State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Middle-Class Families
Tool | November 2020

Tennessee State Tax Guide for Middle-Class Families

State tax rates and rules for income, sales, gas, property, cigarette, and other taxes that impact middle-class families.

Tennessee

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The Bottom Line
Flag of Tennessee

Most Tax-Friendly

There's no broad-based income tax in the Volunteer State — only interest and dividends are subject to Tennessee's limited income tax. The first $1,250 in taxable income for individuals ($2,500 for joint filers) is also exempt from the 1% tax (for 2020), and it's waived if you're at least 100 years old. Plus, 2020 is the last year the tax will be imposed. Property taxes in Tennessee are reasonable, too.

But Tennessee sticks it to you when you're shopping, though. It starts with a 7% state sales tax rate (plus 2.75% on part of the price from $1,600 to $3,200 of single items), but then local governments can tack on up to 2.75% more in taxes on each sale. At 9.55%, Tennessee's average combined state and local sales tax rate is the highest in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.

Income Tax Range

Tennessee has no state income tax. But dividends and some interest are subject to the Hall Tax at a 1% rate. The first $1,250 in taxable income for individuals ($2,500 for joint filers) is exempt. 2020 is the last year for the tax, which is being phased out. Also, the tax is waived if you're over 100.

Sales Tax

7% state levy. There's also an additional state tax of 2.75% on sales of single items that applies to the portion of the sales price from $1,600 to $3,200. Localities can add up to 2.75%, with an average combined state and local rate of 9.55%, according to the Tax Foundation. Local taxes are limited, though: Only the first $1,600 of any single item is taxable.

Groceries: Taxable (4% state rate; additional local taxes may apply)
Clothing: Taxable
Motor Vehicles: Taxable (7% basic rate, plus 2.75% state tax on sales price between $1,600 and $3,200; additional local taxes may also apply)
Prescription Drugs: Exempt

Real Property Taxes

In Tennessee, the median property tax rate is $636 per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: 27.4¢ per gallon.
Diesel: 28.4¢ per gallon.

Sin Taxes

Cigarettes: $0.62 per pack
Other tobacco products: 6.6% of the wholesale price

Beer: $1.29 per gallon
Wine: $1.21 per gallon
Liquor: $4.40 per gallon
There's also an additional $0.15 tax on each case of alcoholic beverage sold in Tennessee.

Annual Car Taxes and Fees

An annual vehicle registration fee is imposed. Additional local fees may apply.

Estate and Inheritance Taxes

No estate or inheritance tax.


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