- Step 1: Determine the purchase amount Determine the purchase amount of the taxable items you will buy.
- TIP: Subtract all coupons and discounts.
- Step 2: Determine the sales tax percentage Determine the sales tax rate percentage, which will vary state-to-state.
- Step 3: Turn the percentage into a decimal Turn the percentage into a decimal. Move the decimal place two spaces to the left of the number. For example 12.5 percent would equal .125 and 6 percent would equal .06.
- Step 4: Multiply the two numbers Multiply the purchase price and the sales tax decimal to calculate the sales tax amount.
- TIP: Use a calculator if needed.
- Step 5: Add the tax Add the sales tax amount to the purchase price for the total amount due, and enjoy knowing what you paid before the cashier does.
- FACT: As of 2010, the state of California had the United States' highest sales tax rate at 8.25 percent.
You Will Need
- Purchase price
- Sales tax percentage
- Basic math skills
- Calculator (optional)