Overview of Utah Taxes
Utah has a statewide flat income tax rate. Residents pay near the national average in income tax payments. The sales tax rate is also near the U.S. average. The average effective property tax rate in Utah is the 11th lowest in the country.
Number of Personal Exemptions
|Tax Type||Marginal |
|Total Income Taxes|
|Income After Taxes|
Total Estimated Tax Burden $
Percent of income to taxes = %
Total Estimated Tax Burden$
- About This Answer...read more
- Our Assumptions...read more
- Our Tax Expert
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
We pay $30 for 30 minutes on the phone to hear your thoughts on what we can do better. Please enter your email if you'd like to be contacted to help.
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email
Utah state tax quick facts
The state of Utah has a single personal income tax, with a flat rate of 5%. According to the Tax Foundation, total income tax collections in Utah average $981 per person. This is the 25th-highest in the country. Sales taxes in Utah range from 5.95% to 8.60%, depending on local rates. This is also near the national average. Homeowners in Utah pay the 10th-lowest effective property taxes in the country, at an average rate of just 0.67%.
Overall, taxpayers in Utah face a relatively low state and local tax burden. That will be truer for some Utah residents than others, however. Below we’ll take a deep dive into Utah’s most important tax rules to see how they might affect you.
Utah Income Tax
The personal income tax in Utah is relatively simple as compared with the federal income tax. There is a single, flat rate paid by all income earners: 5% of taxable income.
Taxable income is calculated by subtracting all personal exemptions from total income. The personal exemption in Utah is equal to 75% of the federal personal exemption. This means for 2017 taxes the Utah exemption is therefore $3,038. Exemptions can be claimed for filers, spouses and dependents. Additional exemptions can be claimed for dependents with disabilities. Consider hiring a professional accountant or looking into tax preparation software like Credit Karma and Jackson Hewitt to help file your tax returns.
There are no itemized or standard deductions in Utah, but the Taxpayer Tax Credit, described below, is based on federal deductions. Likewise, Social Security income in Utah is taxable. However the Retirement Income Tax Credit helps alleviate the tax burden for retirees. All credits are subtracted directly from total income tax liability. Some of the major tax credits include:
- The Taxpayer Tax Credit is equal to 6% of the total of all federal deductions claimed (except for the deduction for state income taxes) plus the Utah personal exemption. This credit phases out above a certain income level.
- The Qualifying Solar Project Credit is 25% of the amount paid to purchase qualifying solar units, up to a maximum of $2,000.
- The Retirement Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit available to taxpayers over the age of 65. The credit can be up to $450, or $900 for joint filers. This credit phases out above a certain income level.
- The Low-income Housing Credit is available to taxpayers who live in a low-income housing project. The amount of the credit is determined by the Utah Housing Corporation.
- The Utah Educational Savings Plan Credit is equal to 5% of the contributions made to each plan over the course of the year, up to a maximum of $96 per qualified beneficiary (or $192 for joint filers).
Utah Capital Gains Tax
Long-term and short-term capital gains in Utah are subject to the regular personal income tax rate of 5%. In addition to the U.S. capital gains tax rate of 15%, that can lead to a total capital gains tax rate of 20%. The Capital Gains Tax Credit in Utah allows taxpayers to claim a credit on 5% of any capital gain, as long as 70% of the proceeds of that gain were used to purchase stock in a Utah small business corporation within 12 months.
Utah Sales Tax
There are both state and local sales tax rates in Utah. The state rate is 4.70%. Local rates, which are collected at the county and city level, range from 1.25% to 3.9%. That means the actual rates paid in Utah range from 5.95% to 8.60%. Rates for all 29 Utah counties, as well as 100 of the largest cities in the state, are shown in the table below.
Sales Tax Rates (Updated January 2018)
|County||State Rate||County Rate||Total Sales Tax|
|City||State Rate||County + City Rate||Total Sales Tax|
|North Salt Lake||4.70%||2.15%||6.85%|
|Salt Lake City||4.70%||2.15%||6.85%|
|South Salt Lake||4.70%||2.35%||7.05%|
|West Valley City||4.70%||2.15%||6.85%|
Both retail sales and leases of tangible personal property are taxable under Utah sales tax law. Tangible personal property includes physical goods, such as furniture and clothing, as well as electronically transferred products like movie downloads. Some services are also taxable, including maintenance and repair labor, laundry services, admissions fees (to movies, sporting events, ski resorts, etc.), hotel and motel rooms and telecom services.
Several types of products have their own rates. Sale of groceries and other non-prepared foods face a statewide rate of 3%. Residential utilities such as gas and electricity are charged a sales tax rate of up to 6%. Certain products are fully exempt from sales tax. Prescription drugs, medical equipment, prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, newspaper, college sports events, textbooks and fuel cells are all exempt.
Utah Property Tax
If you’re thinking about moving to Salt Lake City, Boise or Sun Valley (lucky!), you’ll want to know about local property tax rates. Good news: Utah has some of the lowest property taxes in the country. The statewide average effective tax rate, which is the total amount of taxes paid each year as a percentage of a home’s market value, is just 0.67%. This is the 10th-lowest of any U.S. state.
Before making the move, you’ll also want to take a look at our Utah mortgage guide, where you’ll find plenty of information about rates and getting a mortgage in the Beehive State.
Utah Cigarette Tax
The cigarette tax in Utah is $1.70 per pack of 20. That is the 21st-highest cigarette tax in the country. Revenue from the tax is partially used to fund the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation program.
Utah Alcohol Tax
Utah has some of the most stringent alcohol laws in the nation. Liquor and wine can only be purchased in state-run liquor stores. Beer with an alcohol by volume of 4% or lower can be purchased in grocery stores but beer above that cut off is only available in state liquor stores.
Alcohol taxes in Utah are among the highest in the country. Taxes on liquor total $12.75 per gallon (or $2.55 on a fifth of liquor), sixth-highest in the nation. Taxes on beer total 41 cents per gallon (about 4 cents per 12 ounce beer), 13th-highest in the country.
Utah Gas Tax
Both regular and diesel gasoline in Utah are taxed at a rate of 29.41 cents per gallon. That is the 26th-highest rate in the country. It would cost a typical driver around $175 dollars a year, assuming 15,000 miles per year with a car that averages 25 miles per gallon.
Utah Estate Tax
There is no estate or inheritance tax in Utah. Inheritance is exempt from all state personal income taxes.
Photo credit: flickr
Places with the Lowest Tax Burden
Are you curious how your tax burden stacks up against others in your state? SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the counties with the lowest tax burden. Scroll over any county in the state to learn about taxes in that specific area.
Where you live can have a big impact on both which types of taxes you have to pay each year and how much money you spend on them. SmartAsset calculated the amount of money a specific person would pay in income, sales, property and fuel taxes in each county in the country and ranked the lowest to highest tax burden.
To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we used the national median household income. We then applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes.
In order to determine sales tax burden we estimated that 35% of take-home (after-tax) pay is spent on taxable goods. We multiplied the average sales tax rate for a county by the household income less income tax. This product is then multiplied by 35% to estimate the sales tax paid.
For property taxes, we compared the median property taxes paid in each county.
For fuel taxes, we first distributed statewide vehicle miles traveled down to the county level using the number of vehicles in each county. We then calculated the total number of licensed drivers within each county. The countywide miles were then distributed amongst the licensed drivers in the county, which gave us the miles driven per licensed driver. Using the nationwide average fuel economy, we calculated the average gallons of gas used per driver in each county and multiplied that by the fuel tax.
We then added the dollar amount for income, sales, property and fuel taxes to rank the counties to calculate a total tax burden.