Do I Have to Pay Hawaii GE Tax on my Property Rental?

If you rent property, such as a house or a condo in Hawaii, you generally have to pay Hawaii GE (general excise) Tax. Here are some quick facts.

Warning: Every tax situation is different and you may need more forms that are presented here. This is an introductory guide only, and we recommend having your tax forms filed by a professional. Though we try to keep our web pages current, the information presented on this page may be outdated. Please read all Hawaii State-provided form instructions carefully.

Tax Services Oahu | Hawaii General Excise Tax Services

Hawaii General Excise Tax on Rental Property Income

  • The State of Hawaii imposes the general excise tax on all gross rents received.
  • 2020 UPDATE: The statewide normal tax rate is 4%. But on Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island there is a 0.5% surcharge.
  • GE tax is computed using gross rents, not net profit, so even if your rental unit is not earning a net profit, you still have to pay GE tax. This is true even if you are showing a loss. Bottom line profit is not a factor.
  • Periodic GE Tax returns (form G45) must be filed according to your filing frequency. For more info on filing frequency, please see: How Often Do I File My Hawaii General Excise Tax Forms?
  • The tax must be paid semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly depending on how much GE Tax is due.
  • A yearly reconciliation form is also required to be filed each year – this form is titled the G49.
  • GE Tax paid is generally deductible against your rental income as a tax expense on your federal tax return.
  • Standard penalties for not paying GE Tax on a rental unit are 5% per month up to 25% for late filing, interest at about 8% for not paying, and there is another willful neglect penalty of up to 25% as well. There could potentially be criminal charges for willfully not filing as well.
  • Tax forms can be filled out and mailed in, filed in person, or completed online.
  • If the nature of the property rental is short term, then rental revenue is also likely to be subject to Hawaii’s Transient Accommodations Tax as well.
  • You are allowed to charge your tenants enough to cover your GE Taxes, but you should have that written in the lease or rental agreement somewhere. You probably can’t just spring it on them suddenly if the lease agreement does not already include it. Check out: Passing Along Hawaii GE Tax to Your Customers
  • For more information visit the Hawaii Department of Taxation.

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    1. Thanks for the reminder – I must update our website.

      But please note that it is NOT state wide…

      The surcharge remains 0.5% for Oahu, is now 0.5% for Kauai, 0.25% for Hawaii, and still remains at 0% for Maui.

  1. Can I use the amount I get from my property manager for my gross rent to determine my GET? I never see the total rent so depending on how one looks at it my gross income is what I get from the property manager.

    1. Hello, thanks for the comment.

      You must report the full gross amount of what the property manager collects – NOT just the part of what the property manager sends to you. If a tenant pays rent – it is all subject to GE Tax, regardless of management commissions, fees, and other expenses.

  2. If property is located on the mainland do I need to pay Hawaii GET taxes on it? I live in hawaii and file my taxes in hawaii

  3. do you need a Hawaii GE license if you own a rental property in Nevada but live and pay state taxes in Hawaii?

  4. I am sorry, but this makes no sense. Are you saying that hawaii taxes the tax I collect? if I sell something for 100.00 dollars and I add 4% tax (maui), = $104.00. I would pay 4.00 to maui county based on gross sale of 100.00 not 104.00?? if I pay on 104.00 then that is double taxing!!

  5. Concerning rental real estate—-I understand that retained security deposits count as rental income and are includible as gross income. What about cleaning or other expense deposits? Tenant gave me $300 for cleaning, on which I spent $500. Is the $300 includible for excise tax reporting?

  6. If you charge $3500 rent and $200 all-inclusive utilities fee per month, would the GE tax apply to all of that or just the rent part as I defined rent?

  7. I am a tenant in a commercial lease. The landlord is charging me for the ge tax on the money he collects from me for rent. Is that typical?

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