Sales Tax Calculator

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How do you figure out sales tax? Use these free calculators to see how much sales tax you'll be paying on your next big purchase.

For most people, paying sales tax is just a part of life.

But when all is said and done - how much are you really being charged?

These calculators can help you determine:

  1. The sales tax rate charged on your item
  2. The original price of an item before sales tax
  3. The total price of an item after sales tax

Want to avoid a surprise at the cashier? Utilize the tools below to answer all your sales tax questions.

Sales Tax Calculator

Wondering what sales tax rate was charged on your item? If you know the listed price and the after-tax cost, this calculator will help you find the sales tax rate.

Sales Tax Calculator

How do I calculate my sales tax?
Here's how to calculate sales tax by hand:

  1. Subtract the listed item price from the total price you paid.
    (Example: Total price $545.00 - listed price $500 = $45)

  2. Then, divide the difference amount ($45) by the listed price.
    (Example: $45 / $500 = 0.09)

  3. Finally, multiply that number by 100. This converts it to the actual percentage rate of the sales tax.
    (Example: 0.09 x = 100 = 9%)

In the example above, the sales tax rate is 9%.

What is sales tax? Sales tax is an amount of money charged on top of the cost of a product or service. Sales tax is usually expressed as a percentage, such as 7.25%. The rate is imposed by the government and varies by state and city.

Before Sales Tax Calculator (Reverse Sales Tax Calculator)

How much did an item cost before sales tax? This calculator shows you the original price of your item.

Before Sales Tax Calculator

How do you calculate price before tax?
Here's how to calculate the original price of an item before sales tax was applied:

  1. Find the sales tax rate of your state and local area.
    (Reference a site like the Sales Tax Clearinghouse to find the rates specific to where you live.)

  2. Then, add 100 to the tax rate.
    (Example 100 + 8% (sales tax rate) = 108%)

  3. Next, divide the total percentage by 100 to convert it to a decimal.
    (Example: 108% (total percentage) / 100 = 1.08)

  4. Finally, divide the after-tax cost by the cost by the decimal from the previous step.
    (Example: $200 (after-tax cost) / 1.08 = $185.19)

In this example, the before-tax cost of the item was $185.19. You paid $14.81 in tax.

After Sales Tax Calculator

Have your eyes on a new laptop or pair of shoes? The price listed online isn't giving you the full picture. This is a calculator that can tell you the total price of an item after sales tax.

After Sales Tax Calculator

How do you calculate the total with sales tax?
Here's how to manually calculate the total price of an item after sales tax:

  1. Find the sales tax rate of your state and local area.
    (Reference a site like the Sales Tax Clearinghouse to find the rates specific to where you live.)

  2. Then, divide the tax rate by 100 to convert it to a decimal.
    (Example: 8% (sales tax rate) / 100 = 0.08)

  3. Multiply the listed price of the item by the sales tax rate.
    (Example: $200 (listed price) x 0.08 = $16)

  4. Finally, add the tax amount to the listed price.
    (Example: $16 + $200 = $216)

In this example, the total after-tax cost of the item is $216.

Budgeting for your next big purchase? Our 50-30-20 calculator is a handy tool that can help you figure out how savings fit into your overall monthly budget.

How Sales Tax Works

Sales tax is a consumption tax charged on the sale of products and services. This tax is paid by consumers to governments.

In the United States, there's no federal sales tax. Instead, sales tax is imposed at the state level.

All but five states have a statewide sales tax. Oregon, Delaware, Alaska, Montana, and New Hampshire do not have a statewide sales tax (but some cities within those states may charge a local city sales tax).

Of the states that do charge a statewide sales tax, the rates range from 0% to 16%. Many states also differ in how the sales tax is enforced. For example, some states don't charge sales tax on specific items, like alcohol or prescription medications.

Bottom Line

Sales tax makes a big difference on the total price you pay for an item, so it pays to be prepared. Before you make a big purchase, be sure to bookmark this page of sales tax calculators so you know what to expect when you're about to put down your credit card.

Holly Zorbas is a guardian of content and community at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Holly Zorbas at holly.zorbas@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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