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With federal tax reform and state-wide changes causing many Utah taxpayers’ bills to jump significantly in recent years, it’s no wonder you’re feeling added stress as it comes time to complete your tax returns.

If you’re dreading the process of trying to complete the right forms, take advantage of any and all relief measures, and accurately compute your tax bill - you’re not alone. However, what if we said this year, and every year after could be different? With our Utah tax calculator and state tax guide, it can.

Utah Tax Calculator
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Using our Utah income tax calculator allows you to easily input your information and get an estimate for how much you should expect to owe in a matter of minutes. If you prefer a completely worry-free tax season, reach out to Community Tax and take advantage of our tax filing services performed by seasoned professionals that you can rely on.

Overview of Utah State Taxes

Paying Utah state taxes might seem like a burden, but it’s actually an important part of enriching Utahan’s quality of life. While states do receive some funding from federal taxes, they heavily rely on state tax revenue to fund important initiatives like safety resources, environmental preservation, and improvements in social and economic infrastructure.

As a taxpayer in the Salt Lake State, you should be well-informed about three key taxes.

Utah State Taxes: Quick Facts
Income tax: 4.95%
Sales tax: 4.85%
Property tax: 0.6%

While these tax rates might seem high, you can’t argue that being a Utahan is without its perks, including its close proximity to Nevada, California, and Colorado. From family-friendly ski towns to the bustling metropolis of Salt Lake City, it’s no wonder that many Americans have made Utah their home. Plus, like the fast-growing neighboring state, Colorado, Utah offers beautiful landscapes, great food, promising business opportunities, and reputable colleges, but at a more affordable cost.

Annual 2019 Tax Burden ($75,000/yr income)
Income Tax
Sales Tax
Property Tax
Total Estimated Tax Burden
Remaining Income = $67,199

So, when it comes time to file and pay your Utah state income taxes, keep in mind that your hard-earned money is going back into the state that you love to call home to make it an even better place to live.

Note: Whether it’s your first time filing or you’re brushing up on your Utah tax policies, our Utah state tax guide is a great starting point to make this tax season more pleasant.

Utah State Tax Brackets

As of January 2018, Utah has a flat income tax rate of 4.95%. Utah Taxpayers now enjoy a slight tax bill savings as the previous income tax rate was 5%.

This is much lower than the federal income tax brackets which are broken into seven rates depending on your income. The federal system is organized so that higher-income earners pay more taxes, whereas Utah’s income tax system is more balanced.

Utah’s flax income tax system makes it simpler to figure out how much you owe.

Utah Personal Income Tax

You must pay Utah personal income taxes if you are a:

  • Full-time Utah resident
  • Part-year Utah resident
  • Non-resident (you spend more than 183 days in Utah) with income from Utah sources (unless the source was a pass-through entity)

However, these rules might be different depending on your circumstances. For example, if you’re a student or military member. Be sure to thoroughly review your state tax requirements that might pertain to you before filing your income taxes.

Note: Keep in mind you’ll still need to file your Utah income taxes even if you’re waiting for a refund on income tax you’ve previously overpaid.

Self-Employed Taxpayers

Just like your federal income taxes, if you’re self-employed (freelance, independent contractor, etc.) and make more than $400 from your business activities, you must pay Utah income taxes. You’ll also need to pay self-employment (SE) tax to account for Social Security and Medicare taxes that are usually paid by

While this might sound like a disadvantage, there are also many deductions designed specifically self-employed taxpayers that can lower your tax bill.

Note: In addition to filing your income tax return, you might also need to file an information return.

Our pros make filing income tax a breeze. Give us a call!
Utah Capital Gains Tax

A capital gains tax is one that is levied on the sale of assets. Often, the amount of capital gains tax required depends on whether you’re selling short-term or long-term assets.

However, while some states like Virginia charge special capital gains tax rates on assets that are sold, Utah’s capital gains tax is the same as the income tax rate, 4.95%. Having a capital gains tax rate that’s not especially high benefits investors who frequently purchase and sell their assets.

