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How to Calculate State Sales Tax


Find out the total sales tax for a specific item by multiplying the cost of the item by the tax percentage. If you add a 0 before the point, you will get the exact total for the tax. For example, if the tax for your city is 4.457 percent, just multiply the cost of the item by .04457 and you will get the tax amount. You will then have to add this number to the cost of the item to get the total.


Use an online calculator, such as the one offered by the Csg Network online (see Resources below). If you know the tax percentage charge in a specific state, you can simple enter the cost of the item and the tax percentage charged and then get the total amount.


Round up the tax value to the nearest number. For example, if the city tax is 6.75 percent, use 7 percent to get the number you need. If you just want to have a general idea of how much tax you will pay for an item, this is the easiest way to calculate it. If you need the exact number, however, you will have to use a calculator or write out the exact equation on paper.


Check the website of the Federal Tax Administration to find out the tax percentage in a city to which you are traveling (see Resources below). The listing provided by the FTA is complete and it includes both city and federal taxes. It even covers small towns and rural communities.


Carry a calculator. For large items or for those with prices in decimals, you will need more than just your brain to get the exact tax value. This is especially important if you need to know the number on the spot to compare prices with other places or items.

Tips and Warnings

  • Sales tax can vary within the same state. In fact, there can be significant changes from one county to the next.

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