Alabama: Sales Tax Handbook
Alabama Sales Tax Rate
|State Sales Tax||Local Sales Tax Range||Average Local Tax||Average Combined Tax||Max Combined Tax|
|4%||1% - 7.5%||3.981%||7.981%||11.5%|
2021 Alabama Sales Tax Handbook
Alabama Table of Contents
- List of Local Sales Tax Rates
- Sales Tax Calculator
- Sales Tax Exemption Certificates
- Sales Tax Info For Businessowners
- Taxable vs. Non-Taxable Purchases
- Sales Tax on Cars & Vehicles
- More Information
Alabama's Sales Tax By The Numbers:
Alabama has a lower-than-average state sales tax rate of 4%, but the actual combined sales tax rates are higher than average when local sales taxes from Alabama's 287 local tax jurisdictions are taken into account.
Rankings by Average State + Local Sales Tax:
Ranked 9th highest by combined state + local sales tax
Ranked 31st highest by per capita revenue from state + local sales taxes ($863 per capita)
Rankings by State Sales Tax Only:
Ranked 21st highest by state sales tax rate
Ranked 43rd highest by per capita revenue from the statewide sales tax ($483 per capita)
Printable PDF Alabama Sales Tax Datasheet
Alabama has a statewide sales tax rate of 4%, which has been in place since 1936.
Municipal governments in Alabama are also allowed to collect a local-option sales tax that ranges from 1% to 7.5% across the state, with an average local tax of 3.981% (for a total of 7.981% when combined with the state sales tax). The maximum local tax rate allowed by Alabama law is 7%. You can lookup Alabama city and county sales tax rates here.
This page provides an overview of the sales tax rates and laws in Alabama. If you are a business owner and need to learn more about things like getting a sales tax permit, filing a sales tax return, or making tax-exempt purchases for resale see the Alabama Sales Tax Handbook's Table of Contents above.
What is exempt from sales taxes in Alabama?
Many states have special sales tax rates that apply to the purchase of certain types of goods, or fully exempt them from the sales tax altogether. Here's how Alabama taxes five types of commonly-exempted goods:
For more details on what types of goods are specifically exempt from the Alabama sales tax see Alabama sales tax exemptions. To learn more about what types of transactions are subject to the sales tax to begin with, see what purchases are taxable in Alabama? Taxation of vehicle purchases in particular are discussed in the page about Alabama's sales tax on cars.
Are services subject to sales tax in Alabama?
"Goods" refers to the sale of tangible personal property, which are generally taxable. "Services" refers to the sale of labor or a non-tangible benefit. In Alabama, services are generally not taxable.
About the Alabama Sales Tax
The state of Alabama has relatively simple sales tax rate, and utilizes a flat state tax rate. However, in addition to the flat state tax rate, there are county taxes or local city taxes, which will vary significantly depending on which jurisdiction you are in. These local tax rates would be in addition to the state rate.
It is worth noting that Alabama is one of the few states which which does not exempt food from the state's taxes.
Is the Alabama Sales Tax Destination-Based or Origin-Based?
Alabama is a destination-based sales tax state, which means that sales tax rates are determined by the location of the buyer when the transaction is completed. This means that, for orders placed via the internet/mail by a customer within Alabama from a Alabama vendor, the vendor must collect a sales tax rate applicable at the buyer's address (including any applicable local sales taxes). This can significantly increase the complication of filing your sales tax return, because different sales tax rates must be charged to different buyers based on their location.
Is Alabama a Streamlined Sales Tax State?
Alabama is not a member of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. The SSUTA is an agreement adopted by about half of states that ensures that their sales tax laws are simplified to lower the costs associated with compliance.
Contact the Alabama Department of Revenue
The Alabama Sales Tax is administered by the Alabama Department of Revenue. You can learn more by visiting the sales tax information website at www.revenue.alabama.gov.
Phone numbers for the Sales Tax division of the Department of Revenue are as follows:
- Local Phone: (334) 242-1490
Learn More: Our Book Recommendations
If you would like to learn more about how to manage your Alabama sales taxes, we recommend the following books:
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Alabama Sales Tax Rates by Zip Code:
Need an updated list of Alabama sales tax rates for your business? Download our Alabama sales tax database!