This free online Sale Tax Calculator will calculate the sales taxes on the price of a product or service given a sales tax percentage, and if you want, will also tell you the number of hours you will need to allocate to working in order to pay for those taxes.
Plus, if the price you entered already includes sales taxes, the sale tax calculator will calculate what portion of the price is for the product or service and what portion is for sales taxes.
Of course, if you happen to live in a state that does not collect sales taxes from the businesses you purchase from, then this calculator will not apply to your situation.
If you're not sure what the applicable sales tax rate for your location is, you can look up your state, county and local sales tax rates here (opens in a new window) a limited number of times for free.
I know, we pay income taxes on our wages, not sales taxes ... or do we?
If my take-home pay worked out to be $20.00 per hour, and I purchase a taxable item for $20.00, guess what kind of taxes I will have to pay on the $20.00 of after-tax income? That's right, I will end up paying sales taxes on those wages, which have already be reduced by income taxes.
The thing to be aware of is this, if you live in a state that collects sales taxes, then the more taxable items you purchase, and the more expensive those taxable items are, the more time you will need to allocate to working in order to pay for those taxes.
If you want to reduce your work hours without sacrificing the type and number of assets you own, the quickest way is to simply switch from buying new items to buying used versions of the new items.
If the item you are buying is something that requires licensing (say, a motorized vehicle) then you likely cannot avoid paying at least some sales taxes. However, if you buy the used version of the asset you will only have to pay taxes on the depreciated value instead of on the new value. And since assets depreciate the fastest in the first year or two, the previous owner will have paid the bulk of the sale taxes for you.
On the other hand, if you purchase a used version of an asset that does not require a license, and you purchase it from a private owner, you may be able to avoid paying any sales taxes whatsoever.
In both cases, by paying less out for taxes you could effectively lower the number of hours you work without diminishing the amount of stuff you think you need to own.
In case you are interested in doing the calculation manually, here is how to calculate sales tax:
With that, let's use the Sale Tax Calculator to calculate the sales taxes from a pretax price, or to calculate the sales tax portion of a tax-included price.
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Price with or without taxes included: If you want to calculate sales tax on a price, select Taxes not included. If the price you are entering already has the taxes included and you want to know what portion of the price was sales tax, select Taxes already included. After making your selection, enter the applicable price in entry field to the far right.
Sales tax percentage: Enter the applicable sales tax percentage for the location you are making the purchase from. Please enter as a percentage (for .06, enter 6%).
Real hourly wage: Optional: If you would like to see how many hours you will need to allocate to working in order to pay the sales taxes on the purchase price, enter your after-tax, after work-related-expense hourly wage.
Pretax price: This is the purchase price before sales tax is added.
Sales tax: This is the estimated sales tax based on the entered sales tax percentage (the sale tax calculator rounds the raw result to the nearest penny).
Total price with sales tax: This is the total of the purchase price plus the estimated sales tax.
Work hours needed to pay sales taxes: If you entered your real hourly wage in the top section of the sale tax calculator, this field will show how many hours you will need to allocate to working in order to pay just the taxes on your purchase.