How to calculate sales tax in your head

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:

5%:

(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.

6%:

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.

7%:

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.

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