Sales Tax Calculator

Sales Tax Calculator


What is Sales Tax?

Sales tax is a tax on the sale of goods and services. In the US and the District of Columbia all states except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon impose a state sales tax when you buy items or pay for services. Alaska however does allow localities to charge local sales taxes as do many other states.

Some states do not charge sales tax on specific categories of items. In Massachusetts for example sales tax is not charged on regular grocery items. Also many states have additional tax surcharges. In the hospitality industry it is common for restaurants and hotels to charge a tax rate higher than the state sales tax rate. Check with your state and locality for expected sales tax rates and potential tax surcharge rates.

How to Calculate Sales Tax

Multiply the price of your item or service by the tax rate. If you have tax rate as a percentage, divide that number by 100 to get tax rate as a decimal. Then use this number in the multiplication process.

  1. Find list price and tax percentage
  2. Divide tax percentage by 100 to get tax rate as a decimal
  3. Multiply list price by decimal tax rate to get tax amount
  4. Add tax amount to list price to get total price

For example, say you're buying a new coffee maker for your kitchen. The price of the coffee maker is $70 and your state sales tax is 6.5%.

  1. List price is $70 and tax percentage is 6.5%
  2. Divide tax percentage by 100: 6.5 / 100 = 0.065
  3. Multiply price by decimal tax rate: 70 * 0.065 = 4.55
    You will pay $4.55 in tax on a $70 item
  4. Add tax to list price to get total price: 70 + 4.55 = $74.55

Sales Tax Calculation Formulas

  • Sales tax rate = sales tax percent / 100
  • Sales tax = list price * sales tax rate
  • Total price with tax = list price + sales tax, or
  • Total price with tax = list price + (list price * sales tax rate), or
  • Total price with tax = list price * ( 1 + sales tax rate)