Better yet, Utah even offers a capital gains transactions tax credit which can reduce your tax bill.

Utah State Sales Tax

The statewide sales tax in Utah is 4.85%. However, there may be additional sales taxes based on where you live because cities and counties are allowed to increase taxes based on their discretion. As of October 2019, the vast majority, if not all, of Utah implements a local sales tax of 1% plus a county option sales tax of 0.25%.

This brings the basic sales tax rate to 6.1% for most residents of the Salt Lake State. While that part is fairly straightforward, local jurisdictions can also require residents to pay a variety of other sales and use taxes including:

  • Mass Transit
  • Rural Hospital
  • Arts & Zoo
  • Highway
  • Town Option
  • Resort taxes

However, you’re not left to your own devices to figure it out. Fortunately, the Utah State Tax Commission regularly updates their sales tax rate charts so that you know exactly how much you’re paying in sales and use taxes where you live.

Utah Excise Taxes

In addition to sales taxes, some products are charged excise taxes. Excise taxes are levied on certain items to generate additional revenue for the state. Excise taxes on items like cigarettes, gambling, and alcohol are often referred to as “sin taxes”.

Utah Alcohol Excise Taxes

The excise tax on wine and liquor in Utah has been repealed and replaced by a markup on the sales of these beverages. However, there is still an excise tax on beer at a rate of $0.41 per gallon.

Utah is a liquor control state meaning that the state governs the sale of liquor. This is designed to help promote moderation of consumption. However, this also means that alcohol is subject to substantial markup of 86% plus 2% for freight.

Utah is not alone, there are 17 other liquor control states and jurisdictions including Vermont, Alaska, and Alabama. The markups in Utah are the sixth highest among liquor control states,but they are still significantly lower than the 119% markup paid by Oregonians or the 100% markup paid by Virginians.

In 2018, the state saw a return of $191 millionfrom alcohol excise taxes. According to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, excise taxes from beer in Utah are exclusively used toward prevention, rehabilitation, detection, prosecution, and control of these controlled substances.

Utah Tobacco Excise Taxes

The excise tax on cigarettes in Utah is $1.70 per pack of 20 cigarettes or $2.13 per pack of 25 cigarettes. Moist snuff is taxed at $1.83 per ounce and e-cigarettes containing tobacco are taxed at 86% of the manufacturers sales price.

While this might sound like a lot, excise taxes on cigarettes are much higher in most states including New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut which all charge over $4.00 in excise taxes on each pack of cigarettes.

Utah Fuel Excise Taxes

As of 2019, motor fuel taxes are $0.30 per gallon; ohowever, the gas excise tax will be slightly increasing to $0.311 per gallon as of January 1, 2020. There is also an environmental assurance fee charged at $0.0065 per gallon. It might sound like small change, but if you fill up a lot that can add up.

While excise taxes might seem like another way for the government to get money from you, the revenue from these taxes is often used for projects that improve infrastructure and quality of life in your community. On the other hand, if these excise taxes deter you from purchasing these items, it could also benefit your budget.

Utah Insurance Tax

As of January 2019, there is no longer a federal or Utah tax penalty for not having health insurance coverage.

If you do have health insurance that is not covered in full or in part by your employer and is paid by you or your spouse, you might qualify for the Health Benefit Plan Credit.

Utah State Property Tax

The average Utah property tax rate is approximately 0.6%. However, your specific tax rate will depend on where you live. Like sales taxes, property taxes are determined by the local jurisdiction. So how much can you expect to pay in property taxes?

On average, those residing in Summit County pay the highest property taxes at about $1,921 which is quite a bit higher than the median property tax in the state, $1,351.Residents of Rich County pay the lowest property taxes in Utah with an average of $422.

Utah is on the higher end of the spectrumte, $1,351. for property taxes in the U.S., including neighboring state Colorado, and that doesn’t seem to be changing with property taxes expected to increase substantially in the future due to the need to fund local programs and services. However, they’re still lower than the average property taxes in states like North Carolina and California.

