How Often Do I File My Hawaii General Excise Tax Forms?

The frequency that you must file your Hawaii GE Tax forms generally depends on how much GE Tax you are required to pay during the year.

Warning: This is an introductory guide only. Please read all Hawaii State-provided form instructions carefully or hire a professional to help you with your taxes. Information presented on this page may be outdated.

Tax Services Oahu | Hawaii General Excise Tax Services

How Often do I have to Pay my Hawaii General Excise Taxes?

It depends. When you sign up, you are supposed to select a frequency. This frequency gives you the options of filing semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly. The Hawaii GE Tax instructions give you some guidance on what frequency you are supposed to select, and that depends on how much in GE Tax you expect to pay.

If you select wrongly and you are better suited to file more often that as what you indicated on your GE Tax License application, the Hawaii Department of Taxation will change your filing frequency accordingly, and send you written notice. I have not heard of them penalizing GE Taxpayers for selecting improperly, though I suppose that selecting incorrectly can potentially lead to owing penalties and/or interest.

Hawaii GE Tax Forms Filing Frequency  – Guidelines on What to Select

Hawaii General Excise Tax Form G-45 is the periodic form that must be filed at intervals throughout the year. For all of Hawaii, the General Excise tax is 4%. But on Oahu and Kauai there is a 0.5% surcharge and on the big island there is a 0.25% surcharge which is used by the Government for different reasons, including funding the rail project (Oahu only).

  • If you pay more than $4,000 total in Hawaii GE Tax during the year, you are required to file Form G-45 on a monthly basis.
  • If you pay less than $4,000 in GE Taxes during the year you file Form G-45 on a quarterly basis.
  • If you pay less than $2,000 in GE Taxes during the year you file form G-45 semi-annually.

Apply these guidelines to your foretasted gross for the year and figure out your most probably filing frequency. Select this frequency on your license application accordingly. Read the Hawaii GE Tax Instructions carefully before submitting your license applications or any GE Tax returns.

If you are still not sure of how often to file, your best bet is to hire a ta professional to figure this out for you. If you already have an accountant, they will probably include this for free. If you do not have a tax preparer, you may have to pay for someone’s time to work this out for you. We charge $159 to fill out and file the application for you. If you are interested, please contact us.

You Also Must File Form G49 – Hawaii GE Tax Annual Reconciliation

In addition to form G-45, Hawaii General Excise Taxpayers must complete form G-49 (Annual Return & Reconciliation of General Excise / Use Tax Return) once a year. This tax return ties together the activity for the year.

Due to several reasons, the numbers on your G45 Periodic GE Tax Returns will not always match the gross receipts number as filed on your income tax returns. This could happen because perhaps you gave some refunds or maybe your bookkeeping didn’t match form 1099s that you received.

It is required to use form G49 to reconcile the differences, and this is even if there are no changes.

Form G49 is designed to give you credit for all of the taxes you paid, so if your gross income number is smaller than as expected, you may even get a refund. But if you made more in gross receipts than what you reported all year, then you might owe some more GE Tax.

There are many hidden facets to reconciling your GE Taxes and we suggest that you either read all instructions for all forms very carefully (income tax forms too), or you can hire a professional to prepare and file these forms for you.

How to Change Your GE Tax Filing Frequency

This can be done online, if you have an registered online account for your GE Tax license (sign up for the Hawaii E-File site can be found here) or call the taxpayer services department at 808-587-4242.

Hawaii GE Tax Forms Due Dates

All G45 forms are due on the 20th day of the month following the ending of the tax period. For example, if you had to file for the six months ending on June 30th, your GE Tax Form G-45 would be due on July 20th. Form G-49 is due 4 months after the end of the fiscal year.

So if you are a calendar year taxpayer, as most persons reading this guide are likely to be, then your filing periods would be:

  • Semi Annual Filing Frequency: January – June (G45). July – December (G45), January – December (G49)
  • Quarterly Filing Frequency:  January – March (G45), April – June (G45), July – September (G45), October – December (G45), January – December (G49)
  • Monthly Filing Frequency: Every calendar month is a filing period (g45), January – December (G49)

So if you are a calendar year taxpayer, then your due dates would be:

  • Semi Annual Filing Frequency: 20th of July (G45), 20th of January (g45) and 20th of April (G49)
  • Quarterly Filing Frequency: 20th of April (G45), 20th of July (G45), 20th of October (G45), 20th of January (G45), and the 20th of April (G49),
  • Monthly Filing Frequency: 20th of each and every month (G45) and 20th of April (G49)

Please remember that this schedule is for calendar year taxpayers and businesses only. Please be very sure to refer to the instructions. This guide may not provide enough information and education on the subject to avoid complications including penalties. We recommend that you hire a professional (like us!) to file your Hawaii GE Taxes.

Filing late can result in penalties and interest. Intentionally or willfully ignoring the requirement to file your GE Tax Forms can result in additional penalties (on top of the late filing penalties) and even criminal charges.

How to File

You can file you GE Tax Returns electronically, in person or by mail. To file online, go to the Hawaii Department of Taxation’s E-Services Page. You can also get the form on this site, fill it out on your computer, print it, and mail it in. If you visit the Hawaii Department of Taxation in person, they have a GE Tax Window where you can pick up forms, file, pay, and attempt to get assistance.


    1. Aloha and thanks for the comment.

      Common advice is to keep your G49 return copies on file for 7 years.

      We recommend that you simple keep the returns on file “forever”if you have the space, however, because there are many issues that can come up to where you might need them. Examples might include the sale of property held for many years, an unexpected legal issue, or if the state ever claims that they were never filed (there is no statute of limitations on un-filed GE Tax returns).

  1. When you file at the end of year and you pay the taxes due for the G-45, do you have to pay the dues for the G-49 also?

  2. I am trying to file my G-49. It looks like I have to pay an additional 4%. Is this correct? I was under the impression that the G-49 was just a summary of all the G-45’s. Am I wrong? I never had to pay anything for my G-49 before.

  3. I am trying to file my G-49. It looks like I have to pay an additional 4%. I thought the G-49 was just a summary of all the G-45’s. It seems like I need to pay 4% for G-49 even though i already paid 4% with the G-45s. Please let me know!

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