Tax in Rhode Island: a complete guide

1 min readLast updated January 4, 2024by Rachel Carey

This Rhode Island tax guide delves into everything you need to know about tax in the state, from income tax to sales, property and how tax impacts retirees.

Rhode Island state income tax  

Rhode Island has a graduated income, with rates ranging from 3.75 percent to 5.99 percent.    

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The breakdown is as follows: 

Taxable income Tax rate
$0 - $73,450 3.75 percent
$73,451 - $166,950 4.75 percent
Over $166,950 5.99 percent

The state also implements a surtax of 3 percent for those earning $557,000. 

It’s also important to remember jurisdictions and school districts may also impose taxes on wages or income, which residents will need to factor into their overall tax liability.  

Rhode Island also has a flat corporate income tax rate of 7 percent.  

If compiling and filing your taxes is an area you struggle with, a financial advisor can help. They can take a deep dive into your finances and develop a tax strategy that meets your needs and could reduce your tax liability and save you money.   

Rhode Island sales tax 

Rhode Island is one of the few US states with a single, statewide sales tax. Currently, this is seven percent.  

Unlike many other US states, Rhode Island has no annual sales tax holidays, during which the state sales tax does not apply.   

However, the state does have sales tax exemptions on specific goods, including: 

  • Clothing under $250 

  • Groceries 

  • Prescription drugs 

  • Diapers 

  • Women’s menstrual products   

Rhode Island also imposes specific alcohol and cigarette taxes:  

  • Beer tax is taxed at $0.10 per gallon  

  • Liquor tax is taxed at $5.40 per gallon   

  • Wine is taxed at $1.40 per gallon  

Rhode Island property tax 

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American household spends $2,690 on real estate property taxes.  

Property tax is an important source of revenue for all states, including Rhode Island, where property tax rates are among the highest in the country.    

In Rhode Island, the average effective property tax rate is 1.30 percent. Although, this can be higher or lower depending on where you live in the state, as tax rates vary from county to country.  

Similar to other states, local governments within Rhode Island use various methods to assess, calculate, and collect property taxes.  

Rhode Island motor tax

There’s a six percent tax for new motor vehicles in Rhode Island.  

When purchasing a vehicle, you must also factor in the fuel cost. Rhode Island does impose a fuel tax, including: 

  • Gasoline is taxed at $0.37 per gallon 

  • Diesel is taxed at $0.37 per gallon 

Rhode Island estate tax

Financial planning for when you’re no longer around is a necessary task. Those living in Rhode Island need to be mindful of the state's estate tax.  

Estates valued over $1,733,264 are subject to this tax, which ranges from 0.8 percent to 16 percent.  

Rhode Island does not have an inheritance tax.  

Rhode Island retirement tax

Rhode Island is not typically considered a tax-friendly state for retirees.  

It is one of the few states in the US that taxes Social Security income. Income from retirement savings accounts is also subject to income tax. However, taxpayers who have reached full retirement age can exclude up to $20,000 of income from private, government, or military retirement plans. This does not include IRAs.  

Rhode Island does not tax retirement income, meaning payouts from retirement savings accounts such as your 401(k) and IRA are tax-exempt.  

Income from Social Security is also not taxed.  

The state also boasts a range of benefits for potential retirees. Take property tax, for example; in 2022, homeowners 65 and over with household income of $35,000 or less could get a state income tax credit of up to $600 for property tax relief. This relief system continued in 2023.  

For further tax guidance and to ensure you’re not paying more tax than you need to, it’s wise to speak to an expert. A financial advisor can help you handle all your tax queries and ensure you’re not paying more tax than needed.      

Find your financial advisor with Unbiased.  

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.

Need help with your taxes?

A financial advisor can help you with all of your tax planning needs.