If you have ever had a basket full of shopping goods and you want to get a rough idea of the sales tax you will pay, here is a guide on how to quickly and accurately estimate your tax bill.
This depends on the state you are in – some states have rates as low as 0% (no sales tax), up to nearly 10%. You can determine your state’s rate by checking a receipt on a recent purchase. The total sales tax will be displayed and usually fall between 5 and 9%.
(1) Round your purchase to the nearest ten. If your total purchase is $ 476.99, round it to $ 480.
(2) Know your state tax rate, and round it to the nearest whole number. This can be as low as 5%, or as high as 9%.
(3) Follow these tricks to evaluate your tax and total:
(A) Divide your purchase total by 10, ie: delete the last zero in the total. So $ 480 becomes $ 48.
(B) Now divide by 2. So $ 48 becomes $ 24, your approximate sales tax.
Follow the Steps for the 5% Tax. Now, divide your original amount by 100 (shift the decimal place by two), so $ 480 becomes $ 4.80, or about $ 5.
Now add that amount to the 5% sales tax: $ 24 + $ 5 = $ 29.
Same as 6%, but add the total divided by 100 twice. So $ 24 + $ 5 + $ 5 = $ 34.
9%: Divide your total by 10, so $ 48. Now divide this again by 10, and discount: $ 4.8, or about $ 5, so $ 48- $ 5 = $ 43.
8%: Follow the same steps as for the 9% sales tax, but deduct twice: $ 48- $ 5- $ 5 = $ 38.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to quickly estimate the tax on any item you purchase.
Here’s another common mental math question: how can you quickly appreciate, in your head, a beautiful top for your waiter or waitress?
Most advice says that we should give 15-20% tip. Here’s how to quickly evaluate the tip you give to a server.
Let’s say your restaurant bill is $ 53.
(1) Divide this by 10: $ 5.30
(2) Multiply this by 2: $ 10.60, or about $ 11.00.
(3) The half-show point between the 2 is the 15% peak, so in this case, about $ 8.00.
(4) The amount in (2) is a more generous 20% peak.
Choose an amount between (2) and (3) if your service was extra good.