Hawaii Clarifies Sales Tax Treatment of Software

The Hawaii Department of Taxation issued a release to clarify the treatment of sales of software with regards to their general excise tax (GET). For canned or prewritten software (or the license of such), the department considers it to be tangible personal property (TPP) regardless of form or method transferred and is taxed as such. Sales of TPP are taxed at 4 percent, but wholesalers have a rate of 0.5 percent. The department considers custom software to be a provision of services. The sales of services are subject to the 4 percent GET, but wholesalers have a rate of 0.5 percent. Additionally, when software is sold through a marketplace facilitator, the facilitator is considered the retail seller and is subject to the 4 percent GET rate. The marketplace seller is considered to have made the sale at wholesale. (Hawaii Department of Taxation, Tax Information Release No. 2021-06)

Posted on September 14, 2021