Residential property tax in Utah is based on 55% of the fair market value. Not quite sure what that means to you? Take this example:

If your house’s fair market value is assessed at $100,000, then you would only be taxed on $55,000. So you would then take $55,000 x 0.6% which would mean your annual property tax bill would be $330.

You can use the Utah County Assessor’s property tax estimate tool to help you prepare for your property tax bill, or reach out to Community Tax for help.

We offer professional help with property taxes
Utah Inheritance and Estate Taxes

Like most states, Utah taxpayers do not have to worry about estate taxes. While there is technically an inheritance tax, Utah more or less cancels out the tax with a credit.

It’s important to keep in mind that this rule does not necessarily apply to an inheritance that originates in another state. Simply meaning, if your loved one was a resident of another state, and their state does have inheritance or estate taxes (we’re looking at you Oregon, New York, and Hawaii), you might owe to that state.

However, since most states have done away with these taxes, you’re likely in the clear.

If you’ve received an inheritance and aren’t sure whether you need to worry about being taxed on it, you should speak with one of our tax experts who can review your circumstances and help you take the right steps.

Utah State Tax Credits

Finally, onto the “fun” part of taxes! Credits are incentive provided to taxpayers because they are directly subtracted from your tax bill. Utah offers a variety of tax credits that you can take advantage of, including:

Taxpayer Tax Credit

A particularly beneficial tax credit that applies to many Utahans is the taxpayer tax credit which is calculated based on 6% of your state personal exemption plus your federal standard and itemized deduction. There are limits though; the taxpayer tax credit phases out at a certain income threshold.

Credit for Income Tax Paid to Another State

Some Utah residents may qualify for a credit on income that is taxed by one or more other states. You must file a tax return for that state to determine the amount paid to apply to the credit. If the credit exceeds your tax liability, it cannot be carried back or forward.

Renewable Residential Energy Systems Credit

If you have had a renewable energy system installed in your residence, you may qualify for this credit. If you are going to apply for this credit, you will need to get form TC-40E and hold onto it for your records.If the amount awarded for the credit is larger than your tax liability this year, the remainder will be carried forward to the next year.

At-Home Parent Tax Credit

If you are a stay-at-home parent or guardian caring for a child who is 12-months-old or younger, you can claim a credit of $100 per child. However, some stipulations do apply. This credit is not carried forward to the next year if it exceeds your tax liability.

Retirement Credit

A retirement credit of $450 is available for senior Utahans who were born on or before December 31, 1952. The credit is dependent on certain factors like filing status and adjusted gross income. This tax credit does not carry forward.

In addition to these common credits, there are a variety of others you might qualify for. Be sure to check for any and all credits that might apply to you so you can pay the lowest amount in taxes possible.

Our tax professionals are well-versed in Utah tax laws and the credits they offer so we can help you easily navigate this process. In fact, saving money on your tax bill has never been easier!

Utah State Tax Exemptions and Deductions

Exemptions and deductions are another tax incentive, but instead of being subtracted from your bill, they allow you to reduce your taxable income, and in turn, decrease how much you have to pay in taxes.

They do work differently though; exemptions are parts of your income that are off-limits from taxation, deductions are subtracted from your taxable income.

When claiming deductions, you need to determine whether you will be claiming the standard deduction or itemized deduction. You will first need to do this on your federal tax return; then, when you file your Utah state tax return, you should use the exact same amount. There are certain guidelines that affect which type of deduction you can take.

Utah Standard Deduction

Since the state of Utah uses the same amounts as the federal standard deduction allowance, you can determine your standard deduction using this graph:

Utah Itemized Deduction

While the standard deduction is simpler to use, you might actually end up saving more money if you itemize your deductions. Utah uses the same amounts as the federal itemized deduction allowance. For example, some of the common deductions and their allowances include:

As of 2019, you can no longer claim job-related expenses or other miscellaneous deductions.

