State of Kentucky Sales Tax The 2024 Kentucky State Sales Tax

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What is the 2024 Kentucky Sales Tax Rate?

Kentucky Sales Tax Rate


2024 Kentucky state sales tax
Exact tax amount may vary for different items

The Kentucky state sales tax rate is 6%, and the average KY sales tax after local surtaxes is 6%.

  • Groceries and prescription drugs are exempt from the Kentucky sales tax
  • Counties and cities are not allowed to collect local sales taxes
  • Kentucky has no special sales tax jurisdictions with local sales taxes in addition to the state sales tax
  • Kentucky has a higher state sales tax than 71.2% of states

Most raw groceries and unprocessed foods are exempt from the Kentucky sales tax. Alcohol used to be exempt, but a 6% state sales tax was added to all alcohol and liquor sales in April, 2009.

If you are a Kentucky business owner, you can learn more about how to collect and file your Kentucky sales tax return at the 2024 Kentucky Sales Tax Handbook .

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Kentucky Sales Tax Exemptions

Kentucky doesn't collect sales tax on purchases of most prescription drugs and groceries. In most states, necessities such as groceries, clothes, and drugs are exempted from the sales tax or charged at a lower sales tax rate.

Some items may not be eligible for these reduced sales tax rates, such as expensive clothing, unhealthy food or drinks like soda, and certain non-essential pharmaceuticals. Kentucky does not treat candy or soda as groceries, which means they are not subject to reduced grocery sales tax rates. Other items including gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes are subject to various Kentucky excise taxes in addition to the sales tax.

In some states, items like alcohol and prepared food (including restaurant meals and some premade supermarket items) are charged at a higher sales tax rate. The KY sales tax applicable to the sale of cars, boats, and real estate sales may also vary by jurisdiction. Kentucky's sales tax rates for commonly exempted items are as follows:

Groceries: EXEMPT Clothing: 6% Prepared Food: 6% Prescription Drugs: EXEMPT Non-Prescription Drugs: 6%
Kentucky sales tax for a restaurant meal
$100 Restaurant Dinner
Kentucky sales tax for groceries
$100 of groceries
Kentucky sales tax for clothing
$100 in clothes
Kentucky sales tax for general consumer products
$100 of consumer products
$6.00 sales tax
$106.00 total
$0.00 sales tax
$100.00 total
$6.00 sales tax
$106.00 total
$6.00 sales tax
$106.00 total

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Kentucky Sales Tax Exemption Certificate

Unlike a Value Added Tax (VAT), the Kentucky sales tax only applies to end consumers of the product. Individuals and companies who are purchasing goods for resale, improvement, or as raw materials can use a Kentucky Sales Tax Exemption Form to buy these goods tax-free.

Companies or individuals who wish to make a qualifying purchase tax-free must have a Kentucky state sales tax exemption certificate, which can be obtained from the Kentucky Department of Revenue . On making an exempt purchase, Exemption Certificate holders may submit a completed Kentucky Sales Tax Exemption Form to the vendor instead of paying sales tax.

Sales tax exemption forms (as well as business sales tax id applications, sales tax returns, and the full Kentucky sales tax code) can be downloaded from the Kentucky Department of Revenue here .

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Kentucky Sales Tax Calculator

 Sales Tax Calculator
Purchase Details:
$ in zip code Enter the zip code where the purchase was made for local sales tax

Whenever you make a purchase at a licensed Kentucky retailer, your sales tax will be automatically calculated and added to your bill. To lookup the sales tax due on any purchase, use our Kentucky sales tax calculator.

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Kentucky Use Tax [View Main Article]

If you buy goods and are not charged the Kentucky Sales Tax by the retailer, such as with online and out-of-state purchases, you are supposed to pay the 6% sales tax (less any foreign sales tax paid) for these items yourself as the Kentucky Use Tax.

Your are expected to voluntarily list your liable purchases on a Kentucky Use Tax Return, which should be attached with payment to your Kentucky Income Tax Return. Historically, compliance rates with with the Kentucky Use Tax have been low.

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Kentucky Local Sales Taxes

Kentucky does not allow local jurisdictions like cities or counties to collect a local sales tax. The Kentucky state sales tax of 6% is applicable statewide. You can view the sales tax rates for various cities in Kentucky here.

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