Hawaii Tax Resources

For individual and business taxpayers

Hawaii Tax Resources

Key Websites

Hawaii's General Excise Tax

The general excise tax (GET) is a privelege tax imposed on business activity in the State of Hawaii. The tax is imposed on the gross income received by the entity or person engaging in the business activity. “Gross income” is the total of all business income before deducting any business expenses. Gross income includes any cost passed on to customers, such as the excise tax itself. 

Essentially all business income is subject to general excise tax. This includes, but is not limited to, wholesaling, retailing, farming, professional services, construction contracting, rental of real property, business interest income, and royalties.

Periodic excise tax returns are filed using Form G-45 on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis, depending on the amount of taxes paid annually. Taxpayers must also file an annual excise tax return on Form G-49 that reconciles activity reported through the year.

Periodic returns are due the 20th day of the month following the close of the tax period. The annual GET return is due the 20th day of the fourth month following the close of the taxable year. For calendar year filers, the due date is April 20th of the following year.

In broad terms, the tax rate is 0.15% for insurance commissions, 0.50% for wholesaling, and 4.0% for all other activity. If your business activity is taxed at the 4.0% rate and is conducting business on Oahu, you are also subject to the 0.50% Oahu County Surcharge Tax. 

Starting a Business In Hawaii

You can form a business online using Hawaii Business Express. You can choose to set up just the business entity or you can register the entity and apply for a tax license at the same time. There are three parts to the process. First, determine your business entity type (see below). Second, select a business name. And third, file your business formation documents. We can assist with each step of the process.

Part 1

  • Determine which type of business you will file for. Will you establish a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or corporation? Please contact us to discuss which entity type would be most appropriate for your circumstances.

Part 2

  • Think of a name for your business. Here are Hawaii’s business naming rules.
  • Perform a business name search at Hawaii Business Express to verify that your desired business name is not already in use.
  • You might also check to see that that your desired web domain name is available by visiting a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.

Part 3

  • Once you have determined your entity type and selected an appropriate name that is not used by any other Hawaii business, visit Hawaii Business Express to process your business registration. As we note in the point immediately below, you can use a wizard to file multiple forms at once, or you can select individual forms to file in isolation.

Filing BB-1 (to obtain a Hawaii Tax ID)

File your BB-1 (Basic Business Application) online using Hawaii Business Express. You’ll need an eHawaii.gov account to do this, so if you don’t have one, then start off by visiting this page.

There are basically two approaches: (1) you can use the Wizard option perform multiple filings at the same time (business registration with the DCCA, excise tax license registration with the Department of Taxation, and a filing with the Department of Labor, if necessary) OR (2) you can use the QuickFile option to select specific forms for filing online.

Please let us know if you have any questions about filing a BB-1 to obtain a Hawaii Tax ID. You’ll find more information about Hawaii’s General Excise Tax immediately below.

Filing G-45/G-49 and paying General Excise Tax (GET)

There are four ways to do this:

1) Handwritten form then mail

  • Hawaii tax forms in general are here
  • Specifically, you can download either the G-45 (periodic GET) or G-49 (annual GET reconciliation)
  • These forms must be filled out by hand and then mailed to the tax office
  • We don’t recommend this method as it’s prone to error because you must make all calculations on your own

2) Web form then print and mail

3) Electronically

4) With our assistance

  • We can prepare the tax forms and then get them to you for signing and filing
  • You’ll have to provide us with the raw data and a way to get the forms to you
  • While we’re happy to help, we think our clients are best served by creating an online account and filing and paying state excise tax electronically.

Submit an Annual Filing (of business information)

You can submit an Annual Filing (of business information) by using Hawaii Business Express.

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