Utah Personal Exemption

A personal exemption is granted to taxpayers for themselves and their dependents. The personal exemption is meant to provide relief for taxpayers by excluding a portion of your income from taxation. In the state of Utah, your personal exemption is determined as follows:

Utah State Personal Exemption
Number of Dependents Claimed on Federal Return
Utah Personal Exemption ($565 x # of Dependents)
1 Dependent
$565 x 1
2 Dependent
$565 x 2
3 Dependent
$565 x 3

Primary Residence Exemption

If you own a residential property that is your primary residence, you can receive an exemption of 45% of the fair market value. For this exemption, you should apply with your county assessor.

Discover more deductions - speak to a tax pro today
Calculating Your Utah Tax Refund

Trying to estimate your tax refund can be complicated. Fortunately, our Utah income tax calculator makes it easier than ever to determine whether you owe or should expect a refund.

But before you can calculate your tax bill or refund, you have to start by completing the filing process. As tax experts, we’ve put together a checklist that can help you get started:

  • Read our complete guide on Utah state taxes - looks like you’ve done that part!
  • Collect and organize all the documentation you need to complete your tax forms
  • Register on Utah’s Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) site if you haven’t already
  • Double-check all of your paperwork and calculations - even the smallest mistakes can have lasting repercussions
  • Reach out to a tax professional at Community Tax if you need help completing your Utah income taxes

When filing your taxes, try not to wait until the last minute if possible. Doing so could cause you more stress than necessary, cause you to rush and make mistakes, or even fail to submit your return on time.

Trust us, you’ll be relieved when you have everything turned in on time while everyone else is racing toward the deadline. Plus, the earlier you file, the more likely it is that you’ll receive your return quickly.

How to Pay Utah Taxes

Utah state income taxes are due April 15th or the next business day. This is the same as federal income taxes so it should be easy to remember. Depending on your preference, there are a variety of ways to conveniently pay your Utah state taxes.

If you fail to file your taxes on time, you might be required to pay a penalty. Additionally, if you pay your Utah state taxes late, you could be charged further penalties including:

  • Late payment penalty
    • 1 - 5 days late: $20 or 2% of the unpaid tax (whichever is greater)
    • 6 - 15 days late: $20 or 5% of the unpaid tax (whichever is greater)
    • 16+ days late: $20 or 10% of the unpaid tax (whichever is greater)
  • Extension penalty
  • Penalty for underpaying
    • 1Due to negligence: 10% of the underpayment
    • Due to intentional disregard: 15% of the underpayment
    • Due to fraud with the intent to evade the tax: $500 per period or 100% of the underpayment

For some taxpayers, a large tax bill can be overwhelming or even impossible to pay. However, depending on your circumstances, you can get an extension for up to six months or request a payment agreement. Staying on top of the tax process and making sure you follow the government’s guidelines can help you remain in compliance with the law and avoid mounting fees.

As such, it is in your best interest to ensure that you file and pay your Utah state taxes on time. However, if you did not complete your taxes on time, owe back-taxes, or are facing an audit, don’t panic. Community Tax offers tax relief solutions that can help you resolve a difficult situation with the IRS or your state government.

Fallen behind on state taxes? Get help with tax resolution today
Utah Tax Facts

Taxes aren’t all that bland though. In fact, Utah has had some interesting taxes in the past as well as in the present, including:

Summary of Federal Taxes

Now that we’ve covered your state tax obligations in Utah, let’s take a moment to review your federal tax obligations. As a U.S. taxpayer, you are required to pay both state and federal taxes. While there are some similarities, there are many important differences to keep in mind, especially when it comes to income taxes.

However, like your state taxes, you’re not left to your own devices to figure out your federal tax return. A team member at Community Tax can help you through the process.

Call us to stress less and save more on your federal tax refund
Summary of Federal Taxes
Remember that Utah state taxes are separate from federal state taxes, and that the Utah tax brackets are different at a state level.
Tax Considerations

This information is accurate as of 2019. Special circumstances that can affect your tax return may apply.

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