at a rate of .15% (.0015) and income from wholesalers, manufacturers, and businesses owned by people with disabilities are charged at a rate of 1/2 of 1% (.005). The State allows businesses to pass on their 4% tax-inclusive tax burden to their consumers by charging their customers a quasi sales tax rate of 4.166%. [] The GET generates nearly half of the State's tax revenue and is the primary method by which the State generates tax revenue from the strong tourist economy. [] Despite its success, there are several criticisms of the General Excise Tax. The GET is charged on business income from all sources including the sale of basic necessities such as food and doctor's fees and therefore serves as a sales tax on items most states exempt from sales tax. The total tax burden on each item sold is more than the 4.166% charged at the register since GET was charged earlier up the production chain (such as manufacturers and wholesalers), making the GET less transparent than a retail sales tax.
*Illinois - Illinois policy makers are considering a 1% gross receipts tax to increase the foundation level for Illinois public schools, as well as to fund a host of educational accountability initiatives. The tax is expected to generate enough revenue to replace the state share of the retail sales tax, corporate franchise taxes, and corporate income taxes. Proponents claim that it is simple for both the government and business to administer, easy for the public to understand, broad-based, stable, and progressive. An editorial article in the "Chicago Tribune" called it "the best idea" for education funding reform, [cite web|url=,1,3738803.story?coll=chi-opinionfront-hed|title=The war of the 'woulds'|publisher=Chicago Tribune|date=2007-02-09|accessdate=2007-02-12] but some statewide business leaders have rushed to condemn it.
*Mississippi - A 3.5% contractor's tax is levied on all commercial and non-residentioal construction and is calculated upon the total contract amount.
*New Mexico - The gross receipts tax rate varies throughout the state from 5.125% to 7.875%.cite web|url=|title=Gross Receipts Taxes|publisher=State of New Mexico|accessdate=2007-02-04]
*Ohio - Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) []
*Washington - Business and Occupation Tax (B&O)

ee also

*Sales taxes in the United States


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