In lieu of a sales tax, the state of Hawaii collects a 4% general excise tax, which is assessed on the retail sale, lease or rental of most goods. Oahu charges an additional 0.5% surtax.
Use tax is chraged on the purchase price or value of tangible personal property purchased or imported, whichever is applicable. Depending on the use the rates are different. The rate is 0.5%, if the item is for resale at retail. The rate is 4%, if the item is for use or consumption. Use tax is applied on the same basis as general excise tax is within the state of Hawaii. If you are required to file a return on a monthly basis, returns are to be filed on or before the last day of the month following the month in which the purchases were made. For example, purchases made in the month of January should be filed with the state of Hawaii on or before the last day of February.