Sales Tax: What Is It?

June 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Taxes 

There is plenty of confusion surrounding sales and use tax rates, especially among those who can hardly distinguish the two. Read on to learn how to distinguish the two, and how you can perform tax compliance in your business quickly, efficiently, and with less time, manpower, and resources required.

In the United States, sales taxes are those placed on the sale or lease of goods and services in the country. A national general sales tax is yet to exist and be implemented, but the federal government levies various national selective sales taxes on the sale or lease of particular goods and services. Now, here are some insights into taxes, how they’re remitted, and how you can optimize your time and efforts with a tax calculator.

Imposing general taxes applying to sale or lease of goods and services are 45 states, along with the District of Columbia and Guam. The individual states may levy selective sales taxes on the sale or lease of particular products, and they may also assign the governments to impose additional sales taxes – whether general or selective.

Sales taxes are calculated by multiplying the purchase price by the corresponding tax rate, which range from less than one to more than 10 percent and vary widely by jurisdiction. The seller collects it at the time of sale, while use tax is self-assessed by the buyer who has not paid sales tax on a taxable item or service. In short, it is imposed once at the retail level, although it can be charged on the same item indefinitely in situations where items are sold at retail more than once. Again, it depends on the state to define retail sales and taxable products and services.

The sellers collect the sales tax from its customers, file returns, and undertake tax remittance to the state. Most US states allow or downright require electronic remittance.

A programmable, Web-based sales and use tax calculator is highly useful by providing real-time and up-to-date sales and use tax rate information for every US and Canada tax jurisdiction. This allows for seamless integration of sales and use tax lookup into your own site, application, or official business process. It also locates current and correct tax rates by exact street address, postal code, or city/state/country. This can save your business – especially if you are still on the startup level – important time and resources while heightening accuracy of results.

Discover how real-time sales and use tax rates services can help improve your website, application, or business processes